Friday, July 29, 2011

The Power of Tunniq

After admiring Germaine Arnaktauyok's work for several years, we finally picked up one of her prints from Iqaluit Fine Arts Studio this week.  Its called The Power of Tunniq and I can't wait to see it framed and hanging in our house!  The people that archaeologists call the Dorset or Palaeoeskimo, are called Tunit (Tunniq, singular) by the Inuit.  The Tunit lived in the Eastern Arctic before the Inuit came and there are many Inuit legends about them, including their prodigious strength.  The Tunit were said to be so powerful that they could fling a walrus on their back and carry it home from the hunt.
Germain Arnaktauyok, The Power of Tunniq, 2006

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A few little old reproductions from Labrador

This is a little set of miniature ivory Thule harpoon heads that I made a few years ago for an archaeologist working in Northern Labrador.  Miniatures can be informative, because they sometimes show how composite pieces were assembled.  For example, the endblade on the little harpoon head on the right would have been metal or ground stone on a full scale harpoon head.  The miniature gives a clue to the relative proportions and fit of the endblade on an actual harpoon head. The business card/photo scale is also pretty cool - I need to have some made up for Elfshot.
Both of these points are made from quartz and are based on artifacts from Labrador.  I remember the white quartz being particularly difficult to work.  I like the look of the clear quartz endblade - I definitely need to make more of those.  It was a few years back - but I believe these ones were made for the archaeologist who found the originals.  
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pre Dorset Burin

Pre Dorset Burin

There is a little grinding on the burin around the tip.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stemmed Microblade

A little Palaeoeskimo stemmed microblade, in situ amongst pebbles.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Snowy Owls

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Monday, July 18, 2011

Boyd's Cove Beothuk Artifacts

A few years ago I was commissioned to make a reproduction of this pendant for the Province.  The original artifact was found at Beothuk site at Boyd's Cove, which was excavated in the 1980s by Dr. Ralph Pastore.

There are many artifacts from the site on display at the Beothuk Interpretation Centre in Boyd's cove, but this piece was amongst the thousands of artifacts housed in the Archaeology Collection in the Basement of The Rooms.

There are trays and trays of neatly packed and labelled boxes from Boyd's Cove and hundreds of other sites in the vaults.

They're available to researchers and are always being selected for display in new and changing exhibits.

This is a hammerstone - notice the damage done of the right end.

This is an iron pyrite nodule that would have been used by the Beothuk for fire starting.  I was looking for this picture a couple months ago when I was writing about Why Pyrite Makes a Spark when you strike it.   Better late than never.

The collection is primarily made up of stone tools and flakes, like this little box of assort lithics.

These tiny stemmed and corner-notched points are typical of the stone arrowheads made and used by the Beothuk.

Another bone pendant with ochre staining.

More little arrowheads.  Some are so tiny that they may have been used on children's arrows.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Friday, July 15, 2011

Split Handle Hafting

This is a trick I learned from the perfectly preserved Saqqaq Palaeoeskimo tools in Greenland. If you make knife handles in two halves then its relatively simple to carve out the socket.

I get the blade to fit in the socket and make sure that the join between the two halves is flush before carving down the outside of the handle.

You can see in the illustration next to the reproduction that the final step is wrapping a lashing material around and around the handle to hold the two halves together.  The Saqqaq people used baleen on their knife handles, but you could use any type of string, leather or cord.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Labrador-style Snow Knife

Whalebone snow knife reproduction.  This is a piece that I made few years ago for The Rooms.  Its based on Thule Inuit snow knives from Labrador.  I can't recall the exact dimensions, but I think it was around 16-18 inches long.  Its flat on one face and slightly convex on the other - kind of like a plane's wing in cross-section.
This is one of the knives in the collection at The Rooms that I used as a reference piece.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sea Ice

These shots were taken along the coast of Baffin Island in June of this year.

A Lead Forming
Photo Credit: Tim Rast

Friday, July 8, 2011

Beothuk Bone and Ochre Sampler

An assortment of  red ochre stained Beothuk Bone reproductions, including combs, pendants, needles and gaming pieces.
Photo Credit: Tim Rast

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Woolly Lousewort

Woolly lousewort, Pedicularis lanata

A tiny tundra plant.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Monday, July 4, 2011

Arctic Sippy Birds

Sandhill Crane.  
They remind me of those little plastic sippy birds
They are just missing the top hats.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Friday, July 1, 2011

Baleen Plates

This is a section of baleen plates from a beached humpback whale.  These plates are about 2 feet long, but on some species of whales they can grow 5 or 6 times that length.

I pull off one plate at a time as I need them for reproductions.
Photo Credit: Tim Rast
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