Friday, June 7, 2013

Rhyolite Knapping for Burnside

My production knapping kit
I'm finishing up my last order of the spring before heading to Nunavut next week for field work. I'm working on a few pieces made from Bloody Bay Cove Rhyolite for the gift shop run by the Burnside Heritage Foundation on Newfoundland's Eastport Peninsula.   The Beaches Site is a stones throw from the rhyolite quarry, so I'm filling half the order with side-notched Beaches style points and the other half with triangular Dorset Palaeoeskimo endblades.  It seems like all of the different aboriginal groups who lived in Newfoundland made use of rhyolite that they collected from Bloody Bay Cove.

Rhyolite has a bit more of a gritty texture to it than chert, but in Newfoundland, where most of our fine grain chert has a lot of small internal fractures, its possible to find very large, solid pieces of rhyolite.

Future necklaces and earrings
Laurie McLean, the archaeologist who found the quarry and has worked in the Burnside area for decades, hand picks the cores that I use for these reproductions.  He ensures that the rhyolite collected are not artifacts, which is no small task considering knappers have been visiting the area, testing and collecting rock for 5000 years, but its critical that we do not damage the site or collect worked cores or flakes for these reproductions.  I make the rhyolite jewellery exclusively for sale through the gift shop in the Burnside Museum, so if you'd like to own a Bloody Bay Cove Rhyolite necklace or earrings, you'll need to plan a trip to the Burnside Museum on the Eastport Peninsula.  While you are in the area, take the time to do the boat tour to visit the actual quarry site and the Beaches site, its well worth your time.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

1 comment:

  1. Wow, if I didn't see the rhyolite looking like spear heads, I probably would not have noticed the difference in those compared to any other stones. I guess that's why you're selling your wares at the Burnside Museum and I have no hope of ever selling any handy craft of my own hands! Haha!


Related Posts with Thumbnails