Friday, November 30, 2018

Stocking The Rooms in time for Christmas!

I'm just back from dropping off a big Christmas restocking order for The Rooms Gift Shop here in St. John's.  The order included a few flintknapping kits and a selection of handmade reproductions of Dorset, Groswater, and Beothuk endblades and arrowheads.  Everything is made from Newfoundland chert and the knapped stone tools have been mounted as necklaces, earrings, lapel pins, and tie tacs.  For this Christmas season, The Rooms gift shop currently has the best selection of Elfshot jewelry available.  

Groswater lapel pins and Dorset earrings.

Beothuk necklaces and earrings.

Groswater earrings.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Thursday, November 29, 2018

PalaeoIndian Reproductions

A foreshaft assembly with a
Folsom point based on
a theoretical reconstruction
I'm still around.  Although you might not realize that if you follow this blog.  I've been plugging away in the studio on reproductions throughout the year and travelling a lot for work.  Some of the projects I've worked on have embargoes on them until exhibits are opened or programs aired, which has given me an excuse to be extra lazy on this blog.  I'll try to use the end of the year as an incentive to document some of the projects that I've participated in during 2018.  

Here is a look at some pieces that are fresh out the door.  These are for a museum exhibit in the US and represent PalaeoIndian artifacts.  The reproductions include a fluted Folsom point made from chert, hafted in an antler foreshaft that fits into an antler socket which is glued and lashed to a wooden mainshaft.  The mainshaft is cut short for dispaly purposes.  Three bone needles, sinew, and a bone thimble (based on an Inuit design) make up part of a sewing kit.

A progress shot of the stone point, antler foreshaft and antler socket pieces.  The most important piece for the museum was the foreshaft, so I tried to match that as exactly as possible to the reference drawing.  The stone point came out a few millimetres larger than the reference point.  I find fluted points very difficult to make and this was my fourth attempt at this spear point and I didn't dare try to work it any more after both flutes came off reasonably well.   The socket needed to be a bit longer than the drawing for functional reasons, but overall the final assembly was within a couple centimetres of the illustration.

Bone needles and thimble.  The bone needles are based on PalaeoIndian artifacts and are made on long bones.  The thimble is based on Inuit thimbles in the Canadian Museum of History Collection.  
The complete set included some sinew thread to go along with the needles in the sewing kit.  All of the pieces are antiqued and the spear shaft was cut short because the storyline of the display focuses on the foreshaft assembly.

The museum requested that the sinew lashing be left off of the spear point and foreshaft.  Fortunately, the flutes on the Folsom point allow the spear point to be gripped fairly snugly by the foreshaft even without lashing or glues.  I don't think I'd trust it for hunting, but in a display and normal handling it is a good, secure fit.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast
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