Friday, April 10, 2009
Rocks Are Good...And So Is Poop
The sun felt warm on my skin in the cool spring air today...I'm ready for spring. Having some time to relax, I found a piece of chert in the rock pile and thinned out a preform. Taking the pressure flaker to it, I ended up with this three inch blade in search of a nice elk antler handle (a strand of sinew lying beside). I love rocks...I think, for the potential of what they can become. I catch myself scanning the stones in the parking lot, when I go to work, picking out the pieces. Limonite, a kind of iron oxide, stands out against the limestone as an ocher-yellow. Native Americans would grind this to powder to make paint pigment when mixed with hide glue. I've heated it in the campfire, as they did, to tranform the color to a reddish hue to paint on rawhide. Pockets of flint was crushed up, with the limestone, and I've taken steel files to strike showers of sparks off the small shards. Just need the right spark catcher...like charcloth, or tinder fungus, or a little cattail and deer fat. Quarzite pebbles, broken in half using the bipolar technic, yield sharp cutting edges that would work to harvest the quantities of striaght shoots coming up around the bushes - to make twined gathering baskets. All the dried bird poop, across the outside break tables, mixed with a little spit would work well as traditional white paint. People get a little squeamish when you start working with excrement. Like the time I saved urine to pour onto deer hides I was fleshing, the uric acid breaks down the fat and tissue. What is that old proverb....Waste not, want not?