Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Modern Stone Age

I love "slag" glass! I think that might be a regional term for it but people who are into it usually know what you're talking about if you say it. It's those, often large, hunks of glass that people use to decorate their yards and fish tanks. It's beautiful looking stuff but there are other uses too.

As an undergrad I studied archeology at Indiana University where our program involved a fair bit of experimental work. If you are looking for stone tools and "debitage", aka leftover stone bits, you may greatly benefit from knowing how those thngs are made and what a fresh tool making site looks like.

At some point I questioned the wisdom of making these experimental tools from stone as you run the risk of creating spoof arechology sites and really mucking things up down the road. One sollution was to toss modern coins or bottle caps in with your leavings so that anyone digging them up down the road would know it wasn't a native site. My personal solution was to use colored glass instead of stone.

You get some way cool looking tools and there's no way to mistake your stuff for anything but what it is. The glass a great material to work with and it's fairly close to obsidian which is just about the best natural material you can get.

I'm looking for a grant to do more of this work for a mixed archeology and fine art project to demonstrate another way fine art and science can cross boundaries. The large point pictured(in progress) is made from quartz glass. This type of glass is used to make things like binocular lenses and space shuttle windows. I really want a chunk of shuttle window to make "primitive" tools with! So if anyone knows where I can get one let me know!!

Also, if anyone is willing to give me a primer in grant writing I'd be more than appreciative!

No comments:

Post a Comment