Today, I'm working on slotted antler points with inset microblades. I made most of the microblades a few days ago and now I'm trimming and fitting them into the side slots on antler points. Two of these points will then be hafted onto arrows.
|Slotted antler points in the foreground and|
rejected microblades in the background
The microblades are all chert, with the exception of a few Texas flint blades. Despite having a couple hundred microblades to choose from, I'm starting to run low, so I think I'll return to the workshop tomorrow and knock off a few more. These reproductions are based on artifacts from Alaska. Microblades are found associated with the antler points, but I've been told that there aren't any in tact examples to get a sense of the arrangement of blades in the slot or adhesives that may have been used to secure them in place. Slotted points like this begin to appear during the Upper Palaeolithic and composite microlith tools spread around the globe. Some styles of slotted points or harpoon heads will have blades protruding like jagged barbs that look like shark's teeth with gaps between the microliths. However, the microblades found associated with this style of point seem to be prepared to create a continuous edge, so I'm trying to arrange the blades to create a leaf shaped blade, with a clean, sinuous cutting edge on each side of the point.
|I avoided using mis-matched material types in the beginning, but once I started running low on suitable blades, I began mixing and matching. I kind of like the look. I think mis-matched stone gives the pieces a more random, real world look.|
|To create the initial fits and plan out the positioning of the blades, I worked with soaking wet antler. Water makes the antler soft and pliable enough that I can press the blades into the slots without crushing the thin, sharp edges.|
|The base of the points end with a scarf joint. Two of them will be secured to arrows.|
|So far, so good.|
|Microblades will have a platform and small bulb of percussion at the proximal end and curve, like the end of a ski at the distal end. To get the maximum, straight cutting edge, the distal and proximal end need to be trimmed off.|