Recently I have not really had to the time to just play around in the shed and follow up on various ideas – thankfully I managed to sort out some bone fittings for a sword a few weeks ago and that was my last “me” project. Since then my bone working time has been occupied with fulfilling an assortment of requests and orders.
The largest of these, both in number of items and scope of artefacts has been for a collection of prehistoric objects. Due to various factors, the brief was basically “an assortment of prehistoric artefacts covering the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age”. So, with this in mind my first obstacle was actually doing some research and deciding what would actually be a good selection of items. After all, many prehistoric bone and antler artefacts are very utilitarian and in no way particularly decorative – and therefore not very interesting to most people.
In the end I settled on a small group of items to begin with –
From left to right – a Neolithic bone pin (based on an example from Skara Brae), an Iron Age bone weaving comb (based on a Danebury find) and a fairly general slot eyed needle.
As well as the above items, I also decided that a range of bone beads would be rather good, they were exceptionally common in the Neolithic (one area of Skara Brae, Orkney had over 2500 in one cache).
I am also working on an assortment of pendants to string together with the beads. Hopefully when they are finished I will have a collection of necklaces and bracelets that any time-traveller from the Neolithic would both recognise and be proud of.
Finally, in addition to my prehistoric explorations, I have also been popping out a few of the more basic items from my usual period – naalbinding needles.
These particular examples are 50mm long and due to the materials I had available are actually made from red deer bone.