Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sustainability in Art: Touching the Stone Age Past

Spring and summer rains constantly rearrange the local creeks revealing to the trained eye, 

Sustainable Stones and occasionally, ancient artifacts.

Heavy rains cut into banks leaving behind deposits of
earth and stone

Because ancient man utilized local flint sources for tool
making, we look out for recently exposed flint pieces

This one caught my eye

As I began to expose it, it appeared to be a broken spear point

I gently moved the loose stone away 

Brushing off the sand, it became evident that this was an intact artifact 
Being the first person to touch an object in thousands
of years is an exhilarating and humbling experience

It's hard to believe that something so old could
remain intact in these continually shifting sand bars

This piece is most likely a knife blade
It is made from Burlington chert

Note the beveling and serration on this ancient blade

I always consider these finds gifts from the
ancient artists that created them

Archaeologists date stone tools based on knapping techniques
and materials

This specimen dates to the early Archaic Period
Between 8,000-10,000 years old.

-Steve Tieken

tanner/tieken © 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sustainability in Art: From Find to Finish, Collecting and Cutting Petrified Ice Age Animal Bone

Spring rains provide new opportunities for unique rock discoveries. 

Recently exposed rock bar

Petrified Ice Age Animal Bone is extremely rare in West Central Illinois.
A small fragment from an ancient unknown species.

Beautifully patinated outer surface of Petrified Bone fragment

Side view with exposed petrified marrow cavity.

It's difficult to determine the age of bone without c14 carbon dating
and identifying the species type is impossible due to it's size.
Patinated bone outer surface.

Achieving a clean cut and polish can sometimes be difficult due to the porous nature of the marrow cavity.

Putting the Cab King through it's paces

I wanted the finished piece to look ancient, paying tribute to the prehistoric people
who lived here on the landscape thousands of years ago.
I chose the traditional tube shape to show off the beautiful grain and patination. 

Reverse side.

-Steve Tieken