Scraper

Scrapers
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida

From prehistory, all over the world are found stone tools that are created in various forms and functions. The Scraper is a unifacial tool that is often most used for hide or wood working. Many stone tools fall under this unifacial flaked tool, but the authentic scrapers are based on use-wear patterns usually from the distal end of a blade. There are also side scrapers usually made off the long side of the flake as well as notched scrapers that may have had a cleft on either side attaching it to a handle.

Scrapers are made by the action of taking an end of a stone, usually a flaking material like obsidian, chert, or jasper, and is chipped forming a sharp side while retaining the raw form of the rest of the stone to use as a handle or make it easier to grasp. Scrapers once finished are often blade-like or circular in appearance with a convex working edge. If hafted, they may have dulled or trimmed lateral edges. Scrapers are commonly found in lithic sites and scatters. They are classified by their size, shape, base, edge wear, number of edges, etc. Scrapers are used to scrape wood or hide to create form or remove skin. Some are independent or mounted on wood or bone. As they are re-sharpened over time, they become smaller and smaller through use and wear.

    Types:

  • End Scraper
  • Grattoir or Side Scraper
  • Hafted or Clefted Scraper
  • Hollow Scraper
  • Nose Scraper
  • Thumbnail Scraper. (shaped in size like a thumb nail)

Scraper illustration from WIkipedia Commons. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Convex_transverse_scraper.jpg by Gayoung Park

Archaeologists often classify Scrapers as either (a) scraper, (b) End Scraper, or (c) Side Scraper. Some however also add in if it is hafted/clefted or a thumbnail scraper. End scrapers have working edges on either one or both sides of the flake, and side scraper’s working edge is along one of the long sides. Other defining factors is based on use wear or function often by use with wood or hide. Scrapers that are used to cut, skin hide or shave wood that are usually made of flint are sometimes called grattoir and possesses a working edge along the long axis of the blade (side scraper). Nose scrapers often have a small working edge either at one or both ends of the tool and is made from a convex blade utilized for finer edging. Hollow scrapers often have a notch in the side or the edge of the blade.

When recorded, the worked tool is recorded based on tool size (weight, dimensions, and whether large/small); shape (circular, rectangular, triangular, irregular, domed, keeled, or discoidal) and if diagnostic; use wear (damaged or intact, purposely shaped, and potential use purpose); base (if fashioned from a tool or flake, or core); working edges (numbers counted 1 or 2 usually); edge angle (vertical working edge vs acute); edge shape (straight, convex, or concave); functional edges (end or side).

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “scrapers” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people. Scrapers have evolved from stone to bone, ivory, and/or metal through time with the Pacific Coast tribes.

Scraper by a Punuk Artist, 800-1200 CE, made of slate and ivory. Inupiag & Yup’ik Hunting Tools (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3815); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Native American Ceramics

Native American Ceramics

The Native American tribes are diverse and variable. Many tribes have utilized ceramics and pottery through the ages, some of which are more popular styles than others. One region that boasts unique pottery types is the North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes

The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

Note: Research is being conducted and this article is currently being written. Please check back soon.

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Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks

Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks

Ceremonial Masks
~ Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017.

Throughout history masks have been made for various reasons, and wood was a common medium for making them in. Every culture had examples of them. Masks are atypically worn on the face usually either for ritual, ceremony, magical rites, disguise, performance, theater, entertainment, or protection. They were believed to have first been used for religion and magic. The first written reference of mask comes from the Middle French “masque” meaning “covering to hide or guard the face” in the 1530s. “Masque” was derived from the Latin word “masca” meaning “mask, specter, nightmare”. It could have also originated from the Arabic maskharah مَسْخَرَۃٌ “buffoon”. Masks are also worn for protection during battle as armor, during hunting or sports for protection, and as entertainment / ornamentation during feasts/performances. Some masks are ornamental or religious and not meant to be worn, but as sacred objects or artifacts. Today they are commonly used in psychotherapy and drama therapy.

Anthropological theory suggests the first use by aborigine peoples was to represent some unimpeachable authority of being a supernatural entity like a God/dess or magical spirit / creature. This was also potentially used to promote a certain social role. Earliest found masks date over 9,000 years BP (Before present). Earliest anthropomorphic artwork dates to approximately 30,000-40,000 BP depicting face paint, war paint, leather, vegetative material or wooden masks. Even at the Neanderthal Roche-Cotard site in France there is a likeness of a face over 35,000 BP depicted in cave drawings, but unknown if it was really a mask. Anotolia around 6,000 BCE (Before Common Era) shows a young naked ithyphallic God wearing a horned mask, attributed to the cult of Shiva. The Dionysus cult of Greece also shows mask use allowing participants to participate hidden in debauchery. Iroquois tribes were known to use masks for healing. One of the magical societies were the False Face Society. The Yup’ik were known for their 3 inch finger masks as well as ten-kilo masks hung from the ceilings. Masks were used to create mediators for supernatural forces in the Himalayas. Historic masks were used for disguise, protection, as well as for plastic surgery applications for those suffering mutiliation or birth defects. Masks permitted the imagination to go beyond limitations, from the sacred to the playful, giving imaginative experiences of transformations into other identities. This comes into play with performance and entertainment as well, letting actor/resses to become and manifest into their roles.

In ceremony and ritual the mask allowed transformation, role playing, possession, sacrifice, and presentation of supernatural entities. They also represented a protective role with the mediation of spirits. They can also represent a specific culture’s idea of feminine beauty such as with the Punu of Gabon.

Pacific Coastal original inhabitants were known for their wood craft – many of their masks were prizes of art with moveable jaws, masks within masks, and other moving parts. Some of them were combined with totems, poles, houses, canoes, and shields.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes have a distinct form of ceremonial and utilitarian masks within their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people. Masks are also utilized as representative totems. Inuit peoples have varying languages and mythology, with masks varying just as much. Many of their masks are made either of driftwood, bones, skins, and feathers. Inuit women use finger masks to tell stories and conduct dances in storytelling.

Transformation is a common purpose for Northwestern use of masks, especially those on the Northwest Coast and area known as Alaska within ritual dances. Many times these are depicted with an outer animal visage hosting moveable parts revealing the inner human face carved in wood. The Northwestern tribes held ceremonies known as potlaches which illustrated the myths in shamanic rituals depicted by the masks. These peoples involved the tribes of Tlingit, Haida, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Tsimshian, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and other First Nations. Common depictions such as the Ancestral Sky Spirit of the Thunderbird that when it ruffles its feathers causes thunder, and blinks its eyes for lightning.

Northwestern coast mask art is well known for its use of formlines, ovoids, U and S forms. Pre-European contact, these masks were made out of wood (particularly Western Red Cedar), stone, and copper. After European contact, most of the masks were made with canvas, glass, paper, and precious metals. Most of the masks and art were done with red, white, black, and sometimes yellow. Patterns are notoriously that of ravens, bears, thunderbirds, sisiutls, eagles, orcas, and humans. Many were implemented in totem poles. After European contact and their attack on the cultural ways of the peoples, much of the art and style was lost. Recent years (decades) a revival has been born bringing back these art styles, masks, and the formerly banned potlach ceremony. Masks were known to be passed on from father to son to grandson.

Wooden Masks

Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3807): Wooden Masks: (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=13678); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Wooden Masks

Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3807): Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803)

Wooden Masks
~ Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Throughout history masks have been made for various reasons, and wood was a common medium for making them in. Every culture had examples of them. Masks are atypically worn on the face usually either for ritual, ceremony, magical rites, disguise, performance, theater, entertainment, or protection. They were believed to have first been used for religion and magic. The first written reference of mask comes from the Middle French “masque” meaning “covering to hide or guard the face” in the 1530s. “Masque” was derived from the Latin word “masca” meaning “mask, specter, nightmare”. It could have also originated from the Arabic maskharah مَسْخَرَۃٌ “buffoon”. Masks are also worn for protection during battle as armor, during hunting or sports for protection, and as entertainment / ornamentation during feasts/performances. Some masks are ornamental or religious and not meant to be worn, but as sacred objects or artifacts. Today they are commonly used in psychotherapy and drama therapy.

Anthropological theory suggests the first use by aborigine peoples was to represent some unimpeachable authority of being a supernatural entity like a God/dess or magical spirit / creature. This was also potentially used to promote a certain social role. Earliest found masks date over 9,000 years BP (Before present). Earliest anthropomorphic artwork dates to approximately 30,000-40,000 BP depicting face paint, war paint, leather, vegetative material or wooden masks. Even at the Neanderthal Roche-Cotard site in France there is a likeness of a face over 35,000 BP depicted in cave drawings, but unknown if it was really a mask. Anotolia around 6,000 BCE (Before Common Era) shows a young naked ithyphallic God wearing a horned mask, attributed to the cult of Shiva. The Dionysus cult of Greece also shows mask use allowing participants to participate hidden in debauchery. Iroquois tribes were known to use masks for healing. One of the magical societies were the False Face Society. The Yup’ik were known for their 3 inch finger masks as well as ten-kilo masks hung from the ceilings. Masks were used to create mediators for supernatural forces in the Himalayas. Historic masks were used for disguise, protection, as well as for plastic surgery applications for those suffering mutiliation or birth defects. Masks permitted the imagination to go beyond limitations, from the sacred to the playful, giving imaginative experiences of transformations into other identities. This comes into play with performance and entertainment as well, letting actor/resses to become and manifest into their roles.

In ceremony and ritual the mask allowed transformation, role playing, possession, sacrifice, and presentation of supernatural entities. They also represented a protective role with the mediation of spirits. They can also represent a specific culture’s idea of feminine beauty such as with the Punu of Gabon. (Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks)

Africa

Most, if not all, of the original peopling of Africa involved Masks. In the West, they were utilized in ceremonies set up to communicate with the ancestors and spirits. These wooden masks are carved by special mask makers who were known as “master carvers”, often passed on through heritage and family lineage. There were fang masks used by the ngil to hunt out sorcerers. Most of the African masks involve animals or the representation of them – believing that the tribe can communicate with the animals spirits by wearing them. Today most African masks are made for the tourism industry.

Australia

Fascinating masks come out of Australia, including full body covering masks that envelope the body.

North America:

Northeastern:
Northeastern tribes like the Iroquis had special wooden “false face” masked used in ceremonies of healing. They were made from living trees, carved in ritual, with a variety of shapes based on function.

Pacific Northwest:

Pacific Coastal original inhabitants were known for their wood craft – many of their masks were prizes of art with moveable jaws, masks within masks, and other moving parts. Some of them were combined with totems, poles, houses, canoes, and shields.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes have a distinct form of ceremonial and utilitarian masks within their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people. Masks are also utilized as representative totems. Inuit peoples have varying languages and mythology, with masks varying just as much. Many of their masks are made either of driftwood, bones, skins, and feathers. Inuit women use finger masks to tell stories and conduct dances in storytelling.

Transformation is a common purpose for Northwestern use of masks, especially those on the Northwest Coast and area known as Alaska within ritual dances. Many times these are depicted with an outer animal visage hosting moveable parts revealing the inner human face carved in wood. The Northwestern tribes held ceremonies known as potlaches which illustrated the myths in shamanic rituals depicted by the masks. These peoples involved the tribes of Tlingit, Haida, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Tsimshian, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and other First Nations. Common depictions such as the Ancestral Sky Spirit of the Thunderbird that when it ruffles its feathers causes thunder, and blinks its eyes for lightning.

Northwestern coast mask art is well known for its use of formlines, ovoids, U and S forms. Pre-European contact, these masks were made out of wood (particularly Western Red Cedar), stone, and copper. After European contact, most of the masks were made with canvas, glass, paper, and precious metals. Most of the masks and art were done with red, white, black, and sometimes yellow. Patterns are notoriously that of ravens, bears, thunderbirds, sisiutls, eagles, orcas, and humans. Many were implemented in totem poles. After European contact and their attack on the cultural ways of the peoples, much of the art and style was lost. Recent years (decades) a revival has been born bringing back these art styles, masks, and the formerly banned potlach ceremony. Masks were known to be passed on from father to son to grandson. (Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks)

Southeastern United States:

    ” Wooden Masks: The carved and painted masks probably represents animals. The animals represented here includes a wildcat, pelican, and cormorant, which is a type of bird. The masks likely were worn during religious ceremonies. ” ~ Diorama/display in the Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo 091712-037.jpg) Wooden Masks: http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=1367 (Expected publication January 2013).

” Wooden Masks: The carved and painted masks probably represents animals. The animals represented here includes a wildcat, pelican, and cormorant, which is a type of bird. The masks likely were worn during religious ceremonies. ” ~ Diorama/display in the Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo 091712-037.jpg) Wooden Masks: http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=1367 (Expected publication January 2013). Division of Historical Resources – Florida Museum of History – Where I used to work – September 17, 2012: A Walk Down Memory Lane – revisiting College Town – Tallahassee, Florida. (c) 2012 – photography by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Eadaoin Bineid – technogypsie.com. To purchase this photo or to obtain permission to use, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/?tcp_product_category=photo
For more information visit:
Tallahassee: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=5093 (Expected publication November 2012)
Florida: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=5079 (Expected Publication December 2012)
http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/
For travel tales, visit:
http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/

Southwestern United States:
Southwestern tribes like the Pueblo, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni took on the forms of supernatural spirits in very distinctive and elaborate masks utilized in religious ritual as kachina’s or Gods/spirits forms. These were made of wood, decorated with fur, feathers, leather, and/or leaves.

Research is being conducted, please come back for more information and photos.

Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3807): Wooden Masks: (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=13678); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsi

e.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Totems: Pacific Northwest Aboriginal Culture

Totems (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3801)

Totems
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

One of the phenomenal ominous presences in the Pacific Northwest, as well as superNATURAL British Columbia, is the plethera of artistic totems created by the past and present Pacific Northwest tribes. It is truly a part of my heart’s connection with Cascadia.

Totems, in the Pacific Northwest, are usually depicted by the stacking of tribal masks or heads carved into a tall towering pole. “Totems” are spirit beings, symbols, or sacred objects that represent families, clans, lineages, or tribes. Totem as a definition was first classified from the art forms and beliefs made by the Ojibwe tribe in the Pacific Northwest. They see the concept as believing in tutelary Deities or spirits. This concept however is worldwide, and defining term “totem” is utilized by Anthropologists to explain this concept as it is used in other cultures such as Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Arctic, and Middle East. Most cultures outside of the Americas call their guardian spirits and symbols by other words rather than “totems”. Neo-Paganism and the New Age have adopted the term “totem” to identify a particular personal or tutelary spirit guide.

Pacific Northwest – North America

The Pacific Northwest, nicknamed “Cascadia” is home to most of the “Totem culture” found in North America. Many of these are represented in Totem Poles. The belief in totems follows alongside “animism”, the belief that everything has a spirit or soul. Many totems are animals or creatures that represent a tribe, family, or clan.

Totem Poles
Totem poles feature tribal masks, heads, animals (especially bears, frogs, birds), and supernatural creatures or beings from myths. These often function as representatives, chiefs, or crests of a family or royal lineage. Each is embedded with its own stories, myths, tales, and traditions. On a totem pole, they are read from the bottom to top.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes have a distinct style, culture, and belief system. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

Totems (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3801); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Wrist Guard

Ivory Wrist Guard by Punuk Artist, 800-1200 CE.

Wrist Guards
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Throughout history, wrist guards were created and used to protect a bearer’s wrist and arm from injury. This is done sometimes during warfare, during archery, while throwing spears, and/or projectiles. It is also to protect from falling damages. Today it is commonly used to protect athletes during sports. When a person falls, they typically stretch out their arms or hands out in front of them to break the fall. The extra support found in the wrist guard helps with the impact.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “wrist guards” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

Research is being conducted, please come back for more information and photos.

Ivory Wrist Guard by Punuk Artist dating to 800-1200 CE. Inupiag & Yup’ik Hunting Tools (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3815); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Sculpin Figurine

Ivory Sculpin Figurine by Old Bering Sea Artist dating to 100-800 C.E.

Sculpin Figurine
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “sculpin figurines” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

Sculpins are a fish common in the Pacific Northwest. They live in oceans, rivers, kelp forests, tidepools, and submarine canyons. They are bottom dwellers.

Research is being conducted, please come back for more information and photos.

Inupiag & Yup’ik Hunting Tools (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3815); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Toggle (nautical)

Ivory Toggle by Inupiag Artist dating to ca. 1900 CE.

Nautical Toggle
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

A toggle is usually made of wood, ivory, bone, or metal and consists of a pin, short rod, or crosspiece that is placed transversely into the eye of a rope or chain that is utilized to connect or secure to another loop, ring, or bight.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “toggles” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

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Button Blankets

Button Blankets

Button Blankets
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Button Blankets
“‘There was so much power in them … these ceremonial robes are used to display your lineage and display it proudly … like a king wears his robe.’ – Francis Williams (Haida) : Artists combine manufactured buttons with buttons made from native shells to make these colorful robes called ‘button blankets’. The designs on the blankets are narrative art that signal the owners’ clan identity, status, and hereditary rights and privileges. Imagine the stunning visual effect of flickering firelight reflecting off the iridescent buttons of robed dancers.” ~ Denver Museum of Art display.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes have a distinct style, culture, and belief system. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people. Their costumes and clothing reflect many aspects of this in the decoration and style as well as purpose or intent.

Research is being conducted, please come back for more information and photos.

Button Blankets (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3811); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Ceramic Glazes

Ceramic Glazes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3793)

Ceramic Glazes
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Glazes on ceramics were recorded as far back as 2,000 years ago. Glazing involves firing the coating of a vitreous substance atop a ceramic item. This methodology is utilized to decorate, coat, color, and/or waterproof the ceramic item. Glazing alters the porousity of a ceramic item allowing it to hold liquids and strengthens its form. It is utilized on clay based ceramics, porcelain, terracotta tiles, bricks, sanitary ware, as well as stoneware. It is a popular finishing methodology for modern as well as historic ceramics, being a very common practice. Most of the traditional glazes are often named after their fluxing agents. Modern art glazes involve glass, plastics, metal, and other vitreous glazes for differing results.

  • Ash Glaze
    Plant or Wood Ash containing potash and lime is used as the fluxing agent to create a darker color.
  • Feldsparic Glazes
    Very common in Asian ceramics the primary fluxing agent is Feldspar.
  • Lead Glazed Earthenware
    This glaze comes out semi-transparent and shiny after firing, and dates back to over 2,000 years ago within Mediterranean, European, and Chinese cultures. Two common types are “sancai” and “Victorian majolica”. Firing is achieved at a mere 800 °C (1,470 °F).
  • Salt Glazed Wares
    Very common with stoneware in Europe, the fluxing agent is salt.
  • Tin Glazed Pottery
    Very common in the Near East, Middle East, and Islamic Culture, and later in European Culture, Tin glazes is a opaque white glaze that coats pottery with a tin based fluxing agent. Types include majolica, faience, maiolica, and Delftware.

Composition

The process of glazing requires partial liquification of the clay composites creating a ceramic flux and melding with other fluxing agents to create varying glazes and results. Most glazes consist of some form of silica or glass within them, and the fluxing agents will lower the high melting point of the silica to create the finish and strength needed. Sometimes Boron trioxide is added. Besides silica, other raw materials acting as fluxing agents can be minerals, chemicals, or metal oxides such as aluminum, alumina, calcium, potassium, or sodium. Alumina that comes from clays will solidify quickly the glaze so it doesn’t run or drip. In order to obtain varyig colors and finishes, some metal oxides are added as colorants to modify appearance such as with iron oxide, cobalt carbonate, coppoer carbonate, tin oxide, and/or zirconium oxide.

Processing

There are different processes used in applying glazes, ranging from brushing, painting, soaking, dipping, pouring, spraying, dry-dusting or atmospheric by inserting soda or salt within the kiln at high temperatures so the vapors chemically mixes with the silica or alumina oxides depositing glass or salt glaze ceramics. In the use of kilns, sometimes a small area of the pottery is left untreated so as not to create an error with the piece sticking to the kiln during firing. This is also accomplished by using kiln spurs, supports, or sticks to minimalize unfinished areas – but these too will leave small marks on the finished wares.

Decorating

The glazed ceramics are often decorated with the glazes by applying an underglaze. These are done by “biscuit” firing (initial firing pre-glaze application and re-firing), application while the pottery is still in its raw pre-fired status, or by means of greenware. A transparent wet glaze is often applied over decorations. Decorations are done by grooving, cutting, imprinting, stamping, carving, stickling, dotting, impressions, drawing, painting, coloring, or imprinting. The pigments will fuse within the glaze and looks like it is covered over with a clear glaze. This is a popular underglazing process called “blue and white porcelain” displaying a impressive deep blue color formulated from cobalt carbonate and/or oxide that comes from England, Nederlands, Japan, and China. Overglazes are also produced by applying decoration on top of the glazes with the inclusion of a non-glaze substance like metals, leafing (gold leaf is popular), enamel, or layers of glass over the glaze utilizing low temperatures and makig a glassy appearance. The initial firing called “glost” is achieved after which the overglaze decoration is introduced, and a re-firing takes place creating a smoother texture to the ceramic or pottery.

History of Glazing

While over 2,000 years old, Glazing developed at a slower than expected rate through history, usually based on the elements included, and it took time for those materials to be discovered with realization what could be achieved by their inclusion. This evolved alongside the technological advances of firing and achievement of higher temperatures.

  • 13th century BCE: Glazed bricks, Elamite Temple, Chogha Zanbil.
  • 1600-1046 BCE: Proto Celadon glazed stoneware during Shang Dynasy
  • 1049 BCE: Glazed bricks, Iron Pagoda, Kaifeng, China.
  • 471-221 BCE: Lead glazed earthenware in China.
  • 552-794 CE: Green natural ash glazes/Sue ware was found during the Kofun period, Japan.
  • 8th century CE: Islamic use of glazed ceramics were uncovered.
  • 13th century CE: Overglazes in use with red/blue/green/yellow/black flower designs

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