Modern Practice -- Ancient Craft
From my workshop to your treasured display ... each piece hand
crafted with pride ... with honor and deep respect for those who
came before us.
From the time when I was 11 or 12 in the forested foothills of the
western Oregon Willamette Valley and found my first arrowhead, an
obsidian "bird point", in a field my dad had plowed for an
experimental crop of maize, I have always wondered about the
people who used these stone tools, and how they produced them.
When I found a chip of obsidian in a roadside park along the
McKenzie River upstream from Springfield on a day trip to the
mountains I decided to attempt to make my own arrowhead. That
first point, with the broken wings of its base still sits somewhere in
an old footlocker, along with a collection of several dozen points
and blades which my father proudly displayed for the Sweet Home
newspaper back in 1966 or so.
Over the years my interest in making the stone tools of our
ancestors remained, though the actual practice waned, until about
1990. In the meantime, I retained and developed an interest in
many aspects of archeology, even participating for several months
in a major "dig" in the Middle East.
Upon my discovery of a rock shop in Ft. Worth, Texas, with a wide
selection of sliced and spalled stone, I once again renewed my
own knapping activities.
I soon discovered that the world wide web has made wide spread
connections to top quality stone more readily available than ever
was dreamed of by the ancient, foot-weary practitioners of this
fascinating craft. It also makes available to the student a wonderful
range of teachers and mentors, who are dedicated to making
certain that the hard-won skills which have been rediscovered by
chance, study and experimentation over the past century or so are
not soon lost.
This "new stone age" renaissance is vibrant and growing, born of
eternal curiosity and undying respect. It recognizes the debt all
"modern" human life ways owe to the equally intelligent, curious
and creative generations who have gone before.
Today we have forgotten much that was known. Yet, around the
world a growing number of curious minds and active hands is once
again learning to practice many of the ancient skills. Somewhere,
every day, the sounds of stone against stone, bone against stone,
even soft metal against stone, ring out across the land.
For those who are again learning to use these ancestral skills, the
satisfaction from a successful, intentional stone fracture, from a
blow well struck, is both rewarding and captivating. If we can do it
once, surely we can repeat the effort, with equal success. That is
indeed the challenge. And the joy. And, just like the ancients, we
find ourselves seeking out unusual and beautiful stone with which
to work. The human spirit still takes pride and glory from both the
wonder of the stone and the skill of the work. The combination of
growing, skilled craftsmanship and the natural beauty of the
material reveals both the soul of the stone and the heart of the
Producing A Wide Variety of Styles
From Long Ago Cultures
This collection of "Paleo-Indian" and "Archaic"
period style spear points and knife blades
represents a few days work with "Keokuk
Chert" from northeastern Oklahoma. The
spalled and heat-treated stone was provided
by Craig Ratzat of Neolithics.com from his
quarry. These were all made in 2006 A.D.
This group of points includes the Dovetail
lance point seen on the "Home" page, a
Desert Side Notch lance point seen on the
"Point Sales 2" page, and additional obsidian
Ishi arrow points and an agate Side Notched
spear point. These were made in 2005, 2006,
and 2007 A.D.
These large "Paleo-Indian" and "Archaic"
period style blades, knives and spear points
are made of gray "Edwards Plateau Flint",
from near Jarrell, in the Hill Country of central
Texas. This excellent knappingmaterial was
used "raw", meaning without heat treatment.
For comparison, the large center blade is
10-5/8" x 3-1/8". These blades were made in
Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.
F. Scott Crawford
Carrollton, Texas 75010
Produced with exceptional parallel
oblique pressure flaking, this
"Paleo-Indian" Dalton style spear
point will add a glowing centerpiece
to your collection.
A friend located a source of pure
quartz crystal, in sufficient size for
knapping. Manufactured for use in
communications equipment, this
quartz crystal is pure and without
cracks or bubbles.
Quartz crystal pressure flakes with
a unique and distinctive pattern, so
you can tell the difference between
crystal and glass. Made in 2007
A.D. 5" x 1-1/4". #FSC-57N SOLD
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