An Introduction To "Flint Knapping"
The practice and art of making sharp-edged tools from stone is
today known as "flint knapping", though many types of stone, not
just flint, are used. Here is a short description of the steps in the
process of reducing a chunk of stone to a useful hunting weapon
The knapper begins with a chunk or nodule of stone which he or
she has selected. This may be a relatively flat, naturally shaped
piece, or the knapper may break off a large chip called a "spall"
from a big chunk. From this piece we strike off smaller chips,
flakes and blades to reveal the preliminary "preform" of a roughly
shaped tool design. Further carefully prepared striking platforms
receive practiced, firm blows to remove additional thinning flakes
along the edges, on both sides or surfaces. This is to produce a
straight-edged, bifacially-worked, smooth blade according to the
shape and pattern in the artist's mind.
Now, depending upon the design, the work may be finished, with
minor edge trimming. Or, if the final creation requires it,
additional shaping and sharpening by pressure flaking may take
place. With a properly prepared platform, a great, intensely
strong, directed pressure is applied at the edge. With a practiced,
sharp flick of the tool, long flakes are driven off, across the face of
the stone. With equal parts patience and power, the finished
shape of the razor sharp stone emerges.
Craftsmanship & Technique To
Bring You a Marvelous Variety.
Along The Way
This group of points features the "Scottsbluff"
style lance point style developed during the
Paleo Indian period, which continued in use
into the early Archaic period. They were used
to hunt large game across the Great Plains,
from the Rocky Mountains east to the These
were made in 2005 A.D. from heat treated
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 knapping material was
used "raw", meaning without heat treatment.
For comparison, the large center blade is
10-5/8" x 4-1/8". These blades were made in
2007 A.D. The oval blade on the left is the
same one featured in the knapping sequence
on this page.
Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.
F. Scott Crawford
Carrollton, Texas 75010
DESERT SIDE NOTCH
STYLE SPEAR POINT
Produced with exceptional parallel
pressure flaking and expanding
side notches in the "Ishi" pattern,
this Desert Side Notch style spear
point will add a dramatic and
impressive centerpiece to your
Made of transparent Rainbow
obsidian from Glass Buttes in
eastern Oregon, where the original
inhabitants of North America
obtained vital supplies of volcanic
glass for over 12,000 years.
Made in 2007 A.D. 5-1/8" x 1-1/2".
Here is a nodule of Flint from near Jarrell, Texas. This is a
three-step look to give you an overview of the many stages
of the complete flint knapping process.
This is the same nodule, after several stages of material
removal by percussion, or striking, with a soft hammer such
as a heavy antler billet or a sturdy copper billet.
Here is the finished large blade made from this piece of
Texas flint. This 8" x 3" Paleo Indian style Ovoid Knife
blade was made in 2007 A.D.
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