FLINTKNAPPING

FLINTKNAPPING RESEARCH

Thursday, June 08, 2006

PEOPLES OF THE FLUTE



Entry for June 08, 2006 magnify
Next month I was hoping we could delve deeply into Bob Patten's book "PEOPLES OF THE FLUTE", it is far from boarring like many books on knapping, I have read it and enjoyed it. It is written more from an anthropology,, or what Bob calls "Anthropolithic" perspective. I know all knappers will understand and enjoy this interesting book. If anyone is out there that actually is reading this list, I highly recomend this book. I am hoping to get some readers to have dialog on this next month. I bought mine at Barnes and Noble, they ordered it, it came in a little less than two weeks. The total costy was about 24 bucks, the cost of a new release dvd. If you want some very interesting perspectives on knapping and Paleo Archaeology, get involved in this reading session next month. Get the book soon and get preped. Each month we can do another knapping book.

flintknappingdigest@yahoogroups.com

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0966870115
Publish Date: 3/1/2005
Publisher: Stone Dagger Publications
Dimensions (in Inches) 8.75H x 6L x 0.75T
Pages: 288

DESCRIPTION

"Innovative techniques are introduced to solve some of the oldest archaeological mysteries of the American continents. Controlled experimentation, supplemented with computer modeling, provides a basis for interpreting the tools, behavior, strategy, and intent guiding early technological decisions. The evidence reveals a chain of responses to environmental changes that explain the emergence and abandonment of fluting technology."


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Code of ethics:


Code of ethics:
1. No flintknapper shall misrepresent their work;
A) as ancient.
B) as another knapper's work.
2. No member shall knowingly disturb archaeological site contexts;
A) by knapping at them, causing contamination.
B) by collecting lithic material at them.

CALLAHAN'S CLASS FOR 2006


CALLAHAN'S CLASS FOR 2006
2006

Cliffside Workshops

- - Teaching Ancient Skills, Traditional Values, and Self Reliance - -

Image

Offering Classes in

FLINTKNAPPING ; PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGY

Errett Callahan, Instructor

FLINTKNAPPING: Learn basic to advanced traditional flintknapping skills. Any skill level welcome. We take you wherever you are and push you upwards and onwards a bit. Learn how to make an arrowpoint from a flake by pressure alone; learn how to do percussion knife-making using traditional hand tools - hammerstones, and antler billets (no copper billets); learn the various stages of reduction in bifacing; witness a wide range of other skills - blademaking, punching, bipolar, stone axe making, square work, parallel flaking, etc. Obsidian is the primary stone used, but other flints are demonstrated as well. Instruction is not haphazard, but systematic, following guidelines in Callahan's BASICS manual. Proven results. Traditional knapping only.
Number of days - For your convenience: For all sessions, choose any number of days instruction, from Day 1 to Day 7, always starting on Saturday, the first day. This way there's no repetition and you may leave any day of the week. Spur of the moment add-ons are allowed, so long as we can manage the food. See page 7 for costs.

PRIMITIVE TECHNOLOGY: Choose one topic and see it through to completion. Others may choose other topics so you could see a variety of skills taught and demonstrated. Choose one - flintknapping, bowmaking, arrow making, pottery, basketry, fiber technology, or stone axe making. Other topics by request. Feel free to practice other skills during "down time." Also, Artifact Illustration.
Number of days - For your convenience: For all sessions, choose any number of days instruction, from Day 1 to Day 7, always starting on Saturday, the first day. This way there's no repetition and you may leave any day of the week. Spur of the moment add-ons are allowed, so long as we can manage the food. See page 7 for costs.

ARCHEOLOGISTS AND LITHIC ANALYSTS: Here is your chance to learn the "language" of flintknapping. Without an accurate understanding how can you interpret your findings correctly? Archeologist Zakariah Johnson says, "This type of study is essential for any lithics analyst wishing to go beyond static formal classification systems and appreciate the dynamic mental and mechanistic processes underlying past technology systems. Understanding the processes behind manufacturing helps put the leaves back on our currently bare family tree."
Uppsala University in Sweden is looking into officially sponsoring these courses and offering you academic credit for them. Contact us if this would be useful to you.

INSTRUCTION is one-on-one with plenty of personal consultation. All teaching takes place at Callahan's personal wooded home, Cliffside. His wife, Linda Abbey, handles meals, registration, and keeping the wheels running smoothly. During the evenings, students have the opportunity for campfire discussions or viewing of films and videos of relevant technologies. Students are encouraged to take advantage of Cliffside's large library and numerous recreation facilities. New in 1998 - outdoor lights and a sliding translucent roof over our knapping area. All in all, come prepared to get an education, not just training.

DR. ERRETT CALLAHAN is your principal instructor at Cliffside. He has an MA and Ph.D. in anthropology (lithic technology and experimental archeology); an MFA in fine arts (painting); an Honorary Ph.D. in archeology from Uppsala University, Sweden; is on the faculty of the Department of Archeology, Uppsala University; has had over 200 research papers published (mostly on lithic technology and other primitive technologies); is advisor to countless archeologists, lithic analysts, and flintknappers worldwide. Callahan has 50 years experience flintknapping and over 50 years shooting the bow. He is Founder of the Society of Primitive Technology and President of the Board 1989-1996. In 2006 he celebrates his 19th anniversary of teaching workshops at Cliffside. But Callahan has been teaching primitive skills every year since 1971, both here and abroad. During this time he has personally taught flintknapping to 988 students (as of 2005). Callahan is the teacher of teachers, having taught instructors and students from BOSS, Outward Bound, Pathways', Brown's, Riggs', Watts', Cheatham's, Worsham's, the Sherwood's, and dozens of other outdoor programs and nature centers. And he has taught almost all the Board Members of the SPT. About 50% of his students return year after year. Any and all ethical prehistorians are welcome at Cliffside.
Callahan regularly displayed his award-winning obsidian knives at knife shows from 1986-2005. He has now retired and spends his time writing his books on flintknapping and experimental archeology and upgrading his workshops.
Beginners - don't let this intimidate you. Most of our students are beginners. In fact Callahan has specialized in clarifying the principles of various primitive technologies especially for beginners. Thus, in the 7 day courses, students learn in a week what it took Callahan 10 years to learn on his own. Nothing makes him happier than passing on his knowledge to his students.

TEACHING ASSISTANTS: A talented TA is available for most sessions to provide students with additional help. These TA positions, which are also apprenticeships, serve to train up-and-coming technologists in how to prepare for and run a workshop and in answering students' questions and interpreting our explanations. No, we are not turning our teaching over to assistants, but they will be here to help. TAs neither receive nor pay money, but food is free. Nor do you have to be an "expert" to apply. TA applications are hereby solicited - for classes over 6. We need TAs. So, if you have taken one of our workshops in the past and are interested in this opportunity, let us know. Write for details. Deadline January 15.
TAs in the past have included: David Smith, Sean Grace, Dan Stueber, Jack Cresson, Barry Keegan, Anthony Follari, Darrell Duggins, Greg Nunn, Scott Madden, Doug MacLeod, Mike Jacks, Jan Apel, Ed O'Neill, Mike Stafford, Mark Amon, and Doug Meyer.

SCHOLARSHIPS: We offer one scholarship for a week-long workshop of your choice. This offer, which is competitive, is made possible by a generous gift from Bob Verrey, a former student, who believes in our mission. This scholarship is for a person in financial need and is independent of skill level. You must provide your own transportation. If you couldn't attend without this help, write for a scholarship application. Deadline Jan. 1.

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES: Students may bring their own tools and materials or purchase some from us. Your registration fee will cover the cost of obsidian and some other materials and tool rentals. But either way, you must have what's needed to attend. Requirements vary with session and topic. Lists will be sent to applicants.

LODGING: There is no charge for "camping out" under our covered porches or patio. We have army cots. Bring pillow and sleeping bag suitable for 20-40 degree nights in the fall and 50-80 degree nights in summer. No tents please. Or stay at a local motel at your own expense. A list will be sent.

MEALS: Food costs of $10/day are included in with tuition. Those who don't prefer our food may deduct this cost and bring their own or eat elsewhere (no place close). Veggies are welcome, but warn us well beforehand. Remember, meals are a high point at Cliffside.

TO REGISTER: Fill out the printable application form and send it in with half of your tuition. Application fee of $25 is refundable only if class is filled. The $25 fee covers our mountains of paperwork and mailings to you and reverts to your materials fee upon arrival, saving you the double cost. Paperwork costs money whether you follow through or not. Tuition is $75/day. To this add the $10/day food cost, and one-time $25 application fee. Our chart on the printable application form simplifies this and shows how much to send in with your 1st and 2nd payments. Second half of payment is due by deadline indicated (usually 1 month before session starts - we now give you two extra months to pay). Tuition is refunded if you drop out before the deadline, but is forfeited if you drop out after the deadline. If you are applying after deadline has passed, don't panic. If we have room, we'll still take you, but you must then send in the entire payment with your application. We'll return it if we're full or if we have to cancel class. Write or call if in doubt.
Applications received without payment will be put on hold until payment is received. If you fail to send in your 2nd payment by the deadline, your place will be forfeited without notice and your place will automatically go to next on list. We have a high demand for these courses so guard your position carefully. (Note: If you must forfeit, consider finding your own substitute and "selling" your spot to him. - Let us know if you do this.)
After you register, you will receive periodic mailings concerning how to prepare, what to bring, how to get here, a suggested reading list, lodging information, etc. Try to do your reading before you arrive, as there will be little time for reading after arrival. Plan on a great time. Please join us.


Testimonials

"Marie and I have stayed in some interesting hideaways over the years, but none more fun than yours. Alaska to Mexico, Maine to Georgia, Cliffside is 5 star..."
Senter and Marie Jackson

"Each time I have studied with Errett, I gain more than just a little training. More than any other aspect, I appreciate the willingness to share what has taken decades to distill into systems that work. At Cliffside, I also find a teacher not just willing to demonstrate skills, but one who encourages close observation of demonstrations. For me, close observation of this type facilitates the ability to transform knowledge into know-how. . . The demos . . . are given at whatever level the students' current abilities will allow them to understand.
Mark Amon

"Thank you for inselfishly sharing your vast knowledge with me. I can assure you that any information you instilled in me will be passed on to my future students. I only hope I can do as good of a job as you have passing on traditions and values along with knowledge. I feel fortunate to now be both a student and friend of yours . . . . . During my Division 1 wrestling career at Ohio State University, I was coached by numerous Olympians and other World Class athletes . . . Errett Callahan, by far, is the greatest instructor of them all. He not only has a mastery over flintknapping and primitive skills as a whole, but he is a gifted teacher as well. Also to his credit, he is a man who takes time to discuss and pass down morals and values to his students, friends, and family, and lives by them as well . . . I am now extremely fortunate to be among those who consider him a role model, a teacher, and a friend."
William Schindler, Temple University doctoral student.

"Your concern and patience with the people you are teaching is fantastic. You have a wonderful ability to make people feel confident about what they are doing. You make your lectures interesting and yet light and humorous. You can keep a person's attention for long periods of time with your easy manner of teaching..."
Rod Johnson

"Thank you all for opening your home to me and taking the time to teach, cook, and just talk around the fire. Errett, you are an inspiration to anyone doing primitive technology, and people that have not experienced you do not know what they have missed."
Doug Meyer

"Thank you for the help with my archery form. Before last week I was having trouble hitting the target . . . but now I have consistent groupings around the bull . . . After your knapping workshops, I can pick up a 10,000 year old stone tool and instantly feel the decisions of the maker . . . The cores are making instant sense."
Mike Frank, Smithsonian Museum

"I just wanted to thank you again for the hospitality you extended this past week. I don't feel that I went to a class, but rather went to friends for the week (and learned more than I ever expected). The only thing that impressed me more than Errett's skills was the love I saw in your home. Melody is a very lucky girl to have parents such as you..."
Tom Laskowski

"There are remarkable parallels between you and Heifitz. Heifitz played with matchless precision, yet somehow he endowed the music with a glow that leaves the listener wondering if he truly heard what his ears had beheld. So I remember your master class. Certainly the students of Heifitz. . . must have felt as I did-that I was witnessing greatness, and I was fortunate to have been present..."
Dr. Barbara Harkness

_____________________________

For a thorough review of our Flintknapping workshop, see Chris Wallace's article, "Flintknapping Workshop," in KNIVES ILLUSTRATED, May 1996: 80-83. (We'll send you a copy if you'd like.)



Wednesday June 7, 2006 - 06:49am (PDT) Edit | Delete | Permanent Link | 0 Comments
Entry for June 07, 2006
Errett Callahan, MA, MFA, PhD

Image

Background (Excerpt from Callahan's catalog, "Piltdown Productions Catalog #5" p.4 - 6, 1999)
I started knapping in 1956 - not counting a few slate pieces I knapped out in 1950 - and have been at it without let-up ever since. During these past 42 years, I have produced, as of August 1998, 9049 stone tools, all duly signed and recorded. I was raised on quartzite and the tougher cherts. I didn't work obsidian much until the early 1980s.

I made my first hafted stone knife in 1966. Knife production was occasional thereafter until 1984, when I started obsidian knife production in a big way. Since 1984, I have produced 860 stone knives, all duly signed and documented. (I make and sell about 50-60 knives a year. That's about one knife a week. But I spend 1-2 months on my big showpieces.) Today, knife production comprises the vast majority of my stone work; I'm considered a halftime maker. (See Below.)

I knap 2 - 2 1/2 hours a day and have done so for decades. (Between 1990 and 1998, I knapped a measured average of 2.2 hours a day. Range 1.8 - 2.7 hours.). I love flintknapping.

The Importance of Reputation
In his article, "So You Want to Be a Knifemaker?" (BLADE, June '89:30...77), Bernard Levine notes that of the three factors which most influence sales - design, craftsmanship, and reputation - the most important is reputation. Yes, the design must be sound and the craftsmanship excellent, but, among knife collectors, it's your name which is taken as the best indication of a sound investment. That is, one's reputation, ethical stand, and professionalism must be above reproach. So what I'd like to do here is to introduce myself, not in order to toot my own horn, but so you can get to know me a little better, to show you that I mean business, and to assure you of that sound investment.

Mentors
I'd like to say I am self-taught, for I worked completely alone and without reading any instructional material for the first 10 years. My only guides were the silent ancient original artifacts. But since then, though I did not attend their classes (few taught), I've sat down and had intensive, hands-on instruction from the Master-level knappers - Don Crabtree, Gene Titmus, Francois Bordes, J. B. Sollberger, and Jacques Pelegrin. And that's instruction. And I've read practically everything in and out of print on the subject. And that's instruction. So I owe a debt of gratitude and thanks to these, my mentors. (I've also seen hundreds of other knappers work and learned countless bits of information from them. That's learning too.)

TRADITIONAL MENTORING
Go to a teacher. Study under him. Take his classes, if possible. If not, then read his works, visit with him, write to him, talk to him. Listen. Learn. Consult with him on future projects and publications. Stay in touch. Then thereafter give him credit for helping you on your way.

MENTORING IN THE 90S
Being aware of a teacher far ahead of you, do your utmost to take a shortcut to get ahead of him. Study his work carefully; but either have no direct contact with him or take his courses and put on a front of appreciation. Try to get into print in his specialty before him. Then when you make your tiny mark, make little or no mention of his influence, give him little credit. EC

Reinventing the Wheel
Those first 10 years were a real struggle. I had to work it all out by trial and error. I didn't even know what the questions were, much less the answers. Sometimes I'd find myself banging away for years, making one mistake after the other, trying to isolate what causes what. As slowly as evolution itself, I eventually sorted most of it out.

All in all, I'd say I spent 20 years working my way through the Paleolithic, Paleo-Indian, Archaic, and Woodland levels and another five years working through the Mesolithic - all the while voluntarily restricting myself to replicas of ancient forms. This was my basic training and excellent discipline it was.

During the last 20 years I have been working my way through the complex Neolithic levels, finally breaking through into the unexplored Post-Neolithic territory shown herein. These latter years have also been a real struggle, for once again I've had little to guide me. What do you use for guidance when you're trying to break a new trail into unexplored territory? - Only intuition.

But I don't forget to check my backtrail to see how others are coming along. That's why I offer my workshops. (My students are now learning in one week what it took me the first 10 years to learn on my own.) And that's why I founded the Society of Primitive Technology in l989 and served as President of the Board from 1989-1996.(See Tribute by Steve Watts in SPT Bulletin #14, in 1997.)

Education and its Relevance to Knifemaking
That MA, MFA and PhD after my name do indeed relate to knifemaking, as Steve Shackleford alludes.

"Perhaps nowhere in the business of sharp edges does one's background prepare him so well for his livelihood as does that of obsidian knifemaker Errett Callahan." - Steve Shackleford, Editor, BLADE Magazine SE/OC '87:20.

This means that I have a master's and a doctorate in anthropology (with emphasis in lithic technology and experimental archeology respectively) and a masters in Fine Arts. (My Master's Thesis, THE BASICS, is still a best seller after 20 years and four printings. It's the basics of instruction in my workshops.) In 1992, I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Uppsala University in Sweden for my work on the Mesolithic and Neolithic there. Thus I am now on the faculty of Uppsala University, Archeology Department.

These degrees may not be responsible for my craftsmanship but they have indeed forced me to think hard about design, about historical context, and about field testing my products. Throughout the 1970s, I pioneered the field of "Living Archeology, conducting subsistence projects in which participants lived off the land for from two to nine weeks under primitive conditions. We used stone knives and other primitive tools exclusively, while testing certain archeological hypotheses. When your life and very material comfort depend exclusively upon your stone tools, you learn a few things about function, design, and craftsmanship. So when I say that my knives are functional, I think I know what I am talking about. The knives shown in my catalog are the culmination of all that experience

And Now?
I am in the midst of writing a major book on flintknapping - everthing I know, practically. It's about how Danish Daggers are made. (Working title: NEOLITHIC DANISH DAGGERS: AN EXPERIMENTAL AND ANALYTICAL STUDY - It's addressed to both the archeologist and the flintknapper. This is a 20-year research project in which about 200 daggers have been produced. It has been funded by you, my dagger and knife buying customers, by a grant from the king of Sweden, and by Uppsala University. I am co-authoring it with Jan Apel, a PhD student at Uppsala and a fellow knapper. The book will do for daggers what THE BASICS did for bifaces but will include the final products in great detail and the debitage story too. Keep an eye out for it.

I am also in the final stages of writing a book on experimental archeology - everything I know on that too, another 15-year project. (Working title: THE CAHOKIA PIT HOUSE PROJECT: A CASE STUDY IN RECONSTRUCTIVE ARCHEOLOGY.) Watch for it.

Once the books are behind me, then I can start on my videos.

Over the years I have fought hard for what is ethical in flintknapping. (Yes, there is a sordid side to our history.) I have supported and will continue to support ethical flintknapping causes. And vice versa. You can count on it.

My work is done with the conviction that I can serve best by supporting causes and revealing my so-called "secrets." In fact, I make it my duty to see that my students can duplicate my accomplishments. This may be easier said than done, but that's my goal. I love teaching flintknapping.

Bud Lang, Editor of KNIVES ILLUSTRATED, says: "Errett Callahan (is) a master flintknapper, instructor, etc., a gentleman who makes some of the finest obsidian knives ever created." (KI, Oct. 1998: 4).

(Thanks Bud, but as I clearly state later on, I make no claims at being a master - though I think I am mature. Having worked extensively with the real masters, I am aware of the vast gap between them and me.)

I am available for occasional consultant work related to lithic analysis, archeological reconstruction, private flintknapping instruction, demonstrations, lectures, slide presentations, or similar advisory sessions. But I rarely teach outside workshops which would compete with my Cliffside Workshops. My rate is usually $200/day plus expenses. Let me know if I may be of service.



Wednesday June 7, 2006 - 06:41am (PDT) Edit | Delete | Permanent Link | 0 Comments
Entry for June 05, 2006
Entry for June 05, 2006 magnify
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flintknappingdigestImage

Monday June 5, 2006 - 08:52pm (PDT) Edit | Delete | Permanent Link | 0 Comments
Entry for June 05, 2006
Entry for June 05, 2006 magnify
I met Alton in about 1983. He atteded the 1st CSUN Knap-in and than we put on the Wrightwood knap-ins for many decades. We also hunted and did archery togather.
Monday June 5, 2006 - 07:04pm (PDT) Edit | Delete | Permanent Link | 0 Comments

FLINTKNAPPING DIGEST VOL. 1 NO 2. (May, 1984)



Entry for June 07, 2006
Entry for June 07, 2006 magnify
FLINTKNAPPING DIGEST VOL. 1 NO 2. (May, 1984)
Ray Harwood (C.S.U.N.) EDITOR.


PAUL HELLWIG’S BOOK:

1984 Flintknapping: The Art of Making Stone Tools. Canyon Publishing Company, Canoga Park, CA

-Hellweg's book is an inexpensive {under $10} introduction to flintknapping. It is chock full of black and white photographs and illustrations by Michael Seacord. In addition to chapters on how to get started with flintknapping it includes sections on ground and pecked stone tools as well as instructions for hafting your tools. Glossary and References/Resources. 111 pp. ISBN: MV-0942568052 $5.95

LITHICS:
In archaeology, lithic analysis is the analysis of stone tools using basic scientific techniques. Lithic analysis involves measuring various physical aspects of stone tools as well as observing the tool type, its characteristics, the presence features such as cortex, and the like. The term 'lithic analysis' can technically refer to any study of humanly-modified stone, but in its usual sense it is applied to archaeological material, either of the ground or knapped variety, particularly stone tools. A thorough understanding of the lithic reduction and ground stone processes, in combination with the use of statistics, can allow the analyst to draw conclusions concerning the type of lithic manufacturing techniques used at a prehistoric archaeological site.

The term knapped is synonymous with "chipped" or "struck", but is preferred by some analysts because it signifies intentionality and process. Ground stone generally refers to any tool made by a combination of flaking, pecking, pounding, grinding, drilling, and incising, and includes things such as mortars, pestles, grinding slabs, handstones, grooved and perforated stones, axes etc., which appear in all human cultures in some form. Among the tool types analyzed are projectile points, bifaces, unifaces, ground stone artifacts, and lithic reduction by-products such as flakes and cores. (From Wikipedia,)

Dr. Fred Budinger, Curator.
CALICO EARLY MAN SITE :
This was the only New World archaeology project undertaken by the renowned archaeologist-paleontologist, Dr. Louis S.B. Leakey. Leakey, and his son, Richard, are well known for their Early Man discoveries at Olduvai Gorge in east Africa. Dr. Leakey first visited the area in 1963. He came to examine artifacts discovered in a commercial excavation by Ruth Dee Simpson, a San Bernardino County archaeologist. Leakey continued to act as Project Director until his death in 1972.

Schedule of Operation
Wednesday 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Thursday thru Sunday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Guided Tours
Wednesday - 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM
Thursday thru Sunday - 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM
Closed Monday and Tuesday

User Fees
Adults (1 or 2 persons) $5.00
- each additional person $2.50
Children (12 and under) $1.00 each
Seniors (62 and over) $2.00 each
Bus Groups $2.00 per person
For more information about ongoing site activities, write to:
Friends of Calico Early Man Site
ATTN: Maggie Foss
2024 Orange Tree Lane
Redlands, CA 93474

Mike Johnson, Fairfax, Virginia (May, 1984)
LETTER TO FLINTKNAPPING DIGEST:

Thank you for the flyer on the April 14th, Northridge Flintknapping Rendezvous. California is a little beyond by budget, but I am always happy to hear what other knappers are doing in other regions. This has been difficult since the demise of the Flintknappers Exchange.

For your information, we, here in the Mid-Atlantic Region have been running formatted lithic work shops for three years, they’re title is the Middle Atlantic knap-in. So far we have held sessions on the Susquehanna Broad-spear rhyolite industry, the Creek rhyolite bifacr technology, and the Fox Creek rhyolite biface technology. The fourth knap-in , scheduled for September, 1984, will be at the Thunderbird Paleo-Indian Site, where we will work on the Paleo-Indian through Early Archaic jasper biface technology. The problems and locations for the fifth and sixth sessions also have been tentatively established.

The format involves one week of on-site research and practice, followed by a full day Saturday session which is open to professional and amateur archaeologists. At this session knappers, with the aid of recorders and photographers, attempt to replicate the various techniques hypothesized during the preceding week. Every flake is numbered, recovered and recorded as to method used to detach it, and the size and type of hammer-stone, ballot or flaker used. All the material is recovered with experiment in mind and the data sheets are given to the host institution. The Sunday morning session is used for cleaning up loose ends and the Sunday afternoon session is used for showing off, and is open to the public. This program has proven to be highly successful, in that papers and presentations have come out of two of the first three and a great deal of knew knowledge and respect for quartzite knapping came out of the other. We have found such formats to be very rewarding because they have helped all of us appreciate the abilities of the aboriginal knappers who made “ ugly looking” tools out of coarser materials It is obvious to me from your flyer that you are interested in exchanging ideas. I hope the above information will be of use to you. If you want to know more, or have anymore questions, please let me know.


Monday, June 05, 2006

WRIGHT WOOD KNAP IN



WRIGHTWOOD KNAP IN STARTED IN 1984, SET UP BY RAY HARWOOD AND ALTON SAFFORD AT JACKSON LAKE., BUT OUR FIRST CALIFORNIA FLINTKNAPPING RENDEZVOUS WAS IN 1983 AT CSUN. SET UP BY RAY HARWOOD. AT THE FIRST KNAP IN 1983 : RAY HARWOOD, ALTON SAFFORD, JOHN ATWOOD, RICK WESSEL, CLAY SINGER, GEORGE HUFF, JENNIE BINNING, ROY VANDERHOOK, TERRY FREDERICK, JOE DABIL, FRED BUDINGER, TED HARWOOD, NANCY HARWOOD, BRIAN GUNTHER, AND A HOST OF OTHERS. FIRST LOCATION: C.S.U.N. . SECOND: JACKSON LAKE FLAT. THIRD; CAMP GUFFY (TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN) FOURTH: INDIAN HILLS RANCH. Ray had flintknapped in an artistic vacuum until he was in his early 20s. This is when Ray met fellow Ishi fans, Joe Dabil, Barney DeSimone, Steve Carter, Jim Win, Jennie Binning and Alton Safford. Barney had a small business called Yana Enterprises where he marketed his Ishi posters and items and had become an expert Ishi style knapper, to the point that he had killed a wild boar on Catalina Island armed with a sinew backed bow and Ishi tipped arrow of glass of his own making. Atlton was an avid traditional bow hunter and knapper, he had even hunted big game in Africa a few times with stone points. Years later Alton and Ray started the yearly California Flintknapping Rendezvous. Joe Dabil had become a California legend by the late 1970s and had the nick name of "Indian Joe", this name given to him by the prominent archaeologists of the day. Joe could make fire in of minutes with a natural yucca file board and mule fat stick. Joe was also a master of the Ishi style flintknapping methodology. Joe's Ishi points of both glass and obsidian were each an impressive work of art. Ray and Joe became friends and Ray began to study Joe's flintknapping methods. Joe Dabil had learned the arts of wilderness survival hands on. Joe was an Olympic class long distance runner in the 1960s, and when a Doctor informed him he had a life threatening decease he fled into the wilderness. There in the woods, alone, Joe eked out a survival on natural foods. Eventually Joe relearned the arts of Ishi, sinew back bow making, arrow-smithing, fire drill technology, cordage making, brain tanning and of coarse...flintknapping. As miracle have it, Joe lived out his death sentence and is still practicing wilderness skills today. Steve Carter was already an established master knapper when Ray met him in the early 1980s. Steve had been friends with J.B.Sollberger of Dallas, Texas and with J.B.s inspiration, at the 1978 Little Lake knap-in, Steve developed his own unique knapping style, one in which he detached the flakes of the top of the preform as opposed to the bottom that rests on the palm of the hand. Steve was versatile and also used the Ishi style knapping techniques. Steve's work even impressed the Grand Masters; Sollberger, Titmus, Callahan and Crabtree. Jimm Winn was there at the second or third Wrightwood knap-in with Barney Desimone and George hough and George Hough and Dick Baugh. Jim did a lot of heat treating of local materials there in the famous Wrightwood fire pit at Jackson Lake Flat. After the close of the Flintknappers' Exchange in 1981, there was a void for two years. Communication among flintknappers slowed to a stop. In 1984 at the knap-in at the Northridge Archaeological Research Center I was talking about the need for a newsletter to Clay Singer and Terry Frederick, they suggested I do it, well I had dyslexia, couldn't type and had no money, okay! Alton Safford, Jeannie Binning and Joe Dabill encouraged as well. I couldn't get anyone to help me with the project so I did it myself. I started work on the first issue, all the words were misspelled, the grammar was just as bad, I cut and past the cover. I wanted to call it the Flintknappers' Monthly but I couldn't find those words in the old NARC newsletters so I got close with "FLintknapping Digest" and cut and pasted it on the cover. I used the address list in the old Flintknappers' Exchange at the end of each article to find the knappers. It worked I began to get a flood of mail about it. It was really amateurish and I got a lot of flak, but everybody who got it loved it. Clay Singer said "it has a folksy, underground publication look" . In any case it got better with each issue. I remember asking J.B. Sollberger to write an article for me and he got really mad. He said that I was just trying to associate with his name to gain fame and make the newsletter sell better , I was unaffected and said yes, so do I get the article? We got along fine after that and I did get the article, I think he trusted me to tell the truth after that. He even made me some fluted points. The "J.B." in J.B. Sollberger is rumored to stand for "John the Baptist" . So you see with a reputation like that truth means a lot. I was amazed that the little newsletter was doing so well, my mom was too, she never thought such a weird newsletter would work. I was 24 years old when I started the newsletter and didn't have a whole lot else going, it was great, I met all my flintknapping heroes. One day I got a letter from D.C. Waldorf and he was asking about something, I can't remember, but he referred to the Flintknapping Digest as "The Digest", I put the letter in the next issue and from then on that's what everyone called it. Even now I see it referenced to time and again and it is almost always given its affectionate name "The Digest" it gave knappers a worm and fuzzy feel, like an old dog that you had when you were a kid. Even old dogs pass on, and in the late 1980s, even with Val Waldorf's help, I couldn't do it anymore. After some coaxing the waldorf's took pity on me and took the newsletter over. They gave it a face lift and a new name "Chips" . .Paul Hellweg, a fellow Army Tanker. Paul, likes to specialise inground stone axe manufacture, and he is quite good at it. He was actually a Crabtree and Flenniken Student, but went over to the servival camp when he got a job teaching it at C.S.U.N. where I first met him in the early 1980s. Paul wrote some nice articles for the Flintknapping Digest in 1984 and published a book on knapping the same year, Flintknapping, The Art of Making Stone Tools that has sold over 50,000 copies. Hellweg has also writen many other books and is doing quite well financially. I attented a week long Callahan school with him in the summer and and he appears to be thinking of redoing his book and becomming more active in the knapping world. San Diego, California was a hot bed of really good knappers in the early 1970s, it sprung from a visit from Sollberger sometime in that era. Only Steve Carter remains of that group. Navodne (Rod) Reiner, another California sad story , Rod was one of the San Diego flintknappers that Steve Carter hung around with in the 1970s. Like Steve, Rod was a really good flintknapper, all traditional, and good person. Rod did a lot of knapping and made nice pieces of lithic art but was also interested in the experimental aspect as well. Rod came up with the two man fluting technique; Reiner gripped the biface in his left hand, held it down tightly against his thigh, while his right hand used the full weight of his body from the shoulder to bear down on the flaking tool. Then, to this he added a little more force by using a second person to deliver a light tapping blow to the end of the pressure flaker with a mallet. Reiner stated that the mallet strikes just at the instant that the pressure flake is pressed off. With Rod's method both constant pressure and a releasing percussion impact a nice flute is detached. Rod, whom was also at the Little Lake knap-in was a very good knapper and a big influence on Steve Carter, but Rod was killed early on in a hunting accident. Chris Hardacker was another, he just faded into the woodwork, I saw him working as a digger for Jeannie Binning at one of her digs in the middle 1980s. Robert Blue of Studio City, California was inspired by a collection of Reinhardt's points , Reinhardt had been long dead but Blue did find fellow Gray Ghost collector, Charlie Shewey in Missouri. Robert offered to buy all of Shewey's Gray Ghosts and Richard Warren points and that money was no object. Charlie refused Blue's offer, but directed Robert to Richard Warren. After Robert bought a fair number of points, Warren shared some of his secrets with Robert Blue and introduced him to Jim Hopper, whom Warren had taught. Jim Hopper andRobert Blue became good friends and Robert became very good at art knapping. Barney DeSimone, couched Robert through his early years of knapping. Later Robert inspired Barney to return somewhat to lapidary knapping. It was Robert Blue that taught Ray Harwood to knap in the lever style of Reinhardt, Ray produced dozens of "Raynish Daggers" with the lever flaker. The Raynish Daggers were simply slab points in the form of 10 inch Danish Daggers ("2-D daggers" -not 3 dimensional). These were what Callahan called the ugliest Danish Daggers he had ever seen. After Robert's death and some prompting from DeSimone and Callahan, Harwood returned to traditional flintknapping. One interesting bit of knapping lore I overheard at a knap in goes like this:" Steve Behenes had invented this steel fluting jig that could flute supper this preforms. Steve was close to Robert Blue at the time and he sent Robert a thin Folsom and the detached flutes, Robert returned the detached flute -and he had fluted them ! . Joe Dabil, Joe had become a California legend by the late 1960s and had the nick name of "Indian Joe", this name given to him by the prominent archaeologists of the day. Joe says he learned his style by trail and error using books with Ishi points as a pattern,same for the knapping tools. His notching style comes a great deal from Errett. Joe could make fire in of minutes with a natural yucca file board and mule fat stick. Joe was also a master of the Ishi style flintknapping methodology. I first came to here about him in about 1969 and then in the 70s, he gave demos on Catalina Island for Archaeologists and movie people. His points were often seen for sale for $3.50 up and down the central to northern California coastal towns, these populated by thousands of hippies. I remember buying one in a hippie shop in Pismo Beech in 1976. The hippie lady at the counter said I could meet the knapper, but like as ass I sais "naw it's OK. I did end up meeting him 8 years later, in 1984, at CSUN. Joe's Ishi points of both glass and obsidian were each an impressive work of art. Ray and Joe became friends and Ray began to study Joe's flintknapping methods. Joe Dabil had learned the arts of wilderness survival hands on. Joe was an Olympic class long distance runner in the 1960s, and when a Doctor informed him he had a life threatening decease disease he fled into the wilderness. There in the woods, alone, Joe eked out a survival on natural foods. Eventually Joe relearned the arts of Ishi, sinew back bow making, arrow-smithing, fire drill technology, cordage making, brain tanning and of coarse...flintknapping. As miracle have it, Joe lived out his death sentence and is still practicing wilderness skills today. The information set forth in this text relied heavly on the fallowing publications: Fintknapper's Exchange: Atchiston, Inc. 4426 Constution N.E. Albuquerque, NM 87110 Etidors: Errett Callahan, Jacqueline Nichols and Penelope Katson. Flintknapping Digest. Harwood Archaeology 4911 Shadow Stone Bakersfield, CA 93313 Editor: Ray Harwood Bulletin of Primitive Technology. Journal of the Society of Primative Technology P.O. Box 905 Rexburg, ID 83440 Dave Wescot, Editor Chips Mound Builder Books P.O. Box 702 Branson, MO. 65615 Editors: Val Waldorf, D.C. Waldorf and Dane Martin. New Flintknapper's Exchange. High Fire Flints 11212 Hooper Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70818 Editors: Jeff Behrnes, Steve Behernes and Chas Spear 20Th Century Lithics. Mound Builder Books P.O. Box 702 Branson, MO. 65615 Editors: Val Waldorf and D.C. Waldorf. : WARNING: Flintknapping is very dangerous and can cause serious health problems, including death. Ray Harwood, The World Flintknapping Society or any officer or members of said society do not suggest you should attempt flintknapping, do so only at your own risk. All those that are listed in this history book wore protection.