Saturday, June 17, 2006

The real old fashioned way

I spent most of my day at Meadowcroft competing in a World Atlatl Association competition. In the past, I have only spectated at the flint knappers making arrowheads and spear points but today I was recruited to sit down and learn something. I started on a point, knocking of flakes until it started to look vaguely like it could someday be an arrowhead. Then, *whack*, I hit at the wrong angle and broke the piece in half.

So, I started again with another piece of stone. I got about as far with this one as I had with the other when, *snap*, I knocked the point off of that one.

On the third try, I got a piece of flint that seemed to cooperate better. The flakes weren't coming off quite the way I wanted but they were too small rather than too large, which is easier to work with. Plus, I think I was starting to get the hang of it. I still didn't have a good eye as to where to strike to shape things the way I wanted but, with some guidance, I was able to produce a serviceable 2 inch arrowhead after about three hours total.

The pros said that it was very good for a first point. It looked better than their first points and it was even better than some authentic Native American points they had found in the field.

Even so, I don't see myself jumping into the hobby of flint knapping. I feel that I lack some of the subtlety, tendant towards wanting to tie a rock to a stick and calling it a club.

It's still a nice little point.

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