Friday, 12 July 2013

Flint knapping with John Lord

I recently spent the day on a workshop with a master flint knapper called John Lord. After meeting him several times at various places I decided to pay another visit. Deep in the very peaceful and beautiful Norfolk countryside, you will find John and Vals place, where workshops take place.
I had an introduction to knapping several years ago, but wanted to learn more about the subject the more I practised.

After being made to feel very welcome at their home, and tea was consumed, we set off up the garden and John started the day with a demonstration of making a hand Axe and working large nodules

Take one large nodule

Starting to remove the unwanted with the hard hammer sone

The waste can also be used to make items, and the nodule is starting to gain some control, to become the axe. Reading how the stone wants to work is key at this stage, and preparing for any problems.

A lovely long flat flake to thin the piece, produced with the larger soft hammer.

In no time at all this beautiful Hand Axe is made.

Core blade manufacture was the next demonstration and I had a play too

These little scrapers are like swiss army knives. This one had a scraper at the end suitable for small game de-fleshing when making furs, a very sharp knife edge and a serrated blade.

My attempt at a hand axe. Its on the small side but Im glad i got there with Johns help. I made another towards the end of the day and felt like it was going much better than this one. Quicker and more confident blows were applied until I hit a flaw (or hit it wrong) and it broke into three. Still, understanding the process and whacking off decent flakes was the main aim.

I wanted to make arrow heads of course, but more importantly i wanted to manufacture the flakes on purpose to do so. I am so absolutely chuffed to bits with this flake I removed from a bulb of percussion. Saves loads of time trying to turn a less suitable piece into a head, although I still want to keep that skill.

Some great tuition from John and my pressure flaking was improving, and I did a bit of anvil work to remove the bulb area and made a little leaf point.

A few of the bits made during the day.

A cracking day out but loads of practice needed to retain and improve the skills :)

Both John and his son Will provide tuition in Primitive technology through their companies