Thursday, November 13, 2014

Glass knapping

I have a lot of old projects, things that have been set aside for one reason or another but not abandoned. I'm a big believer in know when to push projects and when to let them breath and happen in their own time. My glass(flint) knapping project, and I suppose knapping skills in general, are on that back burner stack.

I did a lot of shaping stone when I was a kid. In scouts, my decade of involvement with Historic Fort Wayne and outdoor adventures in general, flint knapping was something that everyone seemed to be doing. Whether art, hobby, demonstration or any number of other reasons from dressing musket flints to making stone tools, it was just present. When I got to college it was another thing that archaeologists do, though with a more experimental intent. College was also where I started focusing on glass. Partially because it about the best easily obtainable material and partially because it's hard to create false sites or contaminate existing sites with glass. 

I've had a nice piece of glass sitting on my nightstand for months waiting for a time and inspiration. It's kind of a zen thing, shaping a piece of glass with a stone is something everyone should do once or twice. So when I found a scrap of bone last weekend that seemed like "the" haft, I got to work. 

The blade is still rough but shaping nice and I've always wanted to make a knapped knife to carry as a pocket knife just to see how functional it can be. We know countless cultures used stone blades as functional tools at one time and they certainly show up as art now but for tool use seem to have become a novelty item. 

As an archaeologist, artist and post apocalyptic fiction fan I think I'm over due to answer that question. I'll post an update once my slab of window glass and bone turns into a useable tool and maybe after it lives in my pocket for a while. 

....and damn it. Meh, I'll find another hunk of glass. 

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