flint knapping

I find it is very helpful to me in my work to occasionally go and spend some time working with another craftsman. To learn new unrelated skills often is very inspirational, I guess I am lucky in that after working in the crafts for many years I know many of the best traditional craftspeople in the country. I used to do shows with Phil Harding of time team and loved to sit and watch him knapping flint, I swapped some of my bowls for a pair of earings for Nicola.

It was something I always fancied trying and I have finally booked myself on a day course. So Daniel Carpenter from the Heritage Crafts Association and myself are booked to go and see John Lord for a days knapping. John worked for English Heritage at Grimes Graves for many years before setting up as a full time napper. He has done a lot of work for flint buildings as well as lots of replicas and demonstrations for museums, he also taught a young Ray Mears how to work flint and make primitive tools.

Here is some of John’s work, I don’t expect to come home with anything this good looking but it is always interesting to explore a new material.

And here is his website


and finally an amusing youtube about the effect of bronze on flint knappers.

You may also like to read:

One Response to flint knapping

  1. Juan April 1, 2009 at 2:00 am #

    I have a book on bow (as in Robin Hood) making. One of the articles in that book describes the adventures of four modern bowyers who went into the woods, armed only with a flint axe (and, I believe, a case of beer– they figured it would take them all day to cut down a tree). They found an 8″ yew (or maybe it was Osage orange, Bois d’arc) and settled down for a long day of chopping. To their amazement, the tree was felled in 11 minutes flat. With a flint axe. Maybe our ancestors knew more than we thought.On a similiar line of thought, I understand that there is a line of modern surgical knives that uses obsidian as the cutting edge. Maybe our ancestors knew better than we do.

Leave a Reply

Powered by Wordpress and Woocommerce and tweaked by Tom Broughton 2013