My Flintknapping hobby, bordering on addiction and obsession
Normally I search out, hunt down and fine-grained siliceouss rock that will break with a conchoidal fracture.-Flint, chert, jasper, Florida petrified coral, some agates & chalcedony.
Other material; petrified woods, quartsite and man-made material (fiber optic glass) Of course the "bleeder" known as obsidian.
"Points of Extinction" is just the title I had to come with for a craft fair booth, or "extinction" could refer to my marriage if I do not cut the grass.......
Lilac inspects a blade I made from Arkansas Novaculite.
While making this blade in the back yard, an eagle landed in the tree above and watched. Strange how the blade almost looks like an eagle feather?
Novaculite forms from sediments deposited in marine environments where organisms such as diatoms (single-celled algae that secrete a hard shell composed of silicon dioxide) are abundant in the water.
Red Novaculite & an antler billet ( a soft hammer for knocking of flakes)
This blade came out so excellent that Have not even put it on a handle. No handle can do it justice!
This agate blade is so sharp I was cut many times while chipping it.
Inky the Tom Turkey looks on, proud of his feathers.
March 2023, Low country Georgia Flint with a pine lighterknot handle.
Why a tarp?
A tarp is needed to collect all the chips & flakes for safety. The blade in this photo is orange red Florida Coral.
**I do not normally make that many chips.
However as you can see by the gloves, I was teaching children how to "make arrowheads" & sometimes cut themselves
Florida coral and Brazilian agate blades
A little magic in the world still......
Some flintknapping companions on the tarp with me. (The tarp is required to collect the little razor-like flint chips.)
The antlers are tools.
This spear or dart point is made from Florida coral, copying a common type of point found in Florida.
Butterball looks on.......
Donation blade of Florida Coral
Obsidian. Yes I work obsidian, dacite and rhyolite, however the igneous stones tend to draw blood, like it appeasing some forgotten god?
Rhyolite is formed from magma rich in silica that is extruded from a volcanic vent to cool quickly on the surface rather than slowly in the subsurface.
Some more Igneous rock.
It was so hard to chip my hand hurt for weeks.
Type of stone is unknown. I was told the rock came from Mexico and is volcanic in origin. The finished product was given away as a donation.
More Florida Coral
Florida coral, the state rock
Agatized coral is found in three main Florida locations: Tampa Bay, the Econfina River, and the Withlacoochee/Suwannee river beds.
I get most of mine from the Withlacoochee River and do some trading for the stone from the Tampa area.
I strongly suggest a "Paddle Florida" trip down the Withlacoochee & Suwannee.
The owner of Paddle Florida was in shock when he saw how much stone I had packed in my kayak.
Antler handle & agate blade. This was a donation
Photo of before and after Mookite Jasper
Above: More Mookite Jasper with a pine lighterKnot handle.
I called it the Firebird knife.
Firebird is a play on the very combustible material
Big chips, little chips
The material is heat treated Burlington chert from Missouri
Heat treating a batch of coral and chert under the fire pit.
My turkeys in the background
Heat treating, at least the original way, was to place rocks under the campfire, 6-8 deep and bake the stone. (any closer to the fire and you risk shattering the stones and any deeper.....nothing happens. The goal is to keep the rocks in the 550' degree for 24 hours.
The result is more glossy, glass-like and more colorful stone. But also more brittle stones.
So the true flintknappers use a controlled kiln and have a menu of temperature required depending on the stone.
I just happen to like back yard fire pits.
Most would consider me an idiot for not using a kiln, but hey I do like fire and two days after the fire is out, the rocks are still too hot to handle!
There was time when I was unaware of 'Heat treating' and destroyed wheel barrels of Island coral and flint trying to get that one good flake.
I was sort of horrified one day when I picked up a book on flintknapping and realized what "I could have had made" if I had only known.
Dry fitting a coral blade and pine lighter knot handle.
At one time, I would make items and give them away immediately to anyone who showed interest.
The true value was finding the material, defeating natural flaws and avoiding dumb mistakes to create something useful and sometimes attractive. Well not actually useful, but the journey to completion is fun.
One day my wife said, 'You really out to keep a few that you make."
Okay, but still the value is the creation part. Afterwards I am just holding some chipped rocks.
Most of the time, I try to to avoid the leather gloves so I can feel the stone as it is chipped. This does mean the blades and arrowheads will demand blood.
Florida Coral material
Playing with obsidian. Yes I do wear gloves with this stuff.
Flintknapping and the strange attraction from tree frogs.
Dry fitting this Mookite Jasper to a whitetail antler.
-I donated this blade.
Let's see. Material......
Coral, coral, Noviculite, agate and man made glass.
Using my old shocker as a prop.
I am guessing, I may have to make a second page........I have hundreds of photos....of rocks...
My fictional series/stories on Florida history:
Freedoms Quest (book one)
Struggle for the northern frontier and other lost tales of old Florida.
Available on Amazon
Return Home from Points of Extinction page