What Is Flintknapping? May 30 2014

Flintknapping is the process of reducing and shaping a large stone, such as obsidian (volcanic glass), into a blade or other projectile point. It is a technique dating back over 2 million years, when our stone-age ancestors used flintknapping as a survival skill to create weapons (such as knives, axes, spears, arrowheads) for hunting, cutting and skinning.

At JJ Stone Craft, all knives are made using the same primitive skill that has passed down through generations. We believe that flintknapping remains as one of the most important sustainable skills that can be used in the future.

Pressure flaking of the flintknapping process

Flintknapping Process:

  1. Direct Percussion: We start by striking a large piece of obsidian stone with a hammer stone or antler billet to remove large flakes and thin the stone into a rough blade shape.
  2. Pressure Flaking: We then place a copper-tipped pressure flaker onto the edge of the blade and apply pressure to remove thin flakes of stone, working the details to gradually shape the piece into a blade.
  3. Finishing: Next we form a shape at the end of the blade - by stemming, notching or fluting - creating indents or thinning the base so that the blade can be easily attached to a handle.