What began as a primitive survival technique has now become a work of art. Flint knapping began centuries ago as a means of making tools for hunting and for everyday life. Today, many artists do flint knapping as a way to stay connected with their culture.
Flint knapping is the art of creating primitive arrowheads, axe heads, knives, spears and other tools, by carefully shaping rocks into cutting instruments by the use of antler tools and other natural materials. Arrowheads are the most commonly created item today.
Arrowheads are made from a variety of flint rock. Various colors of flint are used depending on the geographical area where the natural material is found. The process begins by first finding two larger pieces of flint and chipping away at one with the other until a flat portion breaks away. The unwanted rock of the flat portion is then removed, using various methods, until the piece begins to resemble the arrowhead shape. From there, deer antlers are used to gently flake away the edges of the piece, creating the sharp point.
Flint knapping requires the ability to control the way rocks break when they are struck. It requires patience and precision. Many flint knappers will tell you they spend a lot of time selecting the perfect rock with which to work, taking great care with what nature has provided.