Learn the ancient art of primitive blade crafting using flint, obsidian, & other natural elements with The Bakersfield Knappers, including founder Gary Pickett:. The first Sunday of every month from 10 am into the afternoon Bakersfield Knappers offer a FREE blade knapping class open to the public.
“I began flintknapping in the late 80s. Trial and error was my only mentor, yet the fascination lured me on. Results were slow, but the creeks of southern Missouri provided all the material I needed. Raw rocks began to be transformed to arrowheads– the rock started to roll. Moving to California 10 years later opened many new doors to me– most notably the interaction with other knappers. Today 20+ years of experience culminates & drives me to teach & to save others the frustrations of the early years while promoting the art I love.”
Below are blades hand-crafted by Gary Pickett, founder of Bakersfield Knappers. Original blades can be purchased during the free class at Hart Park, so please bring some extra, show your support for a teacher helping to resurrect a “lost” art, & walk away with a truly authentic gift:
Left:Buffalo River flint from Tennessee. Asphaltium (wild tar)
was used to put it in the antler. The antler point is also used to
pressure flake, so this knife will actually make more blades if
one finds workable material (quartzite, flint, obsidian, jasper,
chert, chelcedony, slate, or petrified wood).
Top: Asphaltium for great (non-animal based) glue
Center: Morzkite (Missouri state rock)
Right: Knife River (N. and S. Dakotas) Flint. Very very strong.
Bottom: Alabates (from Texas) is cut in a turkey tail style cut that was found in Ohio River Valley assumed to be used for cutting
plant matter rather than used on animals due to the fact that it would break if cutting an animal but is ideal for plants.
Right: Obsidian blades crafted by Gary Pickett. The crimson-coloured knife is called mahogany obsidian.
Flint is sharper than steel, doesn’t de-ionize food, and with a piece of steel makes fire without having to depend on a lighter (especially useful for mountain-dwellers).
Crafting your own extremely sharp blades using rocks & antlers is an essential skill for living among the wild. Whether making small blades from obsidian or flint for arrows & spears or for a knife to cut plants, this skill has many applications. Having access to a knife can be essential for accessing wild cactuses, other hardier plants, & mushrooms for food. If your knife falls off a cliffside, this is a good skill to know.
Please tell Bakersfield Knappers you heard about us through Wild Willpower!