Saturday, February 7, 2009

Master Flintknapper?

I see the term "Master Flintknapper" being thrown about to describe many flintknappers nowadays. The thing is, i seldom see from the person making such claims, as to what it takes for a knapper to be a master.

So what constitutes a person as a Master Flintknapper?

Everett Callahan wrote an article on this topic in 2000, which is the best i have found to describe the qualifications of being considered a master flintknapper. This article can be found at I like Mr. Callahan's qualifications and i believe it is interesting that he list the capability of making the Solutrean laurel leaves as a skill needed to be considered a master, since the Volgu laurel leaf scores the second highest on our scoring system. Mr. Callahan states there are only two living flintknappers he would consider as masters, Gene Titmus and Jacques Pelegrin.

I can not find much about these two gentleman online as far as examples of their work. Have they actually made laurel leaves comparable to the thinnest Volgu? If so, someone please let me know where i can view such work. I am not saying that they haven't, i just haven't found it and i would love to see it if they have.

I think Mr. Callahan has covered it pretty well concerning the mastery of replicating actual artifact pieces.

But what i want to concentrate on here in this article is what constitutes a master of modern flintknapping. I do not have a concrete standard at this time, but i am thinking if someone can make a percussion or FOG piece with a W/T of 12/1 or higher along with a Modern Flintknapping Grading System score of around 3000+ for percussion or 4500+ for FOG then they are a Master. If they can do either a FOG or percussion piece with a W/T of 14/1 then they are a Super Master.

If someone could fit Mr.Callahan standards to be Master as well as being a Modern Flintknapping Master, that would be totally amazing! I guess at that point they would be an Elite Super Master?

My main point is I think flintknappers should think about this topic and not be so quick to throw the term "Master Flintknapper" around so freely and without making qualifications to what that actually means.

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