Flint knapping courses

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Flint knapping courses

Post by Elines on Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:24 pm

I realise you may be reluctant to recommend individual courses but I think a beginner's course of some kind is what I need if I am to develop any skill at all in flint knapping.

My experience to date is limited to a half day in a small group as part of the archeaological week in 2009 when we made a round blunt disc to remove fat(?) from the inside of an animal skin





Anything I learned then I have long since forgotten

Could you advise on the criteria to use in looking for a course, for example, :


  • content eg making your own simple tools, how to obtain flint, how to select flint for a particular purpose, techniques to be covered, prperties pf flint etc
  • length of course eg to be able to go away and practice/develop skills working alone would a course of say,three days be enough? ;or two days? ;or a week?
  • are there any qualifications - formal or informal - that I should look out for in the teacher?
  • ?anything else?

I would be quite happy to camp on site for the course, so one that took place, say, under a parachute in a wood would be fine for me

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by Lumpendoodle on Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:34 pm

I don't know if it's the type of thing you're after but I went down to Suffolk last summer for a day flint knapping with Will Lord.



A day wasn't enough really, but it made such a difference to my knapping technique (mainly confidence), and I had a lot of 'lightbulb' moments watching Will knapping.

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by Elines on Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:25 pm

Thanks - I am currently thinking of trying out stuff myself based on info on this site + youtube and then trying a course of some kind

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by skalla on Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:48 pm

i turned a lot of rock to rubble trying to figure it out for myself, and at that point watching vids made little difference nor did reading various accounts on the web.

it fell into place for me when my luvverly gal got me john c whittaker's book on flintknapping and making stone tools. a few simple diagrams and descriptions in there helped correct my angles and forces, and get rid of some basic errors, as well as helping me to knap around errors such as steps etc.

as a result i wasted a lot less rock. i am still certainly a beginner, but i feel i know what i am doing, and that practice now pays dividends for me. besides this i could pass on these lessons to my primitive skills students, and the vids i watch actually make sense now.

my next leap will most likely come from working with other humans. i hope to get a career dev grant from work, and maybe spend time with a pro, and obviously there is the possibility of knap ins in future.

however, i do agree with the saying that you just gotta break a lot of rocks!

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by the barnacle on Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:12 am

i have been looking at spending a day with will lord myself, i thing i also need some help.

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by grendel on Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:07 am

Wow! was it really 8 years ago I went to see John Lord in Norfolk. One of the best things about the visit was he took us to the quarry where he got his flint from, only a few miles away. I loaded the boot of the car with masses of superb quality knodules so when got back home had months worth of material to continue practicing with. Can't recommend one course over another as I have only been on one and that I have only ever hear positive feedback about all of them, but asking in advance how much flint I could come home with would be a selling point for me when booking.


Last edited by Grendel on Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:17 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by the barnacle on Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:20 pm

i see they are offering courses on ebay for £80 for the day.

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by Lumpendoodle on Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:32 pm

I think my course last year cost me £50, and was worth every penny.

Oh, and Will Lord does a very nice ham sarny and coffee.Very Happy

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by Elines on Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:12 pm

Thanks for the suggestions on asking about how much flint you can take away with you. I had been putting off trying to make progress in knapping becasue I wasn't sure how I would be able to practice with reasonable quality material aftger going on a course. This is now higher up my list of priorities:D

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by mr.hertzian cone on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:17 pm

Hiya! Anyone wanting to know how to go about flintknapping must get a copy of John C.Whittaker's book "Flintknapping. Making and understanding stone tools"(1994) I was self teaching myself the art (without the internet) when I found a copy in the local Library, stunned that such a book existed, I soon found that my learning curve went like a rocket, and I quickly ran up a huge library fine!
Very well and humerously written with many illustrations and references to arcaeological sites and further reading.
I can't recommend this book enough, it is good preperation for when you actually sit down with someone who will show you the niggles and angle of the dangle of bashing rock with intent!

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by grendel on Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:39 am

I've flipped through the book once or twice, here, looks an interesting read, when I get more time especially if it goes in European knapping.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1c7qn8yW7Y0C&pg=PA344&lpg=PA344&dq=flintknapping+making+and+understanding+stone+tools+by+john+c+whittaker&source=bl&ots=bJlXZu0jyj&sig=DJ_q6i3u-8wASKeTFXmDNOTQ3xo&hl=th&sa=X&ei=TmmPT_GeGs-srAfDmtT-BA&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=flintknapping%20making%20and%20understanding%20stone%20tools%20by%20john%20c%20whittaker&f=false

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by skalla on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:23 pm

as a beginner it made a real difference for me.

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by Elines on Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:52 pm

Thanks for highlighting the book - now ordered a copy

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by Lumpendoodle on Sun May 06, 2012 11:07 pm

I downloaded a book from amazon on making flintlock flints. It actually had some quite usefull info regarding knapping a core. So worth a little read, especially if I can find the title and author for you.

Now where did I download it to........

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by fl1ntm1n on Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:58 am

Hi. I had a day course with John Lord in norfolk last year. it cost £120 and was worth every penny I think he does the same price for group of 4 but i couldn`t find anybody else interested so i payed the full price and i will do it again. it way a great day, his wife cooked dinner. They are great people. I believe his son will does a 2 day course near bury st edmunds for £80 and if you search bushcraft you will find among others that woodland way, run by another great person Jason Ingamells, do a neolithic weekend where you use the tools you make to butcher you evening meal. this is another one i will do and i believe this is run near oxford. oh John Lord has published a great little book on knapping well worth a look its called The Nature and Subsequent Uses of Flint volume1 The basics of lithic thechnology. its is a fantastic book so you`ll need at least 2 copies becoase the 1st if you`ll like me will get covered in blood. much joy.


Last edited by fl1ntm1n on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : up date)

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by grendel on Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:40 pm

Welcome to the forum.

I think there are around 7-8 professional knappers offering courses in this country, I've hear nothing but good things about all of them, the courses seem to be well run and the teacher friendly and knowledgeable.

As you point out they can be a beyond the price of some people, this was one reason I set up this forum to provide a resource for people wanting to learn. In other countries they have knapping groups and Knap Ins, it's very easy to learn free of charge, sadly in the UK we don't have an equivalent. I set this forum up to create an online course where people could learn at home watching youtube vids (how most people learn to knap these days), ask experienced knappers advice and possibly have meet ups, whether Knaps In or just informal things around people's homes. Sadly the latter hasn't come to fruition yet as our few members are strung out and the lack of a venue for a Knap In. Anyway good luck with your knapping.

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Stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by the barnacle on Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:40 pm

i have always wanted to do a knapping course, all i seem to do is bash stones into smaller stones, i think a day with someone would do me the world of good, shame everyone on here is so spread out.

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Re: Flint knapping courses

Post by Lumpendoodle on Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:56 am

It really does make a difference having someone there when you knap. Even if it's just for the one day.

Although this forum is probibly the nearest thing to it, and at least on here we can re-read, or re-watch any relevent points.

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Re: Flint knapping courses

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