SPALLS - July 2015 - Current Issue
Distribution of SPALLS is available to anyone with a viable Email or Snail Mail (USPS) address. Many of the PSK knappers with only snail-mail address are not receiving SPALLS. For those of you that are receiving SPALLS via e-mail, please notify these snail-mail knappers to send a letter with their mailing address to:
THE POLICY IS: If you send your e-mail address to Jim Keffer at firstname.lastname@example.org, there is no charge for SPALLS. If you do not have an e-mail address and want SPALLS by snail-mail, you must send a mailing address – and pay to cover the cost of printing and postage. Due to the increase in postage cost ($.92/Spalls) and the cost of printing ($2.00/SPALLS), I can no longer send them out for free. Twenty-seven mailings cost $243/year.
If you, or someone you know, has an e-mail address and did not receive SPALLS in February or July, e-mail the address to Jim Keffer. I have several unverified email address at this time. If you have received a verification email from me please reply - I need the updates!
Several of our subscribers have not been getting the SPALLS issue via e-mail. Please check your SPAM protection. I think that some of your SPAM protection is eliminating the SPALLS message. One of the checks for SPAM is the number of multiple issues from the sender. If your protection checks this, the SPALLS message will be tagged as SPAM. In some cases, the message is only tagged. In others, the message is deleted. Subscribers to “hotmail”, some of the hotmail accounts bounce SPALLS because of server space. Be sure to empty your server often.
I also make it a policy never to give out member contact information unless specifically authorized. That includes email and resident/mailing addresses and phone numbers. Every email I send out to more than one or two addressees is sent out using the blind copy feature (bcc) which hides email address.
SUMMARY (and a note from the editor and webmaster)
The 2015 knapping years started off with a BANG – a great first knap-in, Granite Falls, and a veritable flood of new members since February!
But the first five months of 2015 has also been one of great sadness. The passing of Greg Greger and Jim Rayner is a loss that was deeply felt by many, many PSK members. They will be missed.
Although it pales in comparison, we also lost a major knap-in. After 10 years, the Goldendale knap-in is no more. Jim Miller sought to revive it, contacting the Ekone Ranch about hosting a Spring Knap-in. Unfortunately (or fortunately as we later found out), they were already booked. A subsequent visit by Jim determined that the facilities were inadequate for our needs.
Accepting Nominations for PSK Knapper of the Year for 2014
If you have a nomination for PSK Knapper of the Year simply submit a name along with a write-up describing why you think the individual should be the named PSK knapper of the year. Nominees will be forwarded to the Council of Elders who will choose the winner!
ANOTHER NEW MILESTONE – PSK REACHES 583 ACTIVE MEMBERS (and still counting)
In spite of losing two of our senior members, the PSK continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Just since the last SPALLS issued in February we’ve had 31 new members join!
New since 2/28/2014
*PSK Point Display Project*
For those that don’t know already, the PSK Point Display Project is well on its way to becoming a real show piece for the Puget Sound Knappers.
The Case is complete and there are about 100 member points already donated. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to take individual photos for the website or even mount all of the points in the case. But I’m working on it!
To view the points photographed to date go here (I’m way behind here): http://www.pugetsoundknappers.com/about_us/PSK%20Point%20Collection.html
Upcoming Events – Note: Since SPALLS is published only three times each year, changes/updates to the schedule of events will be posted on our website http://pugetsoundknappers.com
Also – some of the knap-in dates are tentative. The hosts will try and nail down specific dates but circumstances may dictate changes.
If you have attended or know about an event involving knapping let me know. I’ll either publish it in SPALLS or put in on the PSK Website.
Note from the publisher - With concurrence from the Council of Elders
This note is a basic reminder that the PSK and all of the knap-ins are paid for either by direct donations or auctions of donated items and community points, and competitive knapping contests. The expenses to the host of a knap-in are not trivial, running into the hundreds of dollars. To insure the continuation of our knap-ins and in particular the largest knap-in in the PNW – the Glass Buttes Knap-in, it is important that all knappers contribute what they can. The cost of Porta-Potties alone at Glass Buttes can run between $600 and $800 including toilet paper. We must make sure that whoever arranges and pays for the Porta-Potties is adequately compensated.
Weekly Fort Knapadonia Knap-in
There is a knap-in each Wednesday from 8:30 am until sometime in the afternoon at Fort Knapadonia on the north end of Whidbey Island (see the website’s Annual Fort Knapadonia Knap-in announcement for directions or see below in the annual Ft Knapadonia announcement for contact information). While there are usually 12-14 knappers attending, from novices to master knappers, we are seeing up to 16 and sometimes more knappers attend. Dr. Joe Higgins hosts and provides expert knapping lessons. The regulars also provide lessons, loaner tools, free rock and safety gear – safety glass and nitrile-coated gloves. Brunch or lunch is usually provided by the regulars as well.
**Note – please contact Joe Higgins (360) 720-0025 or Jim Keffer (425) 503-4413 if you’d like to attend and you are not one of the regulars – if the weather is bad (usually is) – we knap indoors and there is limited room. We always try and make room! Joe has also been opening the shop on Saturdays – just call ahead to make sure!
Weekly Sammamish Knap-in
Jim Keffer, PSK Webmaster, is hosting a weekly knap-in each Friday between 9:00am and 3:00pm at his shop in Sammamish. Everyone is welcome and the shop can easily accommodate more than 25 knappers. The shop is well heated and we now have plenty of chairs! There is free rock, loaner tools, safety glasses and gloves for everyone. Coffee is provided and there have been a number of senior PSK members attending to help instruct the ‘noobies’.
Tri-Cities Bi-monthly Knap-in
The Tri-Cities Knappers host a bi-monthly knap-in Kennewick, WA. The knap-in is hosted by Frank Olmsted and Marvin Barger the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 5:30pm - 9:00 pm. The location is Frank's home - 803 S. Edison in Kennewick, Washington.
This is a new group founded by four PSK members in the Tri-Cities area. There are about a dozen 'regulars' and forty -one who attend when their schedule permits. Their goal is quote "to help all new or experienced knappers, who are interested in this art form". They also offer private session of Video Tutorials and One-on-One instruction!
TO find out more contact:
Frank Olmsted: Phone - (509) 783-2798, email
Marvin Barger: Phone - (509) 942-1014, email
Future Events Schedule for 2015
PSK Sponsored Events*
*hosted by PSK members
Summary – The following Knap-in are schedule for the remainder of the year, details below.
1. Rocky Mountain House Knap-in, Rocky Mountain House (town)Alberta, Canada July 9th - 13th,
***NEW*** 2015 Rocky Mountain House Knap-in, Alberta, Canada
July 9th - 13th, 2015
Host Russell Thornberry
New PSK member Russell Thornberry will host the second-ever PSK Canadian Knap-in. It will be held at the Rocky Mountain House Heritage Site on the outskirts of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada, during the Legends and Legacy weekend. This event draws 3000-4000 visitors annually that come to see history relived on this historic site where in 1799 the North West and Hudson’s Bay companies set up rival posts at the end of the fur trade line on the North Saskatchewan River. Competition was fierce at Rocky Mountain House, and during its 76-year history, nine different Aboriginal cultures came to this site to trade. Explorer, fur trader and map-maker, David Thompson, used the North West Company post as a base for finding a pass across the Rocky Mountains. During the Legends and Legacy weekend many Aboriginal skills will be displayed, and we get to be a part of it!
Arrangements have been made for free RV parking and/or tenting for our knappers, but since space is somewhat limited we have been asked to pre-register for those sites. With this much lead time there should be ample room for everyone IF you pre-register soon!
To pre-register the following is required. Email or call Russell Thornberry at - phone (403) 872 4866. He will need the name of each attendee, email address, phone number, license plate number and state or province of origin.
OFF SITE ACCOMMODATIONS
For those who elect to stay in a hotel in Rocky Mountain House, below are a list and phone numbers of suitable accommodations. Be advised that Rocky Mountain House is a busy little town in the center of a brisk oil business and you will have to make reservations well in advance to get a room.
HOTELS IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE
Best Western Rocky Mountain House Inn & Suites
Rocky Mountain House Canalta
Rocky Inn Express
Walking Eagle Inn
2015 Fort Knapadonia Knap-in Announcement
August 17th - 23rd, 2015
Hosts Joe and Sunny Higgins and the Knapadonia Gang
Joe and Sunny Higgins will host the annual Fort Knapadonia Knap-In in August. He promises to have a full schedule of events – archery target shoots, 2-inch Goat, 10-speed, etc., etc., and don’t forget – making arrowheads and blades. There will be water available, electricity, Port-a-Potties, and lots of room for camping and RVing. Women and families are welcomed and encouraged to attend! Close by Oak Harbor offers plenty of garage sales and stores for shopping.
In addition to the usual great knappers knapping, plentiful rock and great weather, Whidbey Island is also a great place for families interested in sightseeing and other tourist activities.
Knapadonia plans, as usual, to have many non-knapping activities including *:
1. PVC Pipe Bow making class(es) – Nick Tomihama
In addition there will be Archery shoots, Atlatls shoots, Tomahawk throwing, arrow making, wire wrapping, and just added a basking making class! Joe plans to add a few more ‘classes’ to share the artistry of PSK members so come prepared to learn and enjoy!
Mary Alice Sterling will be teaching two separate one-day classes making this large letter basket at the Fort Knapadonia Knap-in August 2015. This class is only open to women over the age of 21, in two groups of six students. There is a $25 dollar fee (for materials only). Students should show up in comfortable clothing, Mary Alice will provide all materials and tools needed. The first class will be on Wednesday, August 19th, starting promptly at 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM, six students only. The second class will be on Saturday, August 22nd, starting promptly at 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM, six students only. Sign up by emailing Mary Alice at , and telling her which day you would like to attend. We will make a solid bottomed simple weave basket with attractive leather handles and wooden feet. Great to hold project, magazines, books or remotes by your favorite chair. Makes a superb visual element in decorative displays. Small class size allows ample one on one instruction as needed, with strong emphasis on everyone leaving the class with a finished basket and a happy weaving experience.
And for those that don't already know it there will be salmon fishing from the beach! Yep - 2015, being an 'odd' year, will see a return of Pink Salmon, also known as 'Humpys', to the Skagit River Drainage. This run passes right along the beach which is only about 200 yards from the camping area at Knapadonia. In each of the last three 'odd' years, 2009, 2011 and 2013, the run has been excellent and getting larger each year! We fully expect the 2015 to reach or exceed the 2013 record of returning fish. The limit is four (4) fish per day and daily limit are not unheard of!
Knappers and guests at the knap-in who don't hold a resident fishing license can purchase a temporary one:
*You may qualify for reduced fees if you are a:
Drive north past Seattle about 70 miles on Interstate 5. Take the 230 off-ramp to highway 20 and go west toward Anacortes. Take highway 20 turn off to Deception Pass. Go past Deception Pass about 2 miles and turn right (west) on Banta Road. Follow the signs from Banta Road to the knap-in. There are stores and restaurants/fast foods in the area. Contact Joe Higgins at (360) 720-1076 or (360) 675-4943 for more information on fishing and the knap-in.
3rd Annual Sammamish Knap-in, Sammamish, WA
Jim and Beverly Keffer will host the 3rd Annual Sammamish Knap-in Friday, August 28th – Monday, August 31st at their place in Sammamish, WA.
There is camping and parking space in the north pasture for trailers, campers and other vehicles. Electrical power will be available on a limited basis and there are two battery chargers if needed. Tent camping are spaces available in the orchard. There will also be sleeping space in the shop on the second floor. If the weather is unfavorable, knapping will be in the shop. There is adequate room on the first floor (1,000 sq. ft.) for 30-40 knappers (or more) and it can be heated if necessary.
There will be the usual events – 2” Goat and 10-Speed. Plus there will be targets for archery, atlatls and tomahawks. And plan on a Saturday evening Potluck dinner.
There two grocery stores (Safeway/Albertson) within one mile as well as a couple of pharmacies. Costco is just 7.7 miles away.
Location: 23811 NE 14th St, Sammamish, WA 98074
From the East – Take I90 to the Preston exit (exit 22). Turn right at the end of the off-ramp and turn right on SE High Point Way. SE High Point Way becomes Preston-Fall City Road. Continue on Preston-Fall City Road 3.7 miles to Fall City and turn left on SR-202 (Redmond-Fall City Road). Go 8.7 miles to 244th Ave NE (stoplight) and turn left. Go 1.2 miles and turn right on NE 14th Street, 23811 NE 14th Street is at the end of the gravel road (there will be signs).
From North, South or West - Take I405 to WA520 and head east towards Redmond, WA (5.5 miles). Exit at Redmond WA. SR202 and turn right towards Sammamish. Go approximately 5.1 miles and turn right onto 244th Ave NE. Go 1.2 miles and turn right on NE 14th Street, 23811 NE 14th Street is at the end of the gravel road (there will be signs).
2nd Annual Fort Whoop-Up Knap-In
Host Barry Rogers
September 4th to 7th, 2015
The Archaeological Society of Alberta Lethbridge Centre, Fort Whoop-Up National Historic Site and Barry Rogers (Knapper) invite you to the:
Second Canadian Knap-In on September 4th to 7th, 2015 at
Fort Whoop-up National Historic Site, Lethbridge, Alberta.
We will join the Black Powder Rendezvous which will draw 50 plus participants. Anyone with a black powder gun can participate in the shoots. They must have insurance or purchase it from the Black Powder Club for $5. It is located in the valley close to the confluence of the St Marys River and the Old Man River, near the original site of Ft Whoop Up. Free camping will be available to preregistered knappers and a $10 attendance fee will be charged for nonregistered knappers and visitors. Contact Barry Rogers 403 678 5041 or email email@example.com to register and get a map and further accommodation and activities information. Period dress is preferred but not mandatory.
Master Knappers from Canada and the US will be available to instruct those who want to try or improve their knapping skills.
Canada has had great knapping training sessions, but they always lacked a time to socialize and an opportunity to get to know their fellow knappers.
Knap-Ins differ from workshops in that they are usually situated in a camping area and have an evening camp fire to sit around, socialize and to get to know and enjoy fellow knappers.
Pot luck suppers and various contests add to the fellowship and enjoyment. I have attended many Knap-Ins in Florida and the Pacific Northwest, and have made many good friends.
Fort Whoop-Up was a historic whiskey trading fort built in the mid 1860s. The Northwest Mounted Police (today’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police) was created to curb that whiskey trade. The people at Fort Whoop-Up today interpret and symbolize that whiskey trade.
Many of you may wish to visit Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Fort Macleod, about 40 miles west of Lethbridge.
If you are a knapper or a wannabe knapper and wish to attend, register as soon as possible with Barry Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-678-5041. This will help us plan our Second Canadian Knap-In and to secure a camping site for you.
We are also trying to arrange an archery/atlatl range.
There is no entry fee for the Knappers and their families.
Pot Luck suppers will be held: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The main entree will be provided and side dishes are to be provided by knap-in participants. Please bring adequate for your family. Tea, coffee and water will be available all day.
You must register for a camping site either trailer or tent, no services, just a field in Indian Battle Park right outside the Fort. There is room for 20 to 30 trailers, plus a few tents. Public toilets are available a short walk away, or in the Fort during open hours.
Full service camp ground (Bridgeview RV Resort, 403-381-2357) in the river valley off of Highway #3 is available a short drive away.
Hotels: Two hotels, both at the top of the hill above Fort Whoop-Up are within an up/down hill walk (300 foot elevation above the river valley).
Days Inn 100 3rd Ave So. (403-327-6000)
Lethbridge Lodge Hotel 320 Scenic Dr. So. 403-328-1123.
Lethbridge has supermarkets, Costco, Wal-Mart etc. There is a trailer dump station and potable city water available at the Tourist Information Hut (403-320-1222) on the corner of Mayor Magrath Dr. and Scenic Drive So. A multitude of food facilities are at the hilltop above Fort Whoop-Up, near the corner of 3rd Ave. So. and Scenic Drive, including a nice wine and liquor store.
Arriving – to get to the Knap-In:
From the East on the Crowsnest Trail Highway (#3) - Entering Lethbridge from the East on the Crowsnest Trail Highway (#3), turn South onto Scenic Drive, go South (about 1/2 Mile) to 3rd Avenue South, then turn right (West) and proceed down the hill to Indian Battle Park. Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Site is just off to the left at the bottom of the hill.
From the West on Crowsnest Trail Highway (#3) - About ¼ mile after you cross bridge over the river at the bottom of the valley, take the First Ave South (City Centre) exit. At the traffic lights at the top of the hill turn right onto Scenic Drive, go 2 blocks, turn right onto 3rd Ave. So. and follow down the hill to Indian Battle Park. Ft. Whoop-Up Interpretive Site is just off to your left at the bottom of the hill.
From the South coming in on Highway #4 (from Coutts US/Canada Border Crossing): - Follow Highway #4 to the intersection of Mayor Magrath Drive and continue (West) straight through on to Scenic Drive. Follow Scenic Drive (for 2-3 miles) to 3rd Avenue So., then turn left (West) continue down the hill to Indian Battle Park. Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Site is left at the bottom of the hill.
Note – A passport is required to enter Canada and return to the U.S. Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) indicate both citizenship and identity and are valid for entry into Canada by land or sea, though not valid for international air travel. As of January 2009, these licenses are only available in Washington and New York.
We have a very limited data base to send this invitation to, ask any knapper or knapper wanntabes if they received this invite, if they would like to be included please forward their names, tel # and emails to Barry Rogers.
If you have question call Barry Rogers, 403-678-5941 or email@example.com
4th Annual North Columbia Knap-in - North Columbia Knap-in
Patrick Farneman will host the 4th Annual North Columbia Knap-in this year at the Kettle Falls Museum and Interpretive Center at 1188 St Paul Mission Road, Kettle Falls, WA 99141. The dates are Friday, Oct 9th thru Sunday, Oct 11th, 2015.
The site is a short walk from the historic Kettle Falls Tribal fishery and gathering place and borders National Park land. We have an open door to camp on the 7 acres of open ponderosa pine forest behind the center. We will have water available & restroom facilities, and the Staff of the center have volunteered to open the museum for us (special off-season opening) to be able to view the collections they have of local artifacts.
We are hoping for another great knap-in following our third successful knap-in in 2015!
For more information visit http://www.bridgestothepast.org/Home/north-columbia-knap-in
19th Annual (Pre) Thanksgiving Knap-In, Millersylvania State Park. Olympia, WA
19th Annual (Pre) Thanksgiving Knap-In, Millersylvania State Park. Olympia, WA
Join Mick and Holly Hill at their annual November knap-in. This gathering began with the idea of putting closure to the year, reflecting on the fun gatherings and campouts that happened thru the year(s). It is our knappers’ time to give thanks and be grateful, and then look forward to the holidays with our own families.
This event takes place at Millersylvania State Park which opens at 8 a.m. and closes at dusk, 5 p.m. Kitchen #1 is a log cabin that includes an area with fireplace heat and extra lighting set up for flintknapping. There is also a kitchen area with wood stove to plan the potluck. We have electricity and running cold water if the weather is not freezing temps. Part of the cabin is open to the weather elements and cannot be closed off. It can be cold! There are also bathrooms near the cabin.
Visitors to the Park must have a Discover Pass with the exception of those camping overnight. The annual pass is $30. If you access the park for 2 days without an annual pass, the fee is $10 each day.
One pass is good for two (same registered address) vehicles and must be displayed in the vehicle that is in the park. If you have 2 vehicles in the park, you must have 2 passes displayed.
If you have reserved and paid for a campsite, the parking tag/fee is not required.
A potluck Thanksgiving dinner will be served by 1 p.m. on Saturday only. Mick and Holly provide coffee, turkey and some traditional thanksgiving dishes. Bring a potluck dish, camp stool or chair, and plan to wear warm clothes and boots for the mud, sometimes rainy weather. Pack a project to work on or maybe share with others how to make something.
Some may camp and stay thru Sunday. If camping, expect to follow state park rules and provide payment for a camp site. There are bathrooms w/plumbing and token-operated hot showers available. Check the website at www.parks.wa.gov, select Millersylvania, to consider reservations.
We meet again Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch will be pulled pork for a reduced number of knappers. This is a good time for learning flintknapping from others with more experience if you are new to the art.
From North or South, take I-5 to Exit 95. Follow signs to the park entrance. Look for Kitchen #1. Park in the first parking lot around to the left, near the entrance of the park. Access to Kitchen #1 is by walking a path thru the woods. We will have 2 wheelbarrows to shuttle your flintknapping supplies from your vehicle to the cabin. Watch for others that may be trying to find our cabin! It gets confusing to new visitors. If necessary, there is a back road access to drive/assist those who don’t hike, or to deliver the extra big load. Park rangers want to limit our driving thru their back roads.
Other Events – not PSK Sponsored
Bakersfield Monthly Knap-In, Monthly, Bakersfield, California, hosted by Gary Pickett and Ray Harwood
A monthly knap-in is held on the first Sunday of every month. The one-day event goes from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Hart Memorial Park. The park is eight miles northeast of Bakersfield on the Alfred Harrell Highway. Knappers meet at the East end of the park.
Location: Hart Memorial Park - eight miles northeast of Bakersfield, CA on the Alfred Harrell Highway
While on highway 58, east of Bakersfield, take the Comanche exit and turn to the north. Comanche curves around 5 to 6 miles and dead ends into highway 178. Turn north on 178 (right) then a quick left (less than 1/4 mile) onto Alfred Harrell highway. Alfred Harrell 7-8 miles goes into Hart Park. The knap-in is 100 yards or so from the entrance on the right hand side of the park. For more information contqct Gary Pickett at: Home: (661) 392-7729, Cell: (661) 444-6163, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest PSK Knap-in Reports and Sponsored Events*
(Since February 2015)
*These events are hosted and/or supported by PSK members
Due to time constraints some of the reports may be abbreviated or even missing. I will include the missing reports as in the next issue if I receive them. All of the reports, along with photos, are in the 2014 Event Reports section of the website.
Due to the high cost of printing and mailing I am unable to include photos of past events in SPALLS. If you have or can get access to a computer with Internet access you can find these reports with photos here: http://www.pugetsoundknappers.com/events/2015_Reports.html
2015 Glass Buttes Knap-in Report
Well, the 2015 Glass Buttes Knap-in had a little of just about everything - snow and 750 temperatures, noobies and knappers who've been at the 'Buttes forever. In addition to the new knappers, there were several knappers from outside the Pacific Northwest including the legendary Tom 'PebblePimp' Dodge from Arizona and Mark Burdett from Utah.
There was also a bit of the 'bug' going around but most toughed it out (probably shouldn't have!).
Collecting Obsidian was the main reason, after knapping/socializing, for most of the knappers who attended and there was plenty of the 'known' obsidian such as Midnight Lace, Silversheen, and Rainbow, as well as relatively 'new' discoveries such as Leopard Skin and Peach. There was even some success finding the Fire Obsidian but I didn't and couldn't tell you where the others did . As always everyone was made aware of the BLM's 250 pound/per person/per year allowance for the Glass Buttes area and everyone this knapper saw adhered to the limit. The limit outside of the 'Buttes is 250 pounds per person per day, which makes a trip to the Dacite/Black Butter quarries worth the 100 mile round trip.
Turnout at this year's Knap-in was pretty good considering the weather. You wouldn't know it by some of the photos - but then again with so much rock to collect..............
There was a little excitement on Thursday as 82 year old Bob Popp, one of the best loved icons of Glass Buttes, had a close call with what ended up being just a case of fainting/vertigo. Still the rapid response of his friends and fellow knappers helped to keep Bob warm and comfortable until the outstanding EMS crew from Burns, OR arrived (over 50 miles). They took Bob to Bend, OR (80 miles) for further tests and he was released early the next morning (1:00 am). Rocky Male, this year's host, drove all the way to Bend to pick up Bob and bring him back by 3:00am - way to go ROCKY!
Another aspect of the Glass Buttes knap-in that makes it such a great event is the opportunity for new knappers to learn from some of the best - and for free! Joe Higgins, Stu Murdock, Sam Black, and several other great knappers spend hours teaching the noobies how to pressure flake, percussion flake and notch arrowheads, blades and spear points. The 'noobies' included at least three young women (20 somethings), one even younger lady and a half dozen men from 12 to 60!
One of the truly outstanding highlights of this year's knap-in was the participation by PSK member Nicholas Tomihama, the guy who literally wrote the book (actually several books) on making Archery Bows from PVC pipe. Nicholas gave free demonstrations on how to make a bow from PVC pipe each of three nights, completing at least four bows! And he did it by heating the PVC pipe over the community fire! What a treat! Nicholas also presented Council of Elder members Joe Higgins and Stu Murdock with their very own PVC pipe bows! More than a few knappers went home planning to make their own PVC pipe bows! Video to follow!
For those with a computer you can see photos of the knap-in on the Puget Sound Knappers Website here: If you have a Facebook account (I'm not one) go here for a photo essay of the 2015 Glass Buttes Knap-in: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009430412777
2015 Cabelas Lacey Store Knap-in Report
The annual knap-in at Cabelas' Lacey Washington store is nothing short of amazing. To say Cabelas draws a large crowd would be a gross understatement. Ironically, the PSK Flintknapping Event attracts even more people to the mix - even though Cabelas doesn't sell flintknapping supplies! Thanks to Cabelas Event calendar and the local newspapers, the Tacoma Tribune and the Olympian, who feature the event in their respective Calendar sections, many people came to see the PSK in action and many stay to try their hand at flintknapping!
2015 Rockler Woodworking Bow Class
The weekend of February 21st and 22nd saw Joe, Blaine and Jim teaching beginning bow making at Rockler Woodworking in Seattle, WA. Invited by Rockler event coordinator, Jim Klinger, the idea was to provide a basic class for making bows from hickory boards. There were six students, ages 11 to 30 something - all beginners.
The two day class consisted of two parts. The first day was spent cutting basic pyramid bows from 5/4" x 6" x 7' hickory boards hand selected by Blaine for straightness of grain, knot free lumber. Using the classroom and excellent wood working tools provide by Rockler, the students ripped the boards with a table saw to about 1/2" thickness, applied a pyramid template and cut out the shape on a band saw. Initial tillering and draw weight sizing was done with a drum sander for uniformity. Handles were cut to shape and glued on and the beginnings of the bow were set aside to let the glue dry for 24 hours. The remaining part of the first day was spent leaning to make Flemish twist bow strings - thanks to Joe! This was followed up by cutting the nocks in the bow limbs for the bow strings.
The second day was more bow strings (at least two per bow), refining the nocks, finish sanding and, once the handle glue was completely dry, shaping the handles and final tillering. There was also moisture testing, bow flexing and initial finishing. In all we made eight bows, one had a defect in the wood and was discarded, six were finished by the individual students and one was left for the store! All-in-all a busy but rewarding weekend for all!
2015 Tri-Cities Knap-in Report
From Marvin: Friday evening turned out to be a night of remembrance for Beverly Keffer as we had a first class fireworks display presented by GOD. We had a typical Oklahoma lightning and rain downpour to welcome them to town.
We couldn't have asked for better weather for our two day gathering for the week-end.
As usual we did not have a large crowd, but those that attended had a good time and they were all very interested in the presentation especially from Jim Keffer. We had several children who tried their hand at making arrowheads, and all received an arrowhead made by Jim during his demonstrations. Many adults took a very active part in making, or trying to make both arrowheads and spear points. There were a few that stayed the full time to get tips and information.
From Jim: With the passing of Tri-Cities Knap-in host Greg Greger (March 6, 2015) , the hosting duties fell to Octogenarian Marvin Barger and Nonagenarian Frank Omstead, both energetic PSK members! Their hospitality and generosity is second to none and their passion for the ancient art of flintknapping is inspiring! Although small in size, this knap-in epitomizes the purpose of the PSK - 'To Promote Flintknapping'. For two full days Marvin, Frank and the other PSK attendees demonstrated and taught flintknapping to young and old alike, inspiring a number of wannabes to join the community of knappers.
PVC Bow Class
Bows from PVC Pipe - who would have thought the PSK would get involved with this!
On April 11, 2015, PSK member Nicholas Tomihama conducted a free class on how to make archery bows from simple PVC pipe!
First a little background - Nick joined the PSK a little over a year ago to learn to make stone arrowheads that he one day might use. When he learned that a number of PSK members were also archers and/or bowyers, he introduced us to some bows he made of PVC Pipe - regular schedule 40 PVC you can get at most local hardware stores. Nick not only made the bows but he wrote the book on PVC pipe bows or should I say books. Nick is the author of 'Simple PVC Pipe Bows, 'Takedown Archery', 'Backyard Bowyer', 'The Impossible Bow' and at least five other books.
In 2014 and 2015, Nick attended the Glass Buttes knap-ins and introduced more members of the PSK to PVC Pipe bows, including renowned bow maker Steve Allely. Steve was so impressed that he said 'if there is ever a Bowyer's Bible 5th Edition, he will see that a chapter on PVC pipe bows was included'!
On April 3rd, 2015, Nick called me to say he'd be in my area the weekend of April 11th and 12th and would I be interested in hosting a free PVC pipe bow class. How could I not?!? I immediately sent out an email to the local PSK members and received RSVPs from more than a dozen interested archers/bow makers.
Making a simple yet powerful PVC pipe bow isn't terribly difficult but you have to know what you're doing. And the cost is minimal - 4' - 5' of 3/4" schedule 40 PVC will yield a bow of 35 to 45 pound draw weight. And you only need a heat source ($9 heat gun from Harbor Freight works great), and a couple of 2" x 4"s and some 3/4" blocks of wood. With practice a motivated individual can make a 40+ pound draw weight bow in 30 minutes or less! A bow with a 60 lb. draw can be made the same way from 1 inch schedule 40 PVC in the same amount of time.
2015 Elk River Knap-in Report
June 6th and 7th
Hosts Ray Alt and George Bryce- Write-up by Ray
All P.S.K. knappers, friends, local knappers and participants:
The 2015 Spring Elk River Knap-in at the Yellowstone Gateway Museum went very well this year. We had less hard core knappers but the general public was well represented. We had many returning youngsters looking for help in the difficult skills of flint-knapping. Richard and Joan Urata and Don Safford came over early to help George and I. I was coming down with a nasty cold so their help was sure welcomed and I thank them.
The Elk River Knap-in has gone on for 4 years now with enthusiasm and success from participants of all ages. I have taken many people under my wing, teaching and sharing my time, in hopes they would be interested enough to keep future knap-ins going for the best interest of the knappers and the general public. It sure is more fun to be a knapper on the sidelines, but someone needs to take the lead to keep the activity going and address the necessary issues. Hope there are some future takers out there.
Knap-ins are fun and informative for all of us but there comes a time that I, Ray Alt, co-host of the Elk River Knap-in, needs to recognize the time to step down and pass it on to other interested, motivated or younger individuals. My remaining years I hope to be one of the many participants at knap-ins, helping out where I can.
The Yellowstone Gateway Museum has been a great asset for the Elk River Knap-ins. Without the Museum, the Elk River Knap-in would not have been possible. My place of residence is just not big enough to accommodate such an event and, yes, there has been liability issues. I’m sure the knap-ins at the Museum has helped the local general public to see more of archaeology. Should the Museum continue an opening gathering, I will support our craft for them as much as possible.
As in all knap-ins, funding to cover expenses is always an issue. Without the very generous donations from the knappers for the auction, we would be funding more than we can afford. The Museum that hosts the location for the Elk River knappers, along with the other activities, does a great job of advertising. Our auction fund was able to give the Museum one hundred dollars again this year to help out on their advertising costs. They also, most likely, donate over their expenses.
It is in hopes I have enough years left to be one of the knappers as a participant at future knap-ins and can support their event as much as possible. For our local hard core knappers, you are always welcome to drop by my place of residence. It is always fun and less stressful to set down with one or two knappers and enjoy the craft of flint-knapping.
Thanks for the past times,
2015 Bitterroot Valley Knap-in Report
By Richard and Joan Urata
The weather for the fifth annual Bitterroot knap-in was near perfect. Temperature was 70's to 80's during the days and in the 50’s at nights.
Forty-five knappers with their spouses and friends brought the total of about 75 attendees to the knap-in. The knapper that came the farthest was Jack Hemphill and his wife Marilyn from Amarillo, Texas. Other locations represented were OR, WA, ID, TX, MT and Alberta, Canada.
See the pictures on Facebook with this link:
The knap-in started on Thursday as the RV's started arriving throughout the day. Many of the early attendees helped set up the tables, pop-ups, and chairs in the parking lot, and the bales of hay for the target range. The picnic tables in the pavilion were moved to make room for the knappers. There were lots of greetings and a little bit of knapping before the lasagna dinner was served to all the helpers. Attendees volunteered side dishes which made the dinner great.
Friday was a busy day of knapping, archery shooting and atlatl throwing. Our atlatl instructor was Don Safford!
The women were busy with crafts and conversation. Holly was crocheting rugs, Beverly was hooking a wall hanging, Cheryle was felting a pixie house, Joan was crocheting a baby hat and all were looking for tips on new projects. Lots of hiking trips were initiated all through the weekend.
Joan and the ladies provided us with a hot dog lunch, salad and raspberry shortcake from the Urata farm.
A treat was in store after dinner when the ‘Bitter Grass String Band’ (a bluegrass group) came to play some bluegrass music for us. Members of the group were: Sue Pearson on fiddle, Mavis Buroker on fiddle, Susan McCauley on guitar, Jim McCauley on mandolin and Cleo Guenther on bass. After playing a bunch of songs, the group invited our own musicians to join them. Holly Hill (flute), Sean McQueen (guitar) and Donn Paris (guitar) joined them and played several songs before ending the session. Everyone enjoyed the music. To show our appreciation Jim Keffer provided PSK patches to make them honorary members of the PSK and we provided points for each of the musicians in the group.
Saturday morning was the warm-up session for the 2-inch goat. Twenty knappers played the game. There was lots of ribbing during the game. Sean McQueen was the winner this year. Last year he was in second place. Dick Kocan suggested a new contest to give recognition to the knapper who made the best point during the knap-in and to help the host with costs of putting a knap-in on.
This is how it works:
In the Bitterroot Knap-in of 2015, there were 10 entries.
Joan cooked 35 pounds of shoulder blade pork roasts for the pulled pork pot luck. Everyone joined the potluck with tons of goodies. For appetizers we had several kinds of cookies, chips, and dips. Two outstanding appetizers were Joe Greenwell’s artichoke dip and Joe Higgins’ smoked salmon. We had stews, bean dishes, salads, pastas, pies and other deserts. We had so much food that we had a lot of leftovers.
After the dinner cleanup we had the auction where lots of people participated in both donating and bidding on the items. Jim Keffer was the auctioneer and kept everyone entertained. Thanks to all that participated in the auction! After the auction many people went to the fire pit where the nightly fire was lit. Night owls enjoyed the fire every night.
On Sunday, people woke up to a pancake breakfast provided and cooked by Joe and Arlene Wernex. It was so good that Arlene had to go back to their trailer several times to get more pancakes. Joe cooked in their trailer while Arlene delivered them to the table several trailers away. Keffers brought sausages and we cooked eggs and brats that were donated by Don Safford.
After breakfast, Jim Keffer brought out the PVC pipes and jigs to do a demonstration on making archery bows with ¾ inch and 1 inch dia schedule 40 PVC pipes. He used the fire in the fire pit and heated and bent the pipes into bow shapes. I’m not sure but I think 4 or 5 bows were made.
Leftovers from Saturday night’s dinner were set out for lunch. Pulled pork, salads, bean dishes, deserts, chips, cookies and ice cream were on the menu. Monday started with knapping, archery shooting and atlatl throwing in the morning.
We had cold cut sandwiches for lunch with chips, cookies and vegetable and potato salads.
After lunch Jim wanted to have a lesson on playing his newly acquired didgeridoo. Jim received lessons from Ray Alt and George Bryce. Sandy Beattie was interested so she joined the lesson and started blowing the didgeridoo. She is now interested in getting one.
We had a lovely spaghetti dinner prepared by Jim & Beverly Keffer to finish off the food from the knap-in. Sausages, salads, pickled goodies and cookies provided a well rounded meal….yummy! People were interested in leaving early Tuesday so the cleanup of the camp started in early evening instead of Tuesday morning. We were all done in a couple of hours so some of us went to sit by the fire. We got a treat when Cheryl Bryce played the flute, Don Paris played the guitar and sang some cowboy story songs and Mick Hill played his bagpipes. Holly Hill joined in on her flute too!
Joan and I would like to thank you all for helping us prepare the camp site before the knap-in and clean up after the knap-in, providing side dishes for the community meals and helping in food setups before and cleanups after the meals. You all made the knap-in a success. See you all next year!
Richard and Joan continued their streak of outstanding knap-ins. The 2015 Bitterroot Valley Knap-in will be remembered for a number of highlights including a terrific Bluegrass Concert, largest turnout, lots of newbies, great Potluck meals (dinners, lunches and even breakfast!), and even PVC pipe Bow-Making!
Set in the incredibly beautiful Bitterroot Valley of Western Montana, this knap-in has undoubtedly one of the PSK's best locations. The weather is terrific and the group campground is set in a forest of large Ponderosa pines with areas for archery and atlatl.
In addition to the largest crowd of PSK members, including some first time attendees, we also had quite of few noobies who showed up wanting to learn to flintknap. As is traditional at PSK knap-ins there were lots of members willing and able to give lessons including outstanding knappers Mick Hill and Joe Higgins.
We also took some time to demonstrate making bows from PVC pipe - something we'd learned from PSK members Nick Tomihama who has literally written the books on this subject. While it may seem strange to some, additional activities like bow making are common at PSK knap-ins. We've done everything from putting together Native American style drums to forging knives and tomahawks. There is always something different!
Covering the cost of this always free event again proved very easy. We had an very successful raffle of a community point, one of the best auctions in recent memory, and certainly the largest 2" Goat Competition this author has ever witnessed! Ironically the 2" Goat was won by the youngest PSK member in attendance - the same young man that won the 10-Speed competition last year.
Update on the Website
As of June 28th 2015, more than 110,000 ‘unique visitors’ have seen the PSK website. A ‘unique visitor’ is one that has not visited the website in the past. We’ve also had almost 5.5 MILLION hits! A ‘hit’ is a visit or viewing of an individual page on the site. And we’ve had visitors from 161 different countries. The number of people visiting and the number of pages accessed (hits) is growing each month.
Member Art Galleries
We now have 83 member art galleries, up from 76 just a few months ago. Member Art Galleries are the best way for PSK members to showcase their art and this section is one of the most visited on the website. These art galleries have a tremendous impact of creating awareness both of the PSK and Flintknapping in general.
If you already have an art gallery please continue to send in photos of your work. If you don’t already have an art gallery but would like one simply send some photos and a brief biography to the webmaster at . There is no charge!
The PSK website is dependent on member contribution to keep it relevant.
I'd like to encourage every member to contribute to the website. Here are some of the ways to contribute:
1. Photos for your art gallery or a new art gallery (no charge!)
Once again, we encourage every member to register their ‘knapper mark‘.
The ‘Knapper Recipe’ Section is always looking for new recipes from our knap-ins!
We’ve also added a new section, PSK Humor prompted by contributions by Dave Rauschenberg and Mick Hill!
The Knappable Rock in the PNW section is still off to a SLOOOOWWWW start – only two contributions so far. This could be of great use to both noobies and old-timers!
This section will feature knappable rock found in the PNW and include photos of ‘rough rock’, as it was found in nature, slabs of the same rock and, where appropriate, photos of slabs of that rock after heat treating. Only general locations will be given, i.e. NW Oregon or Columbia River Basin, but additional information such as heat treating recommendations will be included. I encourage all members who can contribute photos as outlined above to send them to me at email@example.com.
The ‘Lost and Found’ Section has already paid dividends – the owners of several ‘found items’ were located and the items were returned. If you lose or find something at one of our knap-ins just contact the webmaster and I’ll include it!
The ‘Interesting Stuff’ sections even more new articles and information.
Our current web hosting contract for the website expired in September of 2013. I renewed the contract for a cost of $180 for three years (up slightly from the introductory price of $150). I also renewed the contract with an outside service to monitor and protect our website from hackers for $99/year.
The website is paid for by voluntary contributions, usually at the knap-ins. Knap-in hosts who receive donations that exceed their cost have been passing along some of the excess contributions to the website. So your donations at the knap-in may well help maintain the website. However, covering the cost of the knap-in has greater priority to make sure to donate to cover their costs first. Still, any contribution helps!
I’ve also refined our back-up procedures. Not only do we do periodic backups but I maintain a complete copy of every page on the site on a separate drive.
NEXT SPALLS ISSUE:
The next SPALLS issue will be in November 2015 following the Millersylvania Knap-in. The weather’s finally great, so go to the knap-ins!
Other items of interest:
Webmaster and PSK member Jim Keffer has initiated a campaign to reverse the recent decision by the US Forest Service Modoc National Forest (Alturas District Office) that lowers the amount of obsidian that recreational collector may take from 500 pounds annually to only 100 pounds annually. This ridiculously low amount makes it almost impossible for the average rock hound or flintknapper to afford to visit Davis Creek. At the same time the USFS continues to allow ‘commercial claims’ on Davis Creek obsidian contrary to the Federal Mining Act of 1872 (as amended) with little or no limits.
A request has been made via the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the following:
1. An accounting of all monies received from the claims for rock in the Davis Creek area covered by the permits and claims for obsidian. Specifically money received since the inception of the USFS program that provided for claims in the Davis creek area, the annual amount of the funds generated and the disposition of these funds.
2. Any and all justification for allowing claims, including but not limited to, Modoc Nat Forest/USFS Alturas District Regulations, USFS regional rules and regulations and USFS Federal regulations promulgated to overrule the Federal Mining Act.
3. All papers, analysis, reports, decisions, rules and regulations pertaining to the lowering of the collection limit to 100 pounds.
I have received a reply from the USFS requesting either an in person meeting or conference call with the District Forest Ranger, Timothy Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the USFS Geologist, Dan Munger (email@example.com ).
PSK member and professional geologist Jim Miller has agreed to assist me in his capacity as a geologist, rock hound and flintknapper. Several others have also stepped up to help.
If you are interested in supporting this cause please contact me at: .
Or contact the USFS directly at the addresses above.
Obsidian Sources (Worldwide): http://www.obsidianlab.com/sourcecatalog/s_home.html
Obsidian Sources (Western U.S. - (Northwest Research Obsidian Studies Laboratory) http://www.obsidianlab.com/gis_sources.html
Rock Collecting Regulations Links:
WA and Oregon Rock Collecting Guide - http://www.pugetsoundknappers.com/how_to/rock_collecting_Guide_WA-OR.html
BLM Glass Buttes Handout - http://www.pugetsoundknappers.com/how_to/BLM_Glass_Buttes_Handout_4-09.html
MAY BE OF INTEREST:
Website for Artifact and Archeological Books
This website has Artifact and Archeological Books and Videos for sale.
Go to: http://www.hothemhouse.com/ .
Check out the Arrowhead Forum! http://arrowheadology.com/forums/
Society of Primitive Technology (SPT) http://www.primitive.org/ The purpose of the Society of Primitive Technology is to promote the practice and teaching of aboriginal skills; to foster communication between teachers and practitioners; to set standards for authenticity, ethics and quality. Publishes the Bulletin of Primitive Technology
There is a flint forum where knappers can participate by posting and reading messages and/or going into the chat room. It may be of interest as knapping information is passed back and forth via messages. It is called TARP – you know, the thing you put on the ground to collect the débitage. http://www.egroups.com/group/thetarp.
Here’s another e-group for knappers: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Knappers-R-Us/
Another Egroup called Flintknapper’s Digest: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flintknappingdigest/
Lithic Casting Lab
Anyone who wants to replicate certain styles of points (Flake patterns, thickness, convexity, length, and width), you can purchase castings of artifacts from Lithic Casting Lab. http://www.lithiccastinglab.com/
Primitive Technology discussions, including flintknapping. www.PaleoPlanet.net.
Editor and Publisher
James C. Keffer
23811 NE 14th St
Sammamish, WA 98074