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The Nova School Knapping Class


The Puget Sound Knappers were once again invited to demonstrate flintknapping at school - this time the Nova School in Olympia, WA.  Rather than a Winter or Spring Break, this unique school has a week long 'Winter-in' where the students can pursue 'alternative' learning opportunities - those not available in a normal curriculum.  Two of the students at the Nova School joined the PSK at our Cabelas Knap-in in January and attended our Winter Break Knap-in as well.  They thought that their fellow students might enjoy learning about the 'Ancient Art of Flintknapping' - and well they did!

PSK members Jim Keffer, Jim Smith and Ruthie 'Mink' Taylor spent three hours demonstrating and then providing hands-on learning to 18 sixth through eighth graders. And an enjoyable three hours is was! The students were incredibly engaged and interested and most were able to create a recognizeable point by the end of the session!

We've developed a system that seems to work - the 'instructors'  sit in the center with our backs to each other and the students form a circle around us.  Each instructor really has only 5 or 6 students to focus on.  We demonstrated both percussion and pressure flaking with a little 'Abo' thrown in - hammer stone percussion and antler tine pressure flaking.  The students all got to try percussion flaking with copper boppers.  NOTE - every student (and instructor) hade safety glass on at all times active knapping was happening.  Nitrile -coated gloves were provided to those involved in 'hands-on' learning.  All tools and safety equipment provided by the PSK.

I think the greatest reward was a comment I overheard - 'There is more to life than computer games'!

Here's some photos taken by our sponsor, Greg Tolbert - thanks Greg!



Jim Smith - teaching mode!

Tough Question???

Hands on training!

Mink - a natural born teacher!

Jim Keffer - passing along the what I was fortunate enough to learn from others!

Rule #1 - Abrade, Abrade and then Abrade some more!

The Students!

Practical Application!

Look everyone - My first FLAKES!

A point in under an hour - great instructors!

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©2010 J Keffer