Here is the Mook jasper Ross blade riding on an ornate box turtle. Turtles love bling. Leaf shaped blade, Parral agate from Mexico. Wild stuff and a bugger to knap.
Allen-ish point made of Brazilian agate. I realize it's not true to the type and it's clearly flake-over-grinding, but just chill and enjoy the material. It's candy.
Length: 7 3/4". Personal collection.
Length: 9 luscious inches. Personal collection.
Another Ross blade -- who woulda thunk it? This one is made of Tecovas. There's Tecovas jasper and then there's this stuff.
I think it's a highly silicified sandstone with broken bits of jasper mixed in. Cool geology.
Length: 10 7/8". Personal collection.
It was hard to let this one go, but it went to a good home. The material is amethyst sage agate from Nevada, now residing in Denmark.
Length: about 6". Sofus Stenak collection.
I need better a better photo of this point. It's a replica of a the type of Scottsbluff points found in east Texas and Louisiana. I fiddled around for years with this type, never "getting" them until a couple of extraordinarily knowledgeable gentlemen took the time to share their insights. I've come to feel that this point type may be the most technically complicated style in north america. There are many subtle challenges in getting this quietly beautiful point type correct. The material in this one is correct for the type -- it's agatized palmwood from Louisiana.
Length: 5". Personal collection.
This is another east Texas Scottsbluff replica. It's not a dead-on copy, but in the ballpark. The material is agatized palmwood.
Length: 5 1/2". Private collection.
And another Scotty made in the same style. Same material, too -- agatized palmwood.
Length 6 1/2". Private collection.
Greatest length: about 6 1/2". Private collections.
This Scottsbluff is made in the midwestern style. The material is Cobden. Nice point.
Length: about 5". Private collection.
Danish daggers. Where to start... I flirted with them about 15 years ago. Finally decided to begin a serious relationship with them in the summer of 2016. Not sure that was the best decision, but now I'm hooked. There isn't another stone tool on this planet that's more complicated, frustrating, subtle, and demanding, technically and physically. And they require the absolute best material, both in size and quality. They are royal pains and I love them.
These Type IV daggers might look nice enough, but they aren't correct. There are a number of things about daggers that I haven't gotten right. To my knowledge, no one has. There is a handful of excellent knappers who are doing their best to correctly replicate the best of the old ones, but no one has put it all together. I'm not at all sure that I'll ever come close, but the effort and the learning is half the fun.
The material in these daggers is high grade raw Georgetown chert from Texas.
Greatest length: about 11".
Here's a fairly early attempt at a style with a concave pommel and pronounced pommel horns. They are too exaggerated, but it was a good exercise to see how far the stone could be pushed.
Length: about 12".
Here's a Type IV dagger I tried in obsidian. The problem I encountered is that the obsidian flaked so easily that the stitch flakes on the handle's center seam rolled down the sides and nipped off the handle edges making it too narrow. To salvage the piece I did some knotwork on the handle with paracord that mimics the stitching.
Length: about 13". Carolyn Cavender Alexander collection.
The neolithic Danes also made miniatures of their daggers. Here's one I made from Helgoland flint.
Length: 2 1/2". Private collection.
From the largest to the smallest, the materials are Georgetown chert, Tecovas jasper, and Imperial jasper.
Greatest length: about 13". The largest dagger is in the Tony Podkanowicz collection.
The smallest dagger is in the Michael J.Bradshaw collection.
Length: 6 1/2". Personal collection.
Here's a decent attempt at a Type IVd with a nice long run of stitching down the center seam. I see quite a few issues to correct, but it's another step down the road.
Length: about 12".
This shows the stitching on the sides of the handle of a Type IV dagger. There is stitching on the handle's center seam, the sides of the handle, and all the way around the pommel. Lots of fine, tight work to be done.
Length: about 9". Joe "Sweet Cheeks" Miller collection.
There are a number of varieties of Danish daggers. This is my attempt at one of the Type 1 daggers. The handle section on originals was partly finished. Based on finds from bogs, the handles were wrapped with spruce root.
Length: about 13".
Three Clovis points in different styles. From left to right, the materials are Flint Ridge, Niobrara jasper, and Quitaque chert.
Greatest length: about 6 1/2".
This is a point type from the Wisconsin area known as an Eared Eden. Gorgeous, well-crafted points, typically made of Hixton silicified sandstone.
Length: about 7". Paul Schanen collection.
Although this photo shows it's color nicely, what it can't show is the point's smooth roundness, one of the hallmarks of a good dovetail. This one is the St Charles variety. The material is Tecovas jasper from the Texas panhandle.
Length: 6 1/2". Personal collection.
This arrowpoint, made in the general style of a Cache River point, is made of a funky piece of Imperial jasper from Mexico.
Length: about 3". I vaguely remember selling the point, but I don't remember who bought it... If anyone know, I'd appreciate a heads-up!
This dark beauty is made of Rainy Buttes silicified wood. I've talked before about the rare occasions when the knapper feels like more of a privileged observer: the point seems to take shape on it's own, one ideal flake after another peeling off the stone. That was the case with this Clovis. The overshot flakes on the opposite face were just as clean and ordered as the ones visible here. I love this point.
Length: about 6 1/2". Roger Warmuskerken collection.
Yeah, I broke it. Almost finished, too. And yes, the color's correct -- beautiful purples, violets, and blues. This one hurt. A lot. The material was raw polychrome jasper from Madagascar.
Length: about 10".
And now for something completely different. There's nothing noteworthy about these points, except the material. They're made from a soft, particularly brittle obsidian from Easter Island.
Greatest length: 3 5/8". Private collections.
Honking big piece of Kentucky hornstone made into a classic turkeytail blade. Thin and flat with a good flake scar pattern. Nice one.
Length: about 11". Joel Robinson collection
Just a simple, thin blade made of exquisite material-- Imperial jasper. No edge retouch, no fancy notches, no gild on the lily. Many, many thanks to Michael Miller for passing this stone along to me.
Length: 5 1/4". Personal collection.
I love this style. It's a St Louis Clovis made of Knife River flint. This is made to replicate the look of a 11,500 year old original that has been resharpened once and used a bit. And just so you know, to prevent confusing this with an old one, the other side has been signed twice: once with permanent ink and again with a diamond scribe.
Length: 7 5/16". Personal Collection.
These are called Snyders points, but I understand they're a knife form. The finest examples seem to have been wealth or status items and have been found in high-status burials. This one is made from a nice piece of Keokuk chert from Oklahoma. I like the subtle concentric rings and the speckled "strawberry seed" pattern.
Length: 5". Personal collection. St Charles dovetail made of Cobden chert. I didn't make these eccentrics -- I just took the photo. John Kiernan created these little gems. Never say never... A gorgeous pair of quartz crystal Clovis points. Blade made of "Cherry Quartz," a glass made in China. Ross blade made of Tecovas jasper. Breathtaking stone. Spectacular rainbow obsidian blades (Davis Creek, California material). Hopewell Ross blade made of the most vivid iridescent green obsidian I have ever seen. This amazing material came from Mexico. Another enormous Ross blade made of material from Flint Ridge, Ohio.
This material has not been positively identified. It may be a type of slag glass (a waste product from glass-making). The other, far more interesting possibility, is that it is fulgerite -- silica-rich quartz sand that was fused into glass by lightning that struck the ground. Fulgerites typically occur as squiggly, blackened tubes the diameter of pencils. A few large, glassy nodules have been documented, though. The black streaks are carbonized bits of organic matter. This particular piece of material was reportedly found as a large, 40 to 50 pound nodule in a sandy field in south-central Georgia. Regardless, it is simply beautiful.
Greatest length, 7". The point types: Ross blade and western-style Clovis. Carolyn Cavender Alexander collection. Photo courtesy of Derek McLean.
This is definitely man-made material. This slice of the sky is art glass from a West Virginia foundry.
Length, 14 1/4". Carolyn Cavender Alexander collection.
Hopewell Ross blade made of Knife River flint from North Dakota. Although it's called "flint", it's a chalcedony formed when silica-rich volcanic ash settled in a wet, organic environment. The dark inclusions (especially pronounced in this piece) are thought to be remnants of marsh plants like cattails. Absolutely gorgeous stuff.
Length, 8 1/4". Collection of Roger Warmuskerken. Thanks again for letting me work this great piece of rock, Roger.
Hopewell Ross made of an enormous piece of Alibates from the Texas panhandle. Alibates doesn't come any bigger than this. Or more beautiful.
Length, 12". Rod Chapman collection..
Ross blade made from a very unique piece of Imperial Jasper.
Length, 5 7/8". Ray Hammond collection.
Without a doubt, the three finest things I've ever made (my wife helped a little).
Greatest length: 59 1/2". Personal collection.
Here's an old photo of my kiddos and my wife. We used to march everywhere.