"There is a kindness and a sincerity in your reception and teaching that is without parallel. Really, I am still under the charm."
Pierre, March 2007
"I recommand this course: I came back from it (early January 09) absolutely enchanted: the quality of the reception, the charisma of the master, his humility, its ease in the contact, the relaxed but active atmosphere... too many to quote... Thanks to you I have achieved what I thought was an unreachable dream. !"
Laurent, January 2009
CLASSES MAIN GOALS
What to expect from a flintknapping class, in a few words.
At the end of the class, through a theorical and practical approach, you will know the basics of flintknapping:
• the physics of flint
• tools usage (soft percussors, pressure sticks and hammerstones)
• correct gesture and tool conceptualisation
Years of intensive practice are often necessary to be able to accurately knap any type of flint tool.
A class lasts only two or four days, and we do not pretend that you will be a good knapper in such a short time.
Our goal is to give to the basics so that you will be able to proceed by yourself for the years after: once you have understood the bottomline, your personal work will lead you to success.
THEORY(1 H 30)
Because random blows are never the good choice...
An introduction to flintknapping basic notions:
• Physics of flint
• Anatomy of a blade, of a flake
• Flintknapping common mistakes
• Preparing platforms
• The necessary conditions for successful flaking
• Flintknapping specific vocabulary
• The main flint tools
FLINTKNAPPER'S TOOLS (30 mins)
Quick overview of the materials and techniques used to split flint. Protections against blows and cuts and how to make your own tools.
• Protections and warnings
• Soft percussors, hammerstones and their effects
• How to choose the right percussor
• Punches and pressure flakers
• The correct percussion gestures
• Percussion techniques
• Making your own flintknapping tools
• Reading the core
• Chosing the right reduction strategy
• Creating and keeping the breakage necessary conditions
• Creating preform with a hard hammerstone
• Thinning preforms with soft percussors
• The Levallois
It is now time to knap your first bifaces: Make Homo Erectus, or even Neanderthal proud of you !
• Creating blade core preforms
• Preparing and shaping platforms
• Recurrent blades debitage
• How to get longer blades
• Avoid or correct common mistakes
• Creating tools out of blades and flakes
Side scrapers, burins, knives, points are all tools made out of blades: you will learn how to drive blades out of a core and how to transform them into tools.
• How to make and to use a pressure flaker
• Using a copper tip or antler tip pressure flaker
• Preparing compression platforms
• Getting longer flakes and thinning the tools
You will learn how to transform blades and flakes into spear and arrow points using copper-tipped or antler pressure flakers...
Beautiful chalcolithic points are trapped inside the stone... set them free !
ATLATL SHOOTING INITIATION
This activity is proposed to those who want to discover the extraordinary power and accuracy of this throwing weapon...
The vice champion of Europe of atlatl shooting will teach you how to efficiently use the throwing stick so you can become the new marksman.
This outdoor activity depends on the weather... but the sun always shines in Dordogne !
So you can have a visual approach of how to make flint tools, I will show, on demand, the necessary steps to create the following tools :
• Levallois cores, bipolar cores, livre de beurre
• Blades and tools made out of blades
• Axes and adzes
• Points (gravette, shouldered, clovis, chalcolithic etc.)
• Laurel leaves, knife blades
If you are interested in a specific tool, even though it might not appear in this list, we will specifically work on its making...
Specialising and perfecting
Since each knapper has its own experience, there is no specific program for this class, but we offer you the possibility to work on any tool or technical aspect you want.
The following list is obviously not complete...
• Making typologically accurate tools
• Advanced debitage techniques:
◊ Punch debitage
◊ Laminary debitage on livre de beurre cores
◊ Levallois recurrent debitage
• Preparing and conserving platforms on blade cores
• Solutrean retouch and extra-thin laurel leaves
• Flake over grinding, pressure flaking, danish daggers
• Advanced debitage: anticipating and solving problems...
Though Bernard Ginelli is a master knapper and knows many techniques, he doesn't know all of them. He mainly masters laminary debitage on livre de beurre cores, solutrean and laurel leaves retouch and pressure flaking.