Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Charlie Shewey - Knapper

THE COLLECTOR:Another of the earlier flintknappers, a southerner, was
that of Charley Shewey. Charley is perhaps the leading collector of
modern flint artifacts in the world. Back in the late 1970s and early
1980s I can remember hearing stories of the legendary collector of
flint art. Born July 18th, 1911, in a wild cowboy town in Oklahoma,
Charlie was no stranger to Indian lore. Back in 1917 Charlie Shewey
found an arrowhead out on the farm. He wondered how it was made and
did some experimenting with his grandfather. Then in 1923, when
Charley was 12 years of age he witnessed a Boy Scout Master making a
flint arrowhead with deer antler tines. Charlie learned to knap with
the pressure method and got quite good. Then, after many decades of
knapping and collecting Charlie found a copy of D.C. Waldorf's 1975
1st edition The Art Of Flintknapping. After reading Waldorf's book
and eventually meeting him, Charlie got heavier into flintknapping
and produced master quality large flint bifaces and fluted points.
Charlie was the man responsible for bringing Waldorf together with
George Ekland. Waldorf was apt at percussion and Ekland was apt at
pressure. One day in Waldorf's old travel trailer the three met met
and it was like a stand off, Ekland jealus of Waldorf and Waldorf
Jealous of Ekland. Charlie told me once that Waldorf's books was all
wrong at first, Charlie went over it with him and after that Waldorf
produced the Second edition. Still considered an expert on stone
tools and flintknapping, but retired from actual knapping, now at
nearly 90 years old Charlie Shewey is considered an intricate part of
modern flintknapping history and a living flintknapping legend.
Archaeologists, collectors and most certainly flintknappers owe a
great deal to Charlie Shewey. I t was he, in the 1960s, that obtained
the authentic Ishi points that were cast by Peter Bostrom's Lithic
Casting Lab, and therefore made available to all. Charle was a pilot,
Army trained, and he had the job in the 1960s, of flying people
around the country. On one trip to California's bay area charlie made
the trade of his life. In one trip he ended up with 4 Ishi points and
and one Ishi knife./

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