Tuesday, January 1, 2008
JIM SPEARS -FLINTKNAPPER
I have actually never met Jim Spears, but he is one of my favorite knappers. He was mentioned in the Waldorf book, The Art Of Flintknapping, but was sort of a phantom, not caring much for the publishing and so on. To me he was sort of a mystery. Jim Spears met Waldorf in the parking lot of a black powder shoot one day and they hit it off right away, this was when knappers were as rare as hen's teeth. Jim's lithic masterpieces were created in the traditional billet knapping methodology and were prized by collectors of the genera world over. He knapped in the Sollutrean style, at least from what I have seen on film. He has undoubtedly influenced dozens, if not hundreds of knappers. It is difficult to separate the influence of Spears and Waldorf on the knapping world, they are sort of attached at the hip in some respects.
Jim Spears, the knapper that pioneered modern theory of isolated
platforms for large Cado blade thinning, was born September 5th,
1942, and had been interested in artifacts and stone tools all of his
life. . When Jim got out of the Navy he inquired around about
knapping and eventually saw a man using a beer can, or bear bottle
opener to pressure flake the edges of spalls, it was a twisting
motion. This discovery fascinated Jim, but before long he discovered
that a deer antler and dolomite hammerstones were the way to go. Jim
moved to Noel in 1965 and made his first flint point around 1966, he
has made over ten thousand points since. When Jim would get off work
at a trailer making company, he would go out in the woods and knapp.
After many years and many tons of flint he became one of the best
flintknappers of all time, his large, thin, patterned percussion
blades of colorful flint are masterful and each is a work of
art. "Jim pieces" as they are affectionately called by collectors,
fetch a handsome price. The largest noviculite point ever made was
a `Jim peace" and was 20 inches long, and was unheated.