Stone Tool Craftsman Fair
The 16th Annual Genesee Valley Flintknappers Stone Tool
Craftsman Fair held at Letchworth State Park, Mount Morris, N.Y.
was a great time as usual. I arrived early on Friday morning and , I
have to be honest, it looked much leaner vendor wise than in the
past few years. Several familiar faces were missing due to family
commitments but most due to the high gas prices. We all missed
those who regularly attended in years past but couldn't make it this
year. All was not lost though, as people, knappers, and vendors
began to file in by late Friday and early Saturday morning.
Despite the high gas prices, I saw many out of state license plates
in the parking lot and rock vendors Craig Ratzat (Colorado) and
Doug Sutton (Texas) made the trip to bring their nice selections of
rock for all of us to pick through. The selection of rock was diverse
with fine selections of Mookite, Flint Ridge, India Jasper,
Pennsylvania Jasper, Texas Cherts, Keokuk, Burlington, Obsidian,
Dacite and so on. Noticeably absent from the rock selection were
large pieces and nodules of Texas Georgetown flint. The rumor is
that the owner of the pit where many of us collect this fine rock got
mad at some knapper and closed it to all. Prices seemed a little
higher for premium rock than in years past, but bargains were
struck and trades were made as usual. It always amazes me what
can be traded for good rock or for points!
Under the big knapping tent there were several circles of
knappers turning out points, laughing, and instructing the curious
on-lookers of the general public. Jim Overcash of Texas knapped a
nice Clovis preform and while he was eating lunch with Ken
Wallace, he asked him if he could flute it with his jig. Well Ken
didn't have his jig, but since Ken lives a stones throw from the
knap-in, he brought his jig Saturday morning to give some of us an
impromptu jig fluting demo (thanks Ken). Ken did a little
preparation and gave it a pop on both sides. The flutes ran from
base to tip on both sides with the second flute taking just a bit of the
tip. After Ken finished touching up the tip he and Jim decided to
both sign it and put it in the auction. Chris Pappas ended up with
the point along with the flutes that came off it and believe me he
didn't get that point cheap as the bidding was fierce.
Speaking of the auction, it was well represented with nice
products from the knappers and great products from our vendor
friends. Bob Berg even auctioned off a carved wooden face from
one of the vendors that looked so much like him that he jumped
back a bit when he first looked at it. Bidding was competitive,
especially for Ken Wallaces's wind chime made with Novaculite
flakes and for an eagle carved out of a large antler. I personally
went home with some great stuff which included an 11 inch "fluted"
point made by Chris Pappas. It was actually a musical flute made
out of cane with a Dalton type point hafted on its end. I just had to
have that, and it even plays well too, just make sure you pay
attention and don't put the business end in your mouth by mistake
like someone I know almost did.
Friday night was of course Ooga Booga time and I'm told some
40-50 new inductees went through and all had a good time. I even
saw one new 10 year old inductee with paint still on his face all day
Saturday. Saturday night we were all treated to a presentation by
Bill Pickard on the Wenatchee Clovis site. He did an excellent job
as he showed and explained slides taken during the excavation.
We all felt fortunate to be counted within the select few that have
viewed the excavated materials and related artifacts even if it was
only through slides.
Sunday saw knappers kicking back, socializing, shopping and
doing a lot of trading. I personally saw several nice trades of
knapped points between several knappers and also managed to
work a trade out to come home with a nice Perkioman point
knapped by Ken Wallace. I believe Ken's point pouch was empty
from all of his trades. Sunday also brought the knap-in awards.
Bob Berg won best of show for a booth that many knappers were
talking about. The Howdy Award this year was presented to Jim
Woodring (Titusville, PA) and I heard many knappers talk about
him really deserving it. The inductee for the wall of fame was of
course the one and only Larry "Lone Wolf" Scheiber Hisself (we
all enjoy his cartoon in every Chips issue!).
The Woodland category went to Ken Wallace (Castile, NY), the
Archaic category went to Chris Miller (Lexington, Ohio) for the 6th
year in a row - way to go Chris! The N.Y. Lithics category was a
tough competition, but Ken wallace once again came out on top with
what I heard was a "killer" Susquehanna point. Man Made
Materials went to Steve Nissly (Maytown, PA), while Michael
Santiago (Gerard, PA) won the Paleo Fluted category. Lastly, the
Lamoka category went to Michael McGrath (Binghamton, NY). A
special thanks to the judges who were Laurie Pahdopony, Bill
Pickard and John Cappellini. As the afternoon wound down,
knappers began to settle into doing more knapping. After we all
watched Ken Wallace spall out a massive Kentucky Hornstone
nodule for Jim Woodring, knapper John Brennan utilized a flake
from Ken's work to carve up a melon he had - the things you see at
All in all the weather was superb and we all hated to say goodbye
for yet another year, but one by one knappers did just that as they
shook hanads and packed up their knapping tools to head for
home. There seems to be few things more enjoyable than knapping
with old friends and making new ones. We all hope to see you next
One of many small circles of knappers under the big tent.
Ken Wallace Fluting the second point of the weekend for another
knapper. I don't have a picture of the one he fluted for Jim Overcash
as I was too busy watching the action as happens at most knap-ins
when someone is fluting a point.
Ken Wallaces windchime that was sold in the auction.