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September 19, 2009 This was the weekend of the second annual CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA KNAP-IN and PRIMITIVE SKILLS RENDEZVOUS.  It is held in Burlington, NC.
Joe, a knapper himself, was set up out there so I decided to go find out what this knapping is all about..
I missed seeing this sign and drove right past it!  How?  A quick u-turn and the arrow pointed the way off of McCray Rd.  The dirt road winded through a wooded area
and then eventually opened into a large field.  In fact a field large enough for airplanes to take off and land.
  There were tents and tables set up in the middle of the field with many interesting things on display.  I found Joe standing next to a big pile of rhyolite he had personally collected.
But first things first.  What's this knapping all about?
Joe demonstrates the process used in reducing a large block of rhyolite into workable pieces.
Here Joe shows two workable pieces of some very high grade rhyolite.  Thie ideal piece has no cracks or seams running through it.  The piece on the left has been cut with a diamond saw.
The darker piece on the right has been cleaved off of a larger block of rhyolite.
Using a hammerstone they shape their working piece into the tool of choice, usually an arrow head or a spear head.
And then usually using  wood, bone, or antler they  can further refine the shape.
This is the final result.
Besides all the knapping going on there were also people making bows.
Here they are tilling the bow.  This is the process of balancing each side perfectly.  If one side is off they will shave a little more off one side until it is in perfect balance.
The end result was a display of fine and elegant craftsmanship.
A gentleman fires an arrow at the red and white target in the center of the bails of hay.
The tool this man is demonstrating is an atlatl. This tool uses leverage to throw a spear or dart with greater velocity and accuracy.
Look at all that kinetic energy stored in that dart just after it is launched..
Next to Joe's tent was a fire pit and what looked like clay pots sitting in the ashes.  On the table next to it was this piece of pottery that had just been made.  It needs
to sit and dry for a few days before it is fired.  It was made using only clay and sand. 
Here he demonstrates how he applied the texture to the outside of the pot.  With careful strokes he smacks the side of the still soft clay creating the texture you see in the previous photo.
Next he places the pots near the fire to warm up.  Too abrupt of a temperature change can cause them to break or shatter.  After they have been evenly warmed up
he covers them with small pieces of wood to begin the firing process.  He said that the temperature needs only to be brought up to around 500 degrees F.
Here they are after firing.
Rose nodded with approval.
Montana demonstrated one of the hand made flute/walking sticks available for sale.
Bone and antler knives were on display here at the tent next to Joe's.  The blades were made using various material from stone to steel.
Here's a plug for Mike McGuire's finely crafted tools.
I had a great time learning about all the primitive tools, how to use them, and even how they were made.  If you are interested in coming next year, keep an eye on this forum page:
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