What was the sound that heralded the arrival of mankind? Perhaps, about two and a half million years ago, it was the sound of pebbles striking together, as one of our distant ancestors Homo habilis (skilful man) made the first stone tool – a functional blade. It could be argued that it was this act that defined our species.
As a mammal, we are the only apex predator without natural weapons. No horns, fangs or claws – only our intellect and our ability to shape the environment. Our species has literally carved a niche in this world using a blade – by cutting and shaping natural materials, from shelter and clothing; to food and weapons. It is hard to think that the attitudes and lifestyles of today’s high-tech society are entirely based on a broken rock. The word blade originates from the Anglo-Saxon word blæd, which means a leaf.
Join us for a five-day workshop, jumping through time; charting the development of the blade, from stone… to bronze… to iron.
Days: Sun PM – Thur PM (4 Nights)
Location: Lake District, England
Food & Accommodation: Fully catered and includes camping fees
Activity: Knapping, Smelting & Forging
Group Size: 6-12
Physical Rating: Med
2021 Dates: 11-15 July
- Knapping principles
- Reading flint
- Controlling conchoidal fractures
- Hard & soft hammer
- Pressure flaking
- Stone blades
- Resin glues
- Blast furnaces
- Malachite preparation
- Smelting copper
- Bronze alloys
- Lost wax technique
- Bronze blades
- Simple coke forges
- Forging & smithing
- Annealing & tempering
- Iron blades
- Handling & sharpening
Stone – Your instructor will be John Lord, arguably the countries most experienced and finest flint knapper. John studied Stone Age technology at Grime’s Graves, neolithic site, for over a decade. He has crafted many replica stone artefacts for universities and museums. John was recently awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the flint industry.
Bronze – Your instructor will be Will Lord, John’s son, Will spent many years mastering the entire spectrum of skills needed to survive any time before the end of the Bronze Age, from flint knapping to the magical alchemy of transforming rocks into metal.
Iron & Steel – Your instructor will be David Watson, who has created and runs the Moorforge Viking Settlement. David started blacksmithing for British Steel, but now specialises in traditional blacksmithing and forging skills.
- This course is fully catered throughout.
- It includes camping fees and any specialist equipment.
- We offer a complimentary pick-up and drop-off service from and to the nearest railway station at set times.