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Subjective judging of flintknapping work:

 

As was stated earlier, any subjective judging is debatable and not without controversy. For this reason, at this time we will not add points for grading purposes as we did in the objective side. We will discuss concepts of what to look for in flintknapping work. Some of this will get into very small details which will involve the finer points of flintknapping work. We will include three aspects including flaking pattern, contour and color. It will separate pressure and percussion work because what you can achieve in the two areas vary. We are currently working on a point grading system for the subjective side.

 

Pressure Flaking:

 

Flaking Pattern.   (This is the most important aspect on the subjective side with pressure flaking.)

 

1) The flake sizes should be the same width throughout the piece.

 

2) The flakes coming from both opposite edges should line up and meet, giving it the appearance of one continous flake.

 

3) The depth of the flakes should be the same throughout the piece.

 

4) A ridge in the middle of the piece, makes the flakes easier to control and would cause the piece to not be as thin in diameter, therefore is a negative.(although we realize some artifacts were designed in this fashion)

 

5) A longer narrower flake requires more difficulty to produce.

 

6) For added style and difficutly, a curved flake, as we like to call a "gull wing" in appearance adds to the overall quality of the piece.

 

Contour

 

1) The piece should slowly taper down thiner at both ends of the point.

 

2) The piece should be straight with no "dropped" or curved points.

 

3) No bubbles or "fat" should exist at any part of the piece and are a negative for the piece.

 

4) Any "hinges" or "step flakes" are considered to be a negative to the piece.

 

Color

 

Generally colorful pieces will be more appelling to the eye, so a colorful piece may increase the value. Therefore, a piece with nice color will have more value between two otherwise equal pieces. Although, color alone will not elevate an otherwise substandard piece above one of higher quality. The making of such colorful pieces is also dependent on the material available to the knapper.

 

Percussion

 

Flaking Pattern

 

1) In percussion work you strive to get the same flaking uniformity as with pressure flaking.

 

2) Larger thiner flakes(the flake piece itself actually being removed) require more difficulty to produce the closer you get to finishing the piece.

 

3) The depth of the flakes should be similar throughout the piece.

 

Contour

 

1) The piece should slowly taper down thiner at both ends of the point.

 

2) The piece should be straight with no "dropped" or curved points.

 

3) No bubbles or "fat" should exist at any part of the piece and are a negative for the piece.

 

4) Any "hinges" or "step flakes" are considered to be a negative to the piece