This coming Saturday I will attend a Scout show in Wray Colorado, demonstrating flint knapping to local scouts from northeast Colorado. A longtime friend of mine from high school and a scouter had reached out last year and asked if I would be willing to come out and provide an introduction to flint knapping for the local scout show, and of course I happily agreed.
Just a sad side note, this Saturday is also the memorial service for Knapper Bob and after learning about the conflict in dates, I shared this with Laurey Patten. She encouraged me to go ahead and attend the scout show to “teach knapping” to the scouts as she thought Bob would want me too rather than attend his service. So with a heavy heart I will miss Bob’s memorial but know I have his support in spirit. I will attend the scout show with hopes of providing a positive knapping experience for these young scouts, just like Bob would want.
Anyway as part of my preparation, I decided I would attempt to replicate the “Wray” point type as described in Jeb Taylor’s book titled “Projectile Points of the High Plains”. Since I am meeting in Wray, why not try to link in a local point type? Not sure how many have seen this publication but since it speaks about the different point types found in the region I grew up in, it was a wonderful read and this point type was one that I had not yet tried to make. According to Jeb’s account, Henry Els was leveling a pivot sprinkler site when excavation revealed some big bones along with some flint projectiles which were later named “Wray”.
The Wray point type closely resembles a Calf Creek but the notches are all shorter and not so pronounced as the Calf Creek. I would say this point looks more like an Andice or the Southeast’s Hernando or the Northwest’s Hell Canyon point, basal notched in on the stem and not as deep as the Calf Creek. Regardless, I have never been very good at basal notching and to replicate this point, learning to basal notch was a must. Needless to say, since starting, I have blown off several ears but I am now finally able to replicate the point and have included a few I will take with me this weekend:
After beginning this project, I have since learned that the points mentioned in Jeb’s book were actually given to the Wray Museum by Henry Els. It is my hope that I can sneak over to the Museum to get a firsthand look at the actual points found at the Bison Kill site when we finish Saturday afternoon. I will share any updates after making the trip out to Wray assuming I have any to share.
Regardless, looking forward to making the trip with hopes of influencing some future knapper’s.
Thanks for looking…Tim