August 3, 2010

Faces of Flint and Osidian

Last month, when I taught a class on three dimensional mosaics, I proposed that my students incorporate materials at their immediate disposal in addition to the items that were purchased. In this way their time, location and what happened there could be commemorated.. Needless to say this had pragmatic goals as well - keeping green by recycling resources. To this end I demonstrated by creating a three dimensional face consisting of parts that were the byproducts of other arts and crafts classes.
There was a jewelry class upstairs, a woodworking class next door, and a blacksmithing class outdoors. In a small grove just outside our studio was an unusual class on flint napping. The instructor in the latter class had brought with him a plethora of obsidian and flint for napping into arrowheads, knives and spears. The painstaking process was fascinating and were it not for having to teach at the time, I might have taken this course. Fortunately for us, there was significant "waste" of flint and obsidian pieces from the napping process and discards of material which had fault lines inconsistent with making a good tool. The instructors were very generous with cast off materials and I used them to create the face of flint and obsidian to the right. I found that these materials could be nipped down and fitted fairly well with a rotary glass cutter.
My student followed suit with a more carefully arranged mosaic made with flint pictured above.
Unpacking today, I came across my own cache of flint and obsidian. It will rest in my studio until it finds the right place for something with swirling white and grey.

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