THE LITHIC ARTISTS GUILD
article illustrates several examples of "exotic" art forms made by
some of today's most highly skilled
flintknapper's. The focus of this article is to introduce the latest
issue of the "Modern Lithic Artists Journal" number 5, now
in print. The journal is printed by the Lithic Artists Guild which
is an organization, founded by Tom Onken in
2004. This month is the Guild's fifth anniversary. Their web site is
HISTORY OF THE LITHIC
by Tom Onken
The Lithic Artists Guild was
founded by myself in the summer of 2004. The main goal of the Lithic
Artists Guild has been to promote Modern Lithic Art as a legitimate art
form. The Guild has helped to greatly expand today's collector's market
as well as significantly increase the value of today's best art work.
After operating in Manito, Illinois for one year I decided to move the
Guild's business operation to the Pella, Iowa area in the Spring of
2006. A new building was built to provide the necessary room for growth
On September 1, 2009 the Guild will celebrate its fifth
anniversary. As part of that celebration the Guild will induct 15
artists and 15 collectors in the Guild's Hall of Game. All Hall of Fame
members have been strong supporters of the Guild as well as the flint
Additionally, the Guild has introduced the Masterpieces of Modern
Lithic Art Gallery as part of our official web site. Our Goal is to be
"Simply the Best" web site sales gallery for top end works of Modern
Lithic Art. When you log onto
you will see some of the finest modern arrowheads in the country being
offered for sale today.
2009 commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Lithic Artists Guild. I
originally organized the Guild to promote Modern Lithic Art as a
legitimate art form."---2009,
Tom Onken, "Modern Lithic Artists Journal."
"My collection of modern points is at my (dentist)
office where I enjoy them everyday, and I am constantly showing them to
Leslie Pfeiffer, "Modern Lithic Artists Journal," p. 1.
"After investigating where some of these
fine modern pieces were coming from in the wrong marketplace and getting
to know some of the better knappers in the process I have become
converted to a different way of collecting called "Modern Lithic Art."---2009,
Rodney Chapman, "Modern Lithic Artists Journal," p. 1.
"To watch a
knapper pursue a point from only a pebble or take on a large chunk of
stone using another stone, wood, antler, or copper tool---their
creations never cease to astonish."---2009,
Carolyn Johnson, "Modern Lithic Artists Journal," p. 2.
"Without question the Guild has made me a better
knapper! It has also and most importantly taken modern lithic art to a
new collectable level!"---2009,
Ed Moreland, "Modern Lithic Artists Journal," p. 2.
THE LITHIC ARTISTS GUILD
The Lithic Artists Guild is a recent and new phenomenon that has
established itself in just a few short years. People are beginning to
collect modern lithic art more now than ever before. The word is getting
out through the "Modern Lithic Artists Journal." This is the only
publication that illustrates in color all the latest and finest examples
of modern lithic art.
SAN ANDREAS FAULT POINTS
BY STEVE ALLELY
These points are not broken and glued together! They are made from
single pieces of Obsidian. Steve calls them San Andreas Fault
points. They are made from uniquely colored pieces of Obsidian which
illusion of broken points that are glued together. These points are
the result of very skillful
knapping and artistic innovation. They are
wonderful examples of a fresh and new type of lithic art.
Steve Allely has been knapping for 40 years. He is best known
for his world class Columbia River gem points.
There have been five Modern Lithic Artists Journal's" printed
to date. The first two issues were larger and can be purchased for $30.
each. numbers three, four and five are $20. each. Next year the Lithic
Artists Guild will begin publishing two journals a year. They can be
ordered from the Guild's web site at
Steve Allely is known for his exquisitely crafted
arrow points. This picture illustrates some of his work. All are
very thin and delicate. The fourth point from the left is one of his
San Andreas fault points---it really is made from one piece of stone
and is not glued together!
Also, for anyone who
wants to collect modern lithic art, be sure and go to the Lithic Artists
Guild web site to see some of the beautiful pieces that are available
for sale. You can contact Tom Onken for prices or to let him know what
type of lithic art you are interested in.
These five Clovis points were made by Woody Blackwell and are now
in the Leslie Pfeiffer collection. They are made of Alibates and
Tecovas Jasper. The largest point measures 6 1/2 inches (16.5 cm)
Woody Blackwell has been knapping for over 19 years. He is
considered by many collectors to be one of the best knappers living
today. His Ross points are his signature points.
Very few ancient artifacts can compare to the fine craftsmanship
exhibited by today's best knappers. Modern knappers are still producing many of the
most recognizable point types copied from ancient cultures. But they are
also producing a fascinating array of innovative and unique art pieces.
Woody Blackwell is know for his
beautifully made Ross blades. This is another fine example of his
work. It's made of Georgia Jasper and it measures 12 inches (30.4
Every year now, lithic artists are producing new and innovative art that
has never been seen before. There seems to be no limit to the different
forms. As an example, Steve Alley has recently made what he calls San
Andreas Fault points. He made them from pieces of Obsidian that are
translucent on one end and opaque on the other and meet in a straight line.
The design of the point takes advantage of the area where the two colors
meet. The point is flaked to look as though it's two different points
that have been glued together. His points are illustrated in this
HOPPER AND STEVE ALLELY
The four triple-notched Cahokia style points in this picture were
made by Jim Hopper. Jim Hopper is famous for his flake-over-grinding technique
of pressure flaking. Tom Onken says, "No one is any better at
pressure flaking with a mule deer antler tine than Jim." Jim Hopper
has been flintknapping for over 50 years.
The other three points in this picture were made by Steve
Allely. The long white point measures 4 1/2 inches (11.4 cm) long.
Another form of lithic art has been produced by Woody
Blackwell. These might be described more as sculptures. They incorporate
additional materials such as wood, iron and twine to achieve the desired
art model. One sculpture involves a well made biface that is suspended
high above a large number of percussion flakes that cascade down and
spread outward on the base below. Another example is a hand made from
red glass that is suspended in a net between a wooden frame.
CONTINUE ON TO PAGE
Whittaker, John C., "American Flintknappers," pp. 34-37.
Onken, Tom, "Modern Lithic Artists Journal," Volume 5.
2009, Personal Contact, Tom Onken.