These are the photos from today’s Bronze Age arrowhead workshop. This is our last workshop at Staircase House and it feels a little sad. Christine and Graham have made us feel very welcome and I have grown to like the museum.
We started off with a look at the prehistory section of the museum, and then went upstairs for the lecture bit. I divided the session into two parts: the first discussing the role stone tools have played in how we have organised our understanding of prehistory; the second, and practical part, about how making can help us understand stone tools. I had taken in some handling artefacts to allow people to get a feel for the periods, and finally, why we were using glass.
And then we were off, starting with the ever popular removing of the beer bottle base.
I have introduced a new health and safety innovation, protective gloves. I bought them from Huddersfield Market about two months ago and this was their first outing. No plasters were needed today and so they are now a fixture.
After the soft hammer thinning we went for our coffee break. This was opportune as it allowed me to demonstrate the pressure flaking when we came back up. Pressure flaking is the most difficult part for people to get to grips with, and I allow time towards the end to finish of anyone’s problem bits. Let’s just say I was in demand.
The discussion section at the end went very well and everyone had something to say. It still amazes me how people can share so freely with each other about their experience whilst still not really knowing each other. There was pleasant surprise at the experience of using glass as a material, and the difficulty of pressure flaking. Pressure flaking is hard and it is ambitious to try and get people up and running in a starter session like this. I hope coming away with a result is incentive for people (who want to) to carry on with their own practice.
Anyway, my thanks to Nacho for helping me set up and my friend Chris Garry for taking the photos and providing the transport. I am also grateful to Christine and Graham at Staircase House and the folks at Creative Manchester who have facilitated this series of workshops.