VIDEO: Obsidian spearhead knapping 101

Our very own Senior Heritage Consultant and Archaeologist at AHS, Owen Budd, also happens to be our resident knapping expert! 

Owen’s fascination with stone tools, as a means to connect with and better understand native cultures, started as a teenager. 

“I had this belief that to understand the place, you had to really understand how native people thought and so I really wanted to understand the place I lived,” Owen explained. 

“I thought the best way to do that was basically reproducing stone tools and learning the ways they did it.” 

Over the years, Owen knapped thousands of spearheads ranging from North American style obsidian glass spearheads to West Australian glass bottle Kimberley Points – with a collection to trump most! 

Keeping the traditional art of spearhead knapping alive is something Owen is very passionate about, which is why he has devoted so much time to learning region-specific methods from elders and local experts.  

In fact, Owen has even gifted his traditionally crafted Kimberley Points to Indigenous groups around Australia on his travels, where the spearheads are prized for their beauty – mesmerising in their colour and ability to refract light. 

Watch Owen make knapping look easy, as he applies his 15+ years of experience to shape a piece of obsidian using a deer antler as his traditional tool of choice!