Pinpoint: Washington County
Born in Georgia on an old Native American quarry, Jason Harper has always had an interest in primitive skills. He tinkered with flintknapping in college but found it a very difficult skill to master. After marrying his wife, Missy, and settling into his home in Pennsylvania, he found the long, cold winters the ideal time to perfect the craft.
Flintknapping is the art of lithic reduction or as Jason likes to call it, controlled breakage. He takes a larger rock, typically a much less pointy rock, and makes it into a smaller more useful rock. Historically speaking, shaping rocks in this way was done to create weapons used in hunting or food preparation. Today, this preparation creates breathtaking and inspiring art that allows Jason to express himself when making jewelry or custom knives.
The mediums he typically works in vary from project to project. Most commonly, he uses obsidian and stone, but he even works with TV glass. He uses a variety of tools when working, but he finds ancient tools far more satisfying than the metal ones. It doesn’t take much to understanding this sentiment. Looking at his works, it is very easy to see that he likes things real and raw, but beautiful. One piece, an opalized glass knife, hafted with rawhide to a wood handle, containing tunnels from wood boring beetles, exemplifies this desire.
In 2012, his inventory of arrowheads had become quite large and he and Missy decided to open an Etsy shop (PrimitiveNotionsShop.etsy.com). You can also find him on Facebook by searching for Primitive Notions Shop. Additionally, he has a YouTube channel called PaPoints. Subscribe and follow him to learn tips of the trade, or quite frankly, to see more of his spectacular works of art.
If you want to meet Jason in person, you may be able to find him at a few shows and festivals throughout the state. Last year, he was at the Whiskey Rebellion Festival in Washington, PA in July. He was also at the Stone to Steel: Native American Heritage Weekend in Waynesburg, PA in September. You can also contact him directly at PaPoints@gmail.com.