Gary and Mary Schuler, owners of Soaring Stone Artistry, enjoy blending their talents together to create one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts.

Gary’s flint-knapping skills transform raw rock into arrowheads, spear points, knife blades, hearts, and unique shapes. His other passion, collecting antlers of all kinds, allows him to make unique antler handles and stands for the knives.

Mary takes the finished arrowheads and knapped hearts and skillfully fashions them into beautiful necklaces. She likes to use gemstones, river shell, buffalo bone and other natural materials as beads. Her exquisite wire-wrapping and beading talents have earned her the admiration of all who see her necklaces. Mary also frames individual spear points and knives, incorporating feathers and even snake skins into the display.

An amateur archaeologist, Gary has been fascinated since childhood with how Native Americans lived. He learned flint knapping to deepen his knowledge of the process they used to produce arrowheads, knives and spear points. “I’ve gained a whole new level of appreciation for how intelligent and ingenious ancient peoples were,” Gary says.

Gary likes to use native stone from Missouri and surrounding states, but his favorite is obsidian, a glass-like volcanic rock from Oregon. He says, “Obsidian is one of the sharpest materials known to man, with the edge of some flakes just one molecule thick.”

This fragile material is knapped using techniques that are 100% authentic. Unlike some knappers who cut slabs of stone with rock saws, Gary thins and shapes each rock with percussion flaking using an antler or copper billet. Then he finishes the piece with pressure flaking from an antler tine or a copper-tipped flaker. Both percussion and pressure techniques remove each flake of stone individually.

Gary enjoys the challenge of flint knapping since each rock is different and must be shaped in a unique way.  “It’s like playing chess with the stone, deciding which moves to make,” Gary says. “I love the problem-solving aspect of knapping, but also the idea that I can create something beautiful from an ordinary rock.”  The items created by the Schulers are artwork only and are not meant to be reproductions of ancient weapons or tools, nor are they intended to be functional.

“For you will be in league with the stones of the field,

And the beasts of the field will be at peace with you.”

Job 5:23

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