WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Gems, Fossils & Flint Knapping

Macomb, IL – A steady stream of people flowed into the Geodeland Earth Science Club, Inc's (GESCI) 30th Annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil show in the Western Illinois University Union Grand Ballroom.

Among other things, visitors could see Harold Boysen demonstrate the craft of flint knapping. Boysen is a farmer from Morning Sun.

"I make a bunch of arrowheads. I give most of them away to the kids then go back and make some more for the next one," says Boysen.

You can hear Boysen talk about flint knapping by clicking on the audio button.

Boysen started flint knapping six years ago, but says he's been interested in arrowheads for many years.

"When we plowed the field, driving real slow with the tractor, you'd find arrowheads. They just always intrigued me," says Boysen.

Other people were on hand to demonstrate shell engraving, fossil preparation, egg and rock painting, scrimshaw, geode cracking, glass bead making, lampworking, and faceting gemstones.

The featured speaker at the show was Dr David Hess, Professor Emeritus of Geology at WIU. He talked about geodes.

The show included special exhibits such as a T-Rex skull loaned by the Field Museum in Chicago. Other exhibits featured meteorites, fluorescent minerals, and memorial cabochons.

Retail dealers were also part of the show.

GESCI is comprised of a number of clubs, including Central Illinois Gem & Mineral Club, Edwards River Earth Science Club, Fulton County Rock Hounders, Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society, Peoria Academy of Science (Geology Section), West Central Illinois Rock and Mineral Club, and Worthen Earth Searchers of Hancock County.