Ken Peek

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Ken's life-long interest in nature and the outdoors began with numerous family camping trips to the Sierra Nevada range as well as the Northwest and Southwest. It seems he's always wanted to make things by hand, and this interest was mentored early on by his great-grandfather, a make-anything carpenter from the Old Country, and a favorite uncle whose hobbies included woodworking, metalworking, jewelry, and lapidary work. The rockhound in Ken was encouraged early on, and to this day he still spends most of his time studying the ground while outdoors! Later on, when an interest in flint-knapping developed, it proved to be the best of all worlds: being out in nature, rock collecting, and hand-crafting at its most fundamental, all rolled into one! In the late 90's, Ken was instrumental in organizing the first Coyote Hills Knap-In in Fremont, CA, which has become an annual event attended by numerous Bay Area knappers. Although stone-working was his first love, he's since branched out and tried his hand at everything from gourd-crafting to basketry, and just about any craft involving plants and natural materials. After thirty-plus years with the California Native Plant Society, he definitely considers himself to be a "plant person", and is constantly seeking new ethnobotanical information regarding plant uses. Ken's demos on Native technologies and plant uses have been incorporated into his children's school curriculum, and his local school board recently awarded him a certificate of recognition for "bringing history alive" and "inspiring many future archaeologists and historians."

"Working with kids and generating enthusiasm in them has definitely become a focus for me," Ken says. "If there's one message I like to leave with them, it's that everything we have, need, and see around us comes from the Earth. I hope that my interests will help people re-connect with the natural world that sustains us all".

Teaching: 

Flintknapping

Come learn the basics of stone tool production, which our ancestors have performed for over two million years. Using obsidian, or volcanic glass, learn some basic principles and techniques that will help you along your way to producing your own knives, arrowheads, scrapers, and more. We will learn to make simple usable flake tools, and explore the steps to making more complex tools such as spear points and arrowheads, through both percussion and pressure flaking.

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