History - Return after 4000 years

Three thousend and five hundred years ago B.C. a Neolithic man digs laboriously through white rock deep in the earth, breaking limestone to find a rounded, smooth kidney - stone. 
Why does he toll so paifully ? 
Why does he shape the kidney - stone into hatchets so persistently ? The hatchet whitch can only be used to a very limited extent? Is it because hecreates the heachets from striped flint – so different from other commonly found kinds of flint? Is it because it can be found in only one place in the world – The Sandomierski Land? How precious is the striped flint hatchet to the man if it makes him wander with it through forests and wilderness for 800 km? Why is he reluctant to part with it even after his death? Man passes away but the hatchet accompanying him to the grave stays intact, as beautiful and smooth as used to be. The answer to all these queries, even if it is only a hypothesis, is the same: It is a special stone to a Neolithic man, and a product made from it is a magic object – a talisman protecting against evil, both in life and after death. Man comes closer to the centre of white concretions. Even if he disregards the exterior shapes so vividly and artistically formed by the unsurpassed master – Nature -, he notices magic inside the stone. He does not know that outlines observed on the surfaces of the stone were created by decaying sponges, which in turn underwent concentric cristallization in the Jurassic sea due to dramatic changes in climate. He can only observe deep seas, rough waves and water surges, so he associates stone with the first element – water. He strikes fire out the stone, which means that two opposite elements slash in one object. Fire complements the magic of flint.
Why does he create hatchets from it?


Is it because according to the oldest symbolism the shape of hatchet designates “thunder” – lightning which is the third element? Is the striped flint hatchet to conquer these three elements? Is it to symbolise them?
Striped flint has vanished for 4000 years. Hatchets and tools were produced from chocolate flint much easier to shape, and then from granite and iron. But the traces of Neolithic man are imprinted in the Krzemionki Opatowskie – the mines discovered in 1922 by Prof. Samsonowicz where blocks of limestone rocks can still be found.  Walking and sometimes crawling along the stone corridors of the mines. I can see in my mind’s eye a crouching shape working hard on piece of striped flint, and I try to answer the question: “Why did striped flint exercise such power over man in that age?” I attempt to look with his eyes at the dreamlike white concretions resembling Moore’s and Arp’s sculptures. I continue with my journey back in time. Following a Neolithic man I split striped flint, and I can see the perfection of art. Created by Nature in every centimetre of the cut stone. In a split piece of stone, I can observe not only an analogy to the violent water element, but I am astonished by enormous variety of other associations. I watch flint landscapes and moods, changing as film frames in a drama, enhanced by refined colours, shades of brown, grey and white. Suddenly I can feel the magic of the rock myself and already know what I must do to bring it back to life after 4000 years. I have been struggling with it in my workshop in Sandomierz since 1972, when I first used striped flint in creating my jewellery. I have been trying to extend this particular magical relationship between man and stone, being convinced that jewellery passed from generation to generation will turn out to be a medium as indestructible and permanent as stone itself.
Apart from its extraordinary magical qualities, striped flint is characterised by the three important features of a jeweller’s stone: scacity, decorative effect and hardness (6,5 on the Mosh’s scale). I feel happy that striped flint in my jewellery can find its way to sensitive people, and that it can become the same magical object to a contemporary man as it was to Neolithic man.
My spectaculations cannot be totally unfounded as healers and water diviners confirm the special powers of flint stone. It is a very Polish kind of stone. Introduced in my jewellery it brings admiration and inspiration when exhibited in Poland or abroad. German and Austrian jewellers have already produced jewellery containing striped flint, using the Polish deposits. And dealing with diamonds, I am very humble in the face of ordinary stone, striped flint – a work of art., rediscovered on planet “Earth”.
© 2023 Cezary Łutowicz - author's gallery