When Ed Moreland was a child, he told his mother he wanted to someday be a rock star.

When Ed Moreland was a child, he told his mother he wanted to someday be a rock star.

Now in his 50s, Moreland is considered a rock star. Instead of dragging a pick across the strings of an electric guitar, however, he takes primitive tools and shapes flint into knife blades, arrowheads and spear tips.

"We're just a bunch of rock heads," he joked of himself and friends who knap flint as a hobby.

Knapping is the ancient art of creating sharp weapons or tools out of flint or stone, and Moreland is one of the organizers of one of the largest knap-in events in the country, right in his own backyard, so to speak.

The Flint Ridge Knap-In will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 4 to 6 at Flint Ridge State Memorial Park, 7091 Brownsville Road, Glenford. The event is sponsored by the Flint Ridge Lithic Society, of which Moreland is vice president.

Listening to people like Moreland explain the process of shaping flint is like an expedited lesson in history. He said it started thousands of years ago, when ancient people found the large outcropping of flint at Flint Ridge in Ohio.

"It's the prettiest flint in the world," Moreland said, adding, "Of course, I'm biased."

Moreland is not alone is his categorization of the local flint, though. Bill Weaver, vice president of the Licking Valley Heritage Society, has a bias.

"Flint Ridge's flint is the best," he said.

During the knap-in, people will be able to see more than 100 artisans creating tools, weapons and ornaments out of flint -- some using the same process as their forefathers did.

"It really is an art," Weaver said. "Some produce real exacting replicas, exactly like what Native Americans would have made during that period of time, 2,000 to 10,000 years ago."

Moreland said flint now is extracted using backhoes and sledgehammers. Primitive people used stones and bone.

Some artisans have adopted the use of copper in their work. Others still use bone and rocks to shape the flint. Moreland said large stones found in creeks would have been used to hammer a piece of flint into a rough shape of a blade or spear tip by chipping flakes of flint off the larger piece. Native Americans then used a smaller, sharper bone to pry smaller flakes off, refining the shape and sharpening the flint. The same implement was used to resharpen the flint.

"Flint meant food," Weaver said. "It keeps a sharp edge for a long time."

Moreland said Native Americans were "great survivors," which is why they used flint for everything from cutting plants to hunting animals.

During the weekend event, marksmen will demonstrate how to launch six-foot spears long distances using a tool called an atlatl. An archaeologist will be on site Friday, giving a presentation on some of his finds at dusk. He will be at the Flint Ridge Museum on Saturday and Sunday, answering questions about pieces individuals bring to him.

Weaver said the archaeologist would take an "Artifacts Road Show" approach, telling people the probable origin of the piece, its uses and its value. Demonstrations will be given on the hour every hour Saturday and Sunday. At 4 p.m. Saturday, a piece created by every vendor will be auctioned off to raise money for next year's knap-in. Proceeds go to the Flint Ridge Lithic Society, which organizes the annual event.

In past years, the knap-in has attracted up to 4,000 people during the weekend to knap, camp, shop and learn.

Moreland said there's a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with the event organizers.

"It's the place," he said. "They come here because Indians did thousands of years ago. This was a quarry. People came; they gathered. It's the place itself."

Admission to the event is free, but parking will cost $5. Camping is available on site for $15, and food vendors will be set up throughout the weekend. For more information, visit www.flintridgeknapin.com.

The Licking Valley Heritage Society currently operates the Flint Ridge Museum on weekends: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The Ohio Historical Society previously operated the museum.