Awesome, wish I knew how to work flint. Know some areas I can find large (grapefruit-sized +/-) pieces and should start the learning process.
How long did it take you (HWY_MAN and flintknapper) to acquire these skills, or at least the basics to build and improve upon?
Hank...the 'basics' could be learned in just a few days if you are interested in just making smaller points. The person who taught me (just enough to get started) was a student and friend of Craig Ratzat. He spent a couple of days at my home showing me the basic techniques but put a LOT of emphasis on understanding the WHY'S and WHY NOT'S of what he was doing. In other words...the concepts and principles involved.
Once you understand how the energy travels through/across the material then its a matter of practice. The finer techniques (notching, serrations) and such will take some practice. But you can learn to 'pressure flake' small serviceable points in a matter of days. Of course, you'll get better with practice. Your first points will be pretty crude. Percussion work (larger pieces usually) takes more time.
If a person were to attend a 'knap-in' and ask around...you would learn SO much faster than just experimenting by yourself. At the time @HWY_MAN and I were first learning...there was no internet or YouTube (late 70's early 80's). There was a smattering of written material and the revival of the flintknapping art was underway but nothing like it would become.
IF you can handle a little disappointment (because you ARE going to break some pieces that seem to be coming along) and accept that you will have 'plateaus' that you might struggle to get past...then just about anyone can learn it.
Use good quality material and know that some material is MUCH easier to work than others. I don't recommend folks start with Obsidian for instance, just good quality flint/chert.
Be patient and when you have failures ask yourself WHY? Was it the material (it could be) or your technique?
And on days when it just isn't working for you, put it down! Come back later...don't become flustered.
While notching a pretty nice Desert Side Notch point from some heat treated Agate....I wasn't paying attention to how hard I was gripping the point and snapped it in two.
My 'teacher/friend' was sitting beside me knapping out his own point. He could see the look on my face. Then he uttered the most important thing of that entire trip and I've never forgotten it, he calmly said to me: "It's just a rock, we'll make another".