Archive for March, 2013

Sow’s Ear to be Auctioned at the 2013 WCHF in Washington

March 27, 2013

It all started at the West Coast Horn Fair last year in Morro Bay, California, Scott Morrison was given the challenge of starting with a bad cow horn (Sow’s Ear) and turning it into a “Silk Purse”.

Finished Banded Horn by Scott Morrison

Finished Banded Horn by Scott Morrison

John (Bigsmoke) Shorb gave a talk on “choosing your horn”. He had several examples of horns with defects that would lend a person to pass when choosing. One example that he recommended passing up was a thin, translucent, misshapened horn that had a severe delamination at the tip.

Scott Morrison recalls, “I was sitting in the back of the room with Steve Skillman in “Heckler’s” row and I just couldn’t let this go by. I told John something to the effect that this was nonsense and that there was a lot that one cold do with the horn. John came right back and said that when the horn came to me (it was being passed around the room) to go ahead and keep it. The gauntlet had been taken off and the challenge issued;  John was pretty much telling me to put up or shut up.”

“Well now honor was at stake and I could not back down. So I took up the challenge and not only would I take this “Sow’s Ear” and make some sort of “Silk Purse” with it, but it would come back to the West Coast Horn Fair in 2013 to be  auctioned off.”

“The horn sat in my to do box until recently when I decided that I needed to “get-r-done”. When I got back from the WCHF last year, all I had done with it was to cut off the tip and drill the spout. I had originally thought that the horn would be good for a Southern banded horn with an applied tip and when I cut and drilled it, I saw that there was plenty of material for such a horn.”

The de-lamination in this tip was sanded off.

The de-lamination in this tip was sanded off.

“As you can see in the photo, there is approximately 1/2 inch at the tip, which would be plenty for an applied tip or even threaded for a screw tip. The discoloration at the tip is where the internal separation of the horn layers occurred. I decided on a horn with an applied antler tip.”

“I had turned a base plug and fitted a rear ring to the horn and when I did a trial fit of an antler tip the horn looked too long to my eye. I ended up taking about 3/4 inch more off of the tip which improved the proportion. There was still plenty of material at the tip so I had no problem fitting the antler.”

Applied Tip made from antler repair the defective tip.

Applied Tip made from antler repair the defective tip. 

“Of greater concern to me wasn’t the tip but the thinness of the horn. When the horn was cleaned and polished, there was left humps and hollows from the sander that was used. One side of the horn was also pretty flat. Normally, there is enough wall thickness on a horn that I can work it to some semblance of round. However, since this horn was to thin, I was afraid that if I tried to round it I might break through the wall. The best I could hope for was to remove the humps and hollows and have a smooth body. The flat spot would have to remain.”

Scott Morrison Horn before staining.

Scott Morrison Horn before staining.

“I first thought of having just one band on the horn, but decided that this would be too uninteresting so I went with three bands. I heated the bands so they were pliable and they slipped around the oblong shape of the body easily, leaving no gaps. The base plug is walnut. The button finial is turned horn and tapered to slip fit into the base.”

Banded horn By Scott Morrison

Banded horn By Scott Morrison

Two of the Three bands

Two of the Three bands. Scott says the flat spot is in the picture.

“I heated the bands so they were pliable and they slipped around the oblong shape of the body easily, leaving no gaps.”

Base Plug with WCHF for West Coast Horn Fair.

Base Plug with WCHF for West Coast Horn Fair.

“The base plug is walnut. The button finial is turned horn and tapered to slip fit into the base.”

Stained with aqua fortis, then added a patina

Stained with aqua fortis, then added a patina

“The horn was stained with aqua fortis, then a patina applied with a combination of shoe polish and black powdered tempura paint.”

The horn is translucent and light as a feather.

The horn is translucent and light as a feather.

“It measures 15 inches along the outside curve and 2 1/4 inches across at the base. The horn is nice and translucent and light as a feather.”

“I think it is an acceptable “Silk Purse” made from the “Sow’s Ear” that was the original horn.”

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“Hawkeye” Horn Strap and Osceola’s Garters

March 14, 2013

This is a picture of the blue and white belt worn by Daniel Day Lewis. It was used as a horn belt in the movie “Last of the Mohicans”. It is  also known at the “Hawkeye Belt”

Hawkeye from the Movie, "The Last of the Mohicans"

Hawkeye from the Movie, “The Last of the Mohicans”

This replica of the above Horn strap was made by Gary Bertelson, gbertels@insight.rr.com and donated to 2013 The West Coast Horn Fair for a raffle prize.

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This donation  is made with from replica wampum beads, woven on brain tanned deer hide laces with artificial sinew.  It is long!  The beaded portion measures  50 inches plus 15 inches of lace fringe on each end. You can reach gary at:  gbertels@insight.rr.com

Gary also sent  a set of  “Osceola” beaded garters.   These are based on the original piece at the National Museum of the American Indian
which says they are associated with Osceola and included in a George
Catlin painting.  They are beaded in wool yarn.

Replica Beaded Garters associated with Osceola, Seminole. Donated for the WCHF Raffle

Replica Beaded Garters associated with Osceola, Seminole. Donated for the WCHF Raffle

This is the picture of the originals from the website of  The National Museum of the American Indian.

Original Garters associated with Osceola (Seminole, 1803–1838)

Original Garters associated with Osceola (Seminole, 1803–1838)

The National Museum of the American Indian states this about the garters in their museum:

“These leg garters likely belonged to the Seminole leader Osceola. Born in 1804 to Polly Coppinger, a part Muscogee Creek woman, Osceola was the most famous of several Seminole leaders who rose to prominence during the Second Seminole War, from 1835 to 1842. Osceola, whose name means Black Drink Singer, was also strong in medicine and was known for his ability to consume the black drink made from yaupon holly.

Seminole leader Osceola Portrait by George Catlin 1838.

Seminole leader Osceola Portrait by George Catlin 1838.

“Osceola enjoyed the stature and recognition that he had earned. George Catlin produced two paintings of Osceola. In each of them the war leader wears clothes of Seminole tradition. These finger-woven wool garters, which have beads woven into the pattern, are very similar to the garters Osceola wore in Catlin’s full-length portrait, painted in 1838, shortly before the Seminole leader’s death while he was imprisoned at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina.

Source:  The National Museum of the American Indian.

West Coast Horn Fair 2013 Raffle Prizes

March 12, 2013

The West Coast Horn fair will be held in Littlerock WA April 26, 27 and 28 2013. The event is funded entirely by raffle tickets.  Horn makers from all over the US have donated prizes for this raffle.

You do not need to be present to win. We mail the prizes to you at no cost to you. For a complete list of all the prizes and a link to buy tickets click HERE

Southern Banded Horn by Scott Sibley

Southern Banded Horn by Scott Sibley

This Southern Banded Powder Horn was donated by Scott Sibley.  The horn measures 13″ around the double curve.  Scott filed the horn to make it much lighter in weight. The tip is turned Whitetail antler and it done in two pieces as were the majority of original horns. The tip and bands are fastened with wooden pegs.

Applied Tip on Sibley's Horn

Applied Tip on Sibley’s Horn

There are four turned bands. The base plug is cherry, turned with a “wasp waist” design as per an original “Shenandoah Valley” horn that is in Scott’s collection.  The dark color is also like the original horn.

Wampum beaded Belt “Hawkeye Belt”donated by Gary Bertelsen

Wampum belt patterned after the movie The Last of the Mohicans. By Gary Bertelsen

Wampum belt patterned after the movie The Last of the Mohicans. By Gary Bertelsen

This is designed after the belt Daniel Day Lewis used as a horn belt in the
movie “Last of the Mohicans” also known at the “Hawkeye Belt”

It is made with replica wampum beads, woven on brain tanned deer hide
laces with artificial sinew.

Measures (beaded portion) 50 inches plus 15 inches of lace fringe on each
end – At 50 inches, this is a strap that will fit a Big Boy. gbertels@insight.rr.com

“Osceola” beaded garters.

Second prize by Gary Bertelsen (no picture yet)I included a set of “Osceola” beaded garters.   These are based on the original piece at the National Museum of the American Indian which says they were actually worn by Osceola and included in a George Catlin painting. gbertels@insight.rr.com

Horn Box donated by Tim Sanner

Horn Box donated by Tim Sanner

Horn Box donated by Tim Sanner

Tim Sanner is a Journeyman Horner in the Honourable Company of Horners.  This little container is called a Horn Box. The box is made of cow horn with a walnut base.  The lid is turned walnut with a white horn ring.  It measures 3 1/2″ tall and 2 1/2″ in diameter. This is a piece anyone would be proud to own.

13 WCHF Yosef

Artist Proof on cow horn by Yosef Trilling

13 WCHF Yosef (640x480)

Artist Proof on cow horn by Yosef Trilling

Two artist’s proof horns engraved by Yosef Trilling. He takes a cow horn and engraves a new subject to see exactly how it will look on the curved and limited surface of the horn. Yosef can be found on eBay and the CLA site. Also atrilling@kc.rr.com.

Engraving tool made and donated by David Rase.

Engraving tool made and donanted by David Rase.

Engraving tool made and donated by David Rase.

Engraving Tool by David Rase

This tool can be used to do some fine engraving on a powder horn. The tip is a Coulter Precision carbide point held in place with a set screw so the tip can be changed out when it gets dull.  Dave hand turned the brass holder and installed a blue grip cushion.  You can reach David  at davidrase@q.com

THE HARTLEY HORN DRAWINGS

This hard back book was donated by Jeff Bibb at The Honourable Company of Horners.

Robert M. Hartley made these drawings documenting historic powder horns. The  drawings are laid out so you see all sides of the horn. There are close-up photos of  the Royal Coat of Arms, rivers, cities and towns, forts and animals.

The Hartley Horn Drawings donated by The Honourable Company of Horners

The Hartley Horn Drawings donated by The Honourable Company of Horners

Detail from the pages of The Hartley Book
Detail from the pages of The Hartley Book

Detail from the pages of The Hartley Book

Detail from the pages of The Hartley Book