Posts Tagged ‘Free Mason’

Kevin Hart of Oregon, Featured Artist

August 30, 2014

Kevin Hart writes:
As a young boy, I remember two things that interested me most. One was movies or television that had something to do with flintlock rifles and the frontier. The other was listening to my parent’s records. Two of my favorite movies to this day were ones that I saw when very young.Tansel  b
They are “Across the Wide Missouri” staring Clark Gable and “The Big Sky” with a young Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin & Arthur Hunnicutt as the wise old free trapper. At that time Arthur Hunnicutt was my favorite actor and still is to this day. Of course, spending time in front of the television with my brothers watching “Davy Crockett” and “Daniel Boone” also played a major influence on me later in life as well. Westerns were always a favorite, but the movies that dealt with trappers, Native Americans, flintlocks rifles and black powder were what I always wanted to watch.

Detail on the Hart Ledger Horn

Detail on the Hart Ledger Horn

I grew up smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles which is not very ideal for a young man wanting to explore the outdoors and experience what’s beyond the next mountain range. Following high school, I attended Los Angeles City College for two years, then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and finished college with a Communications Degree. My chosen field at the time was Radio and over that time period worked as an announcer for 3 different stations. It just so happened that I walked into a small gun store and was surprised to see that all they sold were black powder rifles and related accoutrements of the fur trade. This greenhorn couldn’t get enough stories and spent many hours sitting around the pot belly stove in that store listening to the many windies those boys could tell. Well, my passion was reborn. I bought my first black powder rifle then and haven’t looked back since. I eventually moved back to the Los Angeles area and went back to school two separate times and got in on the ground floor of the Telecommunications boom in the 1980s.

Hart Tansel 13 05 A

Cup that goes with the Tansel Horn

Cup that goes with the Tansel Horn

I met my wife Debbie during this time period and after a few years living in Santa Monica, CA we were able to purchase a nice mountain home located about an hour north of Valencia, CA. Two great kids came along but unfortunately the two hour drive down from paradise to work each day and back was difficult so after 6 years on the mountain, we moved back down in amongst them again. I had always had the dream of living in Oregon, and was finally able to transfer north in the mid 1990s and in 2003 I retired.

04 Top White

While living in New Mexico I attended local rendezvous and the same was true in California. One of my favorite rendezvous was 1982’s NMLRA/NAPR rendezvous held in the Uinta Mountains of Utah. Daily work and family commitments for many years superseded time at rendezvous so we were limited to smaller weekend events. Since the 2000’s I have had the great pleasure of attending with my brother Allen, many PPR (Pacific Primitive Rendezvous) events in Washington, Utah, Idaho, California and of course my home state of Oregon.

05 Eagle stained

In addition to the fur trade, one of my other passions is antique furniture from the Arts & Crafts period. In my late teens, I restored my first of many tiger oak pieces and eventually I began crafting and selling Arts & Craft recreations such as clocks, framed tiles and small furniture pieces. It seemed that I was always in need of some added accouterments for my persona, which led me to start making cases for black powder firearms, powder horns and other items.

Pistol Box and accessories by Keven Hart

Pistol Box and accessories by Keven Hart

The many great books and videos available today really helped me believe I could make the items I needed instead of purchasing them which helped improve my art greatly. My thanks go out to all the many artists who through personal instruction, books and videos shared their knowledge with me and others so that our American Tradition can continue.

You can reach him at

Keven Hart

Keven Hart

harts.athome@frontier.com

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“Freemason Horn, Problems and All” by Kevin Hart

March 13, 2014

Guest Artist Kevin Hart is a good friend of ours from Oregon.  He plans to attend The West Coast Horn Fair this coming April.

Free Mason Horn by Keven Hart

Free Mason Horn by Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart writes: “Have you ever made a horn that from the very beginning and all the way to completion it went smoothly?

You know, from the moment you pick up the raw cow horn, it tells you what it wants to become, from design, to shaping, scrimshawing and staining.
You and the horn form a single creative instrument!
For many of my horns this is what happens. . .
EXCEPT IN THIS CASE!

For this horn, from the very beginning, it was a match of wills, wits, and staying the course.

In the end, who would emerge victorious?
I’m still not sure who won, perhaps it was a split decision?
The battle began after purchasing another fine raw horn on eBay from our friends at Powderhornsandmore.

eBay horn 1260

eBay horn 1260

It all began innocently at first, the symbiotic forces were flowing between the horn and me.
I started with an initial design layout and since the horn was thick, I decided on a lobed horn.

Raw horn cut and wing (lobe) installed.

Raw horn cut and wing (lobe) installed.

The horn was very oval with a noticeable sharp bend along the bottom butt.
It was also very thick from the tip to the butt.
Having worked oval horns in the past, I have a couple of oval forming blocks to allow for some conformity, with the goal of smoothly out the crease along the bottom.
The trouble began when trying to install the forming block.
After a minute in the hot oil bath (Mr. Fry Daddy), the horn was soft enough and I inserted the block.
After a few stern taps, the block was seated nicely and I set it down to dry and cool.
After an appropriate waiting period, I picked up the horn to view its progress.
That’s when I noticed the 1 ½ inch crack along the bottom.
#@&*^$#$#@ Strike 1
Well, there goes my lobed horn and about 1 ½ inches of nice white scrimshaw palate from the butt area.

I tend to appreciate horns that present longer throats. Since this horn was going to reflect symbols associated with the Freemasons, in particular the two-headed eagle, I decided to add a double layer of eagle feathers on the throat right after the engrailing, followed by octagonal flats all the way up to the small rounded tip, interrupted by two small wedding bands.

Throat with eagle feathers, engrailing, octagonal flats rounded tip,  and two small wedding bands

Throat with eagle feathers, engrailing, octagonal flats rounded tip, and two small wedding bands

While doing some final scraping on the bottom edge of the octagon throat, I noticed a small 1/8 inch speck appear.
What in the world??? Can it be that I have scraped and sanding through a 3/16 inch thick horn to the cavity?
@#@$%$$*#@ Strike 2
Quick. . . . Fire up the Mustang, put the top down, and blow away the cobwebs.
So, after half a tank of gas and a few layers of epoxy blended with horn shavings, the small hole was repaired.

At this point I’m pleased to say, the horn and I came to an understanding.
If it wouldn’t present any more challenges, I wouldn’t leave it in the fry daddy overnight.
On the positive side, the horn had lots of soft white surface area allowing me to scrim to my heart’s delight.

In the White

In the White

Titled: The Freemason Horn
Time period: Revolutionary War 1777
Horn length: 14 ½ inches
Throat: 6 inches stained black/dark brown (beginning at the engrailing area, the throat has two sections of what I call eagle tail feathers, then transitions to octagonal to the rounded tip interrupted by two small wedding bands.
Worn: Left side
Body: Stained light/medium yellow with brown undertones
Inscriptions: Within cartouche. Blank area for owner’s name, His horn at Fort Trumbull, January ye 30th AD 1777
“Live upon the level, park upon the square”
Butt plug: Tiger maple (Oval in shape)
Tip: Antique fiddle peg (black)
Finial: Turned & aged copper
Carvings: Freemason Symbols
Top: Sun, Moon with 7 stars, compass & square, parked cannon with 1st American flag (coiled snake) and 13 Stars & Stripes with various standards, trumpets, cannon balls and helmet.

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Top: Sun, Moon with 7 stars, compass & square, with parked cannon

Left side:

In the white

In the white

Left side: All seeing eye over cartouche with inscription, & level

Left side: All seeing eye over cartouche with inscription, & level

Right Side:

Right Side In the White

Right Side In the White

Hour glass, two headed Eagle with Freemasons banner, Masonic handshake, checker board with sprig of Acacia plant and Maker’s Mark.

Hour glass, two headed Eagle with Freemasons banner, Masonic handshake, checker board with sprig of Acacia plant and Maker’s Mark.

Detail of the Base plug:

Base plug with an aged turned copper finial

Base plug with an aged turned copper finial

This horn with the owner’s name engraved is available from Kevin Hart.