Posts Tagged ‘Powder Horn’

French and Indian Style Horn by Carl Dumke,

September 15, 2014

Carl Dumke just finished a large F&I horn that he was commission to produce. Carl is doing business under the name of Grinning Fox Studios.   Many of Carl’s horns are on his Facebook page.

This horn has the name of the owner in the style of John Bush with some chip carving between the lines of text.

French and Indian Horn  by Carl Dumke

French and Indian Horn by Carl Dumke

This is what Carl wrote: The owner is from Maryland, so I included the original name of the state as Queen Mary’s Land. I also included a few florals to represent the stylized state flower (Black-Eyed Susan).

Queen's Land

Queen’s Land

The spout is carved to represent a tulip flower and flares to a finely-detailed engrailed shoulder.

The spout is carved to represent a tulip flower.

The spout is carved to represent a tulip flower.

On the reverse is a map of the Allegheny Valley with various forts depicted on the map of Braddock’s Road I found in an old book.

The forts

The forts

The plug is made from a piece of tiger maple–you can just see the stripes and it has a turned antler finial. The plug is attached to the body with 5 square steel pins I forged in the shop.

Base Plug

Base Plug of tiger maple and turned antler

The whole horn is just over 19″ long and has been slightly aged. This black, red, and white woven horn strap from my friend Kris Polizzi to finish off the whole look of the horn to give it an authentic 1750s feel.

Finished Horn with strap.

Finished Horn with strap.


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

West Coast Horn Fair 2014 A Success!

April 30, 2014

This year’s West Coast Horn Fair was held April 11th, 12th, and 13th 2014 at the Capitol City Rifle and Pistol Club just South of Olympia. The focus was on Heating and Shaping horns. Friday and Sunday were classes and perusing the many display tables. The highlights were discussions on style, schools, periods and horns and architecture.  Many of the participants were discussed what they want for future events.  Everyone is coming back!  John, Linda, Steve and Jim do not want to miss next years West Coast Horn Fair!  (Photos by Steve Skillman except where noted.)

Glen Sutt's table

Glen Sutt’s table

Scott Morrison's Table

Scott Morrison’s Table

Jerry Frank's  table (Crawdad)

Jerry Frank’s table (Crawdad)

Powder Horns and More's Table

Powder Horns and More’s Table

Bo Brown's Table

Bo Brown’s Table

Last year a table was set up for Harold Moore as the Honored Horner of the year. He was Steve Skillman’s  partner when they first started giving horn making classes with the Gunmakers Guild many years ago. Not long after the W.C.H.F. last year, Harold suffered a stroke.  A noted artist in our area, Bill Connant, agreed to do a portrait of Harold for presentation at this years event on Saturday night. The West Coast Horn Fair 2014 honored Harold Moore, a influential Horn Maker from the West Coast.

Harold and Patty Moore with Bill Conant. Photo my Mike Nesbitt

Harold and Patty Moore with Bill Conant. Photo by Mike Nesbitt

Portrait of Harold Moore

Portrait of Harold Moore.  Photo by Mike Nesbitt


There were demonstrations on making flat horns, spoons, and horn sheets.

One of many Flat horns in a  vise

One of many Flat horns in a vise

Flat horn before inserting base plug.

Don Nissen is holding the flat horn as they prepare to insert the base plug.

Glen Sutt working on a flat horn as Rodger Hodge, Crawdad, Scott Morrison, Lloyd and Chip Kormas look on.

Glen Sutt working on a flat horn as Rodger Hodge, Crawdad, Scott Morrison, Lloyd and Chip Kormas look on.

Many flat horns were made as well as spoons and flat pieces for combs and other items.

Horn spoon

Horn spoon

proj Flattened Horn Sheets

Horn sheets

Here are some of the tools used in the shaping of horn.

One of the many heating pots.

Glenn Sutt working with one of the many heating pots.

Proj Wooden forms for flat horns

Wooden Forms for flat horns

Proj Spoon Sutt Mold

Horn Spoon Mold

A chinning tool is used to inscribe a line at the bottom of the cup.

This chinning tool was made at the fair.

This chinning tool was made at the fair.


We want to thank Steve Skillman, Scott Morrison, Glen Sutt, Chip Kormas, Steve Bama, Bo Brown, Don Kerr, Shawn Martin and Kyle Martin. Jim and Laura Smith cooked all weekend. They brought their killer brownies. Rodger Hodge made badges for participants. Many others worked hard to put this event together.

Next year will be held the First weekend in May at the Capitol City Gun Club in Little Rock WA. We have more ideas, more teachers and more events to present to all the horn makers.


Raffle Prize by Rick Froehlich

March 14, 2011

Rick Froehlich has donated the most fantastic powder horn I have seen in a long time.

Rick Froehlick Raffle Prize Right side

This is a fully engraved and scrimshawed horn. It is a right hip, 16″ long horn with a very pleasant twist. The base plug is a lathe turned drawer-pull base with three steps.

On the outside panel is a stylized Heraldic Federal Eagle that is holding Olive Branches and Arrows.

 The wreath and vining are styled foliage with the berries etc. being depicted

Bottle Shaped Tip

from an 18th century Tulip original engravings from another powder horns.

The spout of the horn has a Zig Zagged carved strap engrailed ring. The spout is shaped into the “bottle” or “bulbed” shape.

"Praise God and Liberty"

Rick writes, “I tried to capture the impression of a Rev. War powder horn, made by a Horner or Gunmaker of the period. I purposely aged it and stressed the appearance to add a well used look.”

You will be very proud to own this work of art.

distressed horn base and base plug

Zig Zagged carved strap engrailed ring

West Coast Horn Fair Raffle Prize by Wild Willy

March 3, 2011

TINDER BOX MADE OUT OF HORN by Wild Willy Frankfort

We are proud to have as one of our raffle prizes a Tinder box made out of horn.  Wild Willy Frankfort of Pennsylvania made one for the West Coast Horn Fair this coming April 1st and 2nd.

This is the most interesting item I have seen in a long time. It is Engraved

Tinder Horn by Wild Willy Frankfort

with the words, “Live Free or Die”.  Also “1798 Lewis Wetzel his Tinder Box”. 

The lid is secured by a flattened horn that has a carved Indian with an open mouth and a shocked expression

Laminated Horn on the lid

on his face. Inside the lid is a wooden compartment for your char secured by a cork. You cannot lose your lid because it is secured by a leather lace that you pull tight from the bottom.

The main compartment of the oval horn is where you will carry your flint and steel cushioned by some tinder.

Wait until you see the detail involved in this horn.  Both ends are trimmed

with horn rings.  But before Willy put them on this oval horn, he heated the horn ring and rounded it on a mandrel.  Then he lathe turned the ring on that

Live Free or Die

mandrel to a consistent thickness and applied a groove in the center of it.  Then he re-heated the finished ring and installed it on the large end of the horn.  Then he turned around and did it all over again for the small end.  Pretty spiffy horn work.

The scrimshaw mentions Lewis Wetzel. Willy writes, “Lewis Wetzel was one of the most prolific Indian killers of our region.  He roamed the Ohio border country acting as a guide and scout and pledged to kill every Indian he saw.  Tales of him are told round the fire today.  Even now, Indians still leave small offerings at his grave so as not to anger his ghost.

Lewis and Clark hired Wetzel to make the journey west.  It was later that they had to explain they were there to treat with the Indians and not kill them.  He detoured to Louisiana and was put in prison.  He was released but died some time after.

The small chamber is for char cloth.  It should be cut into small squares and laid in the hole.  This keeps it from being broken up.  Willy says, “I usually build my kit with a good striker, flint shards, a burning lens and dry tinder.  I also carry a small tin of punk.  But most folks don’t know what that is or don’t know how to make it.”

This item is something that you will be able to display with pride.

Featured Artist of the month – Ed McDilda

February 9, 2011

My interest in shooting blackpowder rifles and history began as a child. If someone told me back then I would be making powder horns I would have laughed at them.

Ed McDilda Featured Artist of the Month December

Due to an injury three years ago, I was no longer able to continue with the job I was doing, which brought my love of history back to surface.

I started small at first, just dabbling here and there working on numerous things from quillwork to guns. It wasnt until I came across Scott Sibleys book on horn making that I discovered my love in making horns. After my first few attempts and some greatly appreciated guidance from a few great guys I met on line through some history forums I began to see how everything comes together to make a nice horn.

An unique horn project, a bottle made from horn. The bottom is a piece of flattened cow horn attached without any glue.

Without them and the support of a very special friend I dont believe I would be as far along in my horn making as I am which let me discover I truly love making Southern Style Horns and the occasional engraved horn.

A nice flattened powder horn with a screw tip


A nice little horn cup made with a piece of flattened horn for the bottom. No glue used in the construction of this cup.

So my thanks go out to John Shorb, Gary Elsenbeck, Jeff Bibb, Tim Crosby, Andrea Hudson, Scott Morrison and all the wonderful people I have met and talked with the past year in the Honorable Company of Horners, and The Horners Bench If you want you can contact me at

Featured Artist of the month – Dirty Hand

February 15, 2010

Flint and Steel Horns



Every newsletter has a featured artist of the month. We are posting the  artists on this blog for future access. (Our website will not hold all the previous artists)
One of the established horn artists on the west coast is none other than Dirty Hand. I am proud to call this fellow friend. Here is what he has to say about things.

I started seriously doing horn work about 10 or 11 years ago. I do the horns so that I can scrimshaw on them and am surely not one of the best horn smiths around. I found out that I enjoy making miscellaneous horn containers more than I do just making powder horns, and that these items sell more quickly than do powder horns.

Rum Horn

Rum horns and a side by side salt and pepper container are something I really enjoy making. I learned only recently, how to flatten horns and these work particularly well for salt and peppers and for spice horns as well. Another item I specialize in is flint and steel horns
using the example of one pictured in Madison Grant’s book on powder horns. I try to use only historically correct subjects but I sometimes “dress them up” from an artistic standpoint.

If you want to contact Dirty Hand, his email is

Spice Horn

Belt Horn



Jeff Bibb Horn to be raffled at HCH

January 13, 2010

Jeff Bibb another one of our friends, 

Raffle Prize

Jeff Bibb Virginia Banded Horn

 has made a Virginia banded horn for the upcoming raffle of The Honourable Company of Horners. This spectacular horn and bag combination to be raffled off at the 2010 HCH Annual Horn Fair at Historic Roscoe Village on March14 2010. 

Here is his home page for his site: 

EBay horn for grandson in Afganistan

January 4, 2010
Customer Ed writes: 

I am more than pleased with the horns I won on your e-bay listings, especially #534 which I wanted at almost any cost because I wanted it for my grandson who is serving in the U.S. Army at Ft. Drum, N.Y. and is about to be deployed overseas, this will be a special horn that will follow his military service. Also the free horn that John picked out was super, thank you. Ed. 

Customer Creations

December 22, 2009

Friend Robert Scheffler just emailed me a photo of a horn he had recently finished.