Posts Tagged ‘Wild Willy Frankfort’

Wild Willy Frankfort on the cover of The Horn Book

June 13, 2012

This is the cover of The Horn Book (winter 2012), the magazine of The Honorable Company of Horners.  It is an original painting by Willie Frankfort of himself sitting at a table with horn items around him.

The sign reads, “Horn Shop at Ye Gaston Town. Makers Powder horns ~ Cups ~ Spoons ~ and Snuffboxes.

At the bottom, it says: ” The Master Craftsman

A Canvas sits alone and bare awaiting a touch so tender with care

Strokes applied with care and delight, images forming an incredible sight,

A splendid design of flowers and vines of birds with feathers appearing to shine,

If you look in the center you will see the master craftsman looking at thee. ”


Willy Frankfort tells me that this painting although nice, it’s not his favorite style.  He is an illustrator and a cartoonist and likes the folksy sketches from the 17th and 18th century.  He likes to mingle his style with that of past artists and I think it  came out really nice.

Willie writes in his biography.

Wiilliam “Wild Willy” Frankfort

Hello, I am Wm. “Wild Willy” Frankfort artist and professional Horner.

I am a registered Master Horner with the Honorable Company of Horners.  A Guild started in 1996 to assist and instruct artists and craftsmen in the endeavor of creating powder horns and other horn items.  (Cups, spoons, combs, etc.)  I became a Master in 2006 and have accumulated numerous awards for my craft.  I am a founding member of, “Rangers of the Ohio Company” and currently a member of, “The First Virginia Regiment” Experimental Archeologist, and Re-Enactors.  My passion is 18th century frontier history, particularly the Virginia backcountry.

I am currently teaching at Pricketts Fort, West Virginia in the, “Teaching History Through the Arts” program and have been an instructor with the National Parks Service and many private and local programs for the last twenty odd years.

I was looking on Wild Willy’s website and the Jamestown Horn caught my eye. It is a late 17th century style flat “partitioned” horn.  It is about 13″ long and has three panels on both sides.

The first panel is a map of the Roanok area with shipwreks, islands, and natives.  It is taken from one of the original Jamestown maps.

The next panel is of the compass rose of the of the original map, and the last is a ship from the map.

The top band states, “The pictures of sundry things from the voyage made by Sir Walter Raleigh Knight 1585.”

A WERON (Warrior)

The reverse side offers three panels of the natives from that area.

A Cheiff Lorde

The horn is covered in geometrics and has one applied ring and spout.  For more information contact William Frankfort,, or if he is out of town, his son Zachary,


And the winners are:

May 4, 2011
Everyone of the participants are the real winners. All the people who supported the event with prizes and buying raffle tickets are winners in our book. The teachers of the many classes felt like winners when the faces of the attendees light up as they absorb all the new ideas.
Here is a list of the donors and the names of the winners!Subscription of Muzzleloader Magazine  Won by Scott Morrison, participant
Powder Horn strap by Lynn Blevens won by David Resler

Skillman Strap

Weaving Welchman Strap

Powder Horn strap by Lynn Blevens red, white and blue won by Paul Butcher.
Powder Horn strap by Pam Skillman won by Don Kerr, participant
Powder Horn strap by Kris Pelizzi won by Scott Morrison, participant

Glenn Sutt Knife

Leather hide donated by James Eastman won by Bob Kopner
Knife by Glenn Sutt won by Don Opalewski
Horn Oven by David Rase won by Scott Morrison, participant
Leather Bag by Jim Smith won by Don Kerr, participant

Artist’s Proof on horn by Yosef won by Chip Kormas, participant
Horn Measure by Roger Hodge won by George Hey

Primer by Jerry Frank

Priming Flask by Jerry Frank won by Chris Miller, participant
Priming Horn by Chip Kormas won by Ron Smith

Primer by Steve Lodding

Priming Horn by Steve Lodding won by Steve Skillman, participant

Banded Horn by Scott Morrison won by Jim

Scott Morrison Banded Horn

Smith, participant

Banded horn by Steve Skillman

Banded Horn by Steve Skillman donated by Dave Rase won by Ron Smith, participant
Engraved Powder Horn by Rich Froehlich

Engraved Powder Horn by Rick Froehlich

won by Bo Brown, participant

Joint horn by John Shorb and Don Opalowski

Engraved Horn by Don Opalewski made by John Shorb won by Jim Smith, participant

Tinder Box by Willy Frankfort won by Don Opalewski

Tinder Box by Willy Frankfort

David Wright Print donated by the NMLRA won by Al Stopler.
David Wright Print
We want to thank all the participants and all the contributors and all the workers for a job well done. John and Linda

West Coast Horn Fair April 1st 2nd 2011

March 3, 2011

1st Annual West Coast Horn Fair

April 1 & 2, 2011

Heathman Lodge

The Heathman Lodge,    Vancouver, Washington

Please plan to attend this premier event held at the luxurious Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Washington and see horn work by some of the West Coast’s leading craftsmen. A full selection of horn working seminars will be presented Friday and Saturday, the topics which include the following.

Click here to download flyer and registration.

Click here to register for lodging at The Heathman Lodge

West Coast Horn Fair

The 2011 West Coast Horn Fair will be held Friday, April 1, 2011 at 9:00 am PDT till Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm PDT at the Heathman Lodge, Vancouver, WA.

FRIDAY, April 1st 2011
9 AM Register
10-11 AM Powder Horn Design and What to Look for in a Horn by Scott Morrison
11-12 AM Beginning Powder Horn Construction by Jim Smith
1 – 2  PM Advanced Horn Construction (Bands, Applied and Screw Tips, etc.)  Round Table Discussion let by Scott Morrison and Steve Skillman.
2 – 3  PM Beginning Scrimshaw Techniques by Glen Sutt
3 – 4  PM Period Correct Scrimshaw by Steve Vance
SATURDAY, April 2nd 2011
9 AM Register
10-11 AM Tansel Family Horns – Steve Vance
11-12 AM Custom Made Tools – Dave Rase
1 – 2  PM Historical Designs & Materials of Original Horns
Round Table Discussion led by Steve Skillman
2 – 3  PM Manufactured Horns – Steve Skillman
3 – 4  PM How To Fix Mistakes – Round Table Discussion
6 PM Banquet –  Awarding of Ribbons and Raffle Prizes.

For more information contact:
John Shorb
PO Box 1922
Morro Bay CA 93443

Membership to the Honourable Company Of Horners is not required to attend this event.

By special arrangements with the Heathman Lodge, we will give away a stay in a suite for one lucky person that pre-registers no later than March 20th , 2011.

Email us at with more questions. Please include a phone number if you want to be called back.

Copy from Contemporary Makers

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.