Friday, July 25, 2014

Hunting Pouch by David Ubel

This is one of the bags I just finished...measures 8" deep and 7" wide.  Made of pigskin, hand stitched with wax linen thread then dyed.  Flap is bark tan deer, backed with 1 1/4 oz. goat skin.  Inside pocket measures 6x5,  adjustable strap  3/4" wide, made of 5 oz. elk.  Bag treated with mixture of bees wax, mink oil and neats foof oil.  Horn measures 9 1/2 around the curve.  The set will be for sale at the CLA show.

Copy and photos supplied by David Umbel.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Contemporary Makers Portraits: Allen Martin

Since opening his business in 1989, Allen Martin has established himself as a highly regarded master gunmaker, specializing in the recreation of fine American Longrifles.
Using only the finest raw materials available; highly figured curly maple, individually customized  flintlock, buttplate and other fittings, Allen individually hand crafts each of his rifles to the highest standards, producing a  custom fitted firearm to his client’s specification. Thus making his work an authentic recreation of a true American icon, the flintlock rifle of Southeastern Pennsylvania, from the period 1750 to 1850.
As a consummate student of his art,  Allen meticulously studies the history of original longrifles, perfecting architecture in his own work, while capturing their often overlooked details to produce rifles and fowlers that are highly sought by both collector and hunter.  From a Golden Age Lehigh to a humble Schimmel, each of his rifles sets a standard that few can achieve.  His work has graced the cover of Muzzle Blasts Magazine and has won numerous awards at the Dixon’s Gunmakers Fair, held annually outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
A true descendant of those Swiss German settlers that settled the frontier of Pennsylvania in the early 1700’s,  Allen, his wife Pauline and their five children live in the beautiful mountains of central Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River Valley, about 40 miles north of Harrisburg.

More photos of this rifle can be seen here.

Allen with Paul Gosnel

Allen Martin, Twenty-Five Years a Gunmaker
A Silver Jubilie
Display at the 2013 CLA Show by Paul Gosnel

Copy from Allen Martin Rifles. Display photographed at the 2013 CLA Show with all other photos from the 2013 Tennessee Kentucky Rifle Show. All photos by Jan Riser.

Flame Stitch Wallet by Lauren Agnello

I just received this flame stitch wallet this weekend as a belated Christmas gift and can't say enough about how impressed I am with the work and quality. 

Reproduction flame stitched pocketbook by Lauren Agnello, based on an original from 1763. Wool crewel work on linen in shades of violet, purple, olive green, yellow, and brown. (32 threads per inch) with osnabrig interfacing, lined with window-pane check linen, and edged with indigo blue twill tape.

The original was listed as, "a wool needlework wallet, America, c. 1763, envelope-shaped pocketbook with flap closure and two dividers, worked in the Irish stitch in a lapped diamond pattern in shades of green, red, blue, brown, yellow, and violet, stitched lettering and date "GILES RUSSELL 1763 AE," with faded olive green and indigo glazed wool lining, and faded olive wool twill tape edging."

Copy and photos supplied by Ward Oles of The Eastern Door.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Powder Horn by John Proud with the Original

Burt and Lynne Hamrick own the original and I have Burt’s permission to identify him as the owner.

While I have posted pictures of a similar horn previously, that was done from a small photo clipped from a catalog  many years ago. That little picture did not show what I consider the a most intriguing feature of this beautiful relief carved creation. That feature came to light when pictures of the original were posted on this blog and led to me contacting Burt Hamrick, owner of the original, to arrange to examine and photograph it. Burt was very gracious and offered to loan me the original to make a bench copy.

I refer to the horn as the “MGR-1852” after that most interesting feature. At the base of the horn, in a triangular panel, is a scene of a man and woman holding hands with a seated musician to one side and a small chair on their other side. In an adjacent panel are three initials below the date 1852. I speculate that the horn was done to celebrate the wedding of M and G, R. Burt told me the horn came out of Cocke County, Tennessee and had been in the Robert Baxter family’s possession. Beyond that, nothing else is know about this horn.

However, whoever made this horn was very imaginative, artistic and skilled at relief carving. It is the only horn of this style that I am aware of and that is another interesting feature.

Copy and photos supplied by John Proud.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pistol by David Rase

This frontier pistol started life with an old Bill Kennedy .50 caliber smooth bore pistol barrel that has been kicking around in my shop for many years.  The brass butt cap was hammered out at the 2012 Montana Historical Gunmaker's Fair using a brass pattern and dapping tooling from Ryan Roberts of Muzzleloading Builders Supply.  The front ramrod pipe is from Jack Brooks.  I annealed and resized it to fit the 5/16" hand split hickory ramrod complete with a sheet steel tip and brazed seam.  The Jim Chambers small Queen Anne flintlock, along with the breech plug, hand forged trigger and all the screws were color case hardened at my shop.  The brass trigger guard was a sand casting I found in one of my parts drawers.  The touch hole is coned from the inside using a cutter I made myself.  The thumb piece is made of sheet sterling silver and fastened to the stock using 2 sterling silver nails.  The front sight is also made from sterling silver sheet.  Matt Denison supplied the Trade Pistol serpent side plate.  The figured maple stock from Freddie Harrison was stained with nitric acid made by Joe Sharber during the 2012 Montana Historical Gunmaker's Fair.

The biggest challenge with building this pistol was exercising restraint in the adornment.  It is all too easy in this day and age to add engraving and carving and overdue what is supposed to represent a basic gun assembled by a competent gunsmith using parts from a broken discarded pistol discovered in the wilderness and supplementing any missing pieces from the gunsmiths personal collection of parts. 

Copy and photos supplied by David Rase.

Monday, July 21, 2014

2014 CLA Live Auction: Pouch, Measure, Brush, Pick, & Bullet Board by Rich and Jeanne McDonald

Rich and Jeanne McDonald are well known CLA Artists. Rich and Jeanne have been married over 29 years and live on a small farm in southern Ohio. They are part of the southern Ohio contingent contributing to this auction including Joe Seabolt and Maryellen Pratt.

Rich bought his first muzzleloader at the age of 12 and has been hooked ever since. Rich started forging knives and and tomahawks in 1990 and now does it as a full time occupation He was a farrier for about 20 years before this change. Rich also builds very clean and neat longrifles and fowlers; his iron mounted rifles are remarkable. Rich occasionally does horns and other accoutrements.

Jeanne started making knife sheaths when Rich began making knives. Jeanne expanded into hunting pouches, haversacks, quivers and other muzzleloading accouterments. She especially enjoys weaving and is particularly good at it. 
Jeanne is the recipient of several Judge's Choice Awards at Dixon's Fair. Rich has numerous awards from various shows. Their work is in collections around the globe. 

Jeanne McDonald has donated a Southern Mountain bag with classic lines and a woven strap, the workmanship definitely being of the better class of southern bag, then or now. Rich McDonald furnished the knife and the classic accoutrements, a bullet block, and brush, vent pick and measure. The bag is made from bark tanned deerskin and hand sewn with linen thread. The strap she wove of hemp and cotton. She also made the sheath for the knife. Rich made the thin walled 60 grain antler powder measure, the pick and brush set, and the neat fish shaped .50 caliber bullet block. The knife is forged from 1084. 

Rich and Jeanne wanted to create a pouch that could have seen service at the Battle of New Orleans and in keeping with that thought Rich engraved the initials M S and 1815 date on the antler handle, perhaps the knife of legendary Kentucky hunter Mike Stevers or maybe Michel Stoner who died that year.

This is a great bag, look closely at photos for the workmanship.


You can contact Rich and Jeanne McDonald at:

Rich & Jeanne McDonald
5010 Carmel Rd.
Hillsboro, OH 45133
Email Rich:
Email Jeanne:

Photo 1 is by Ric Lambert, photos 2 through 4 are by Heinz Ahlers and 5 and 6 by Rich McDonald.