Jerry Eitnier is staunch supporter of the Contemporary Longrifle Foundation Fund Raising Auction. Jerry Eitnier believes in supporting the auction because he feels that the CLF supports the artists. The CLF is proud to present another creation by Jerry this year.
Jerry Eitnier has been involved in the sport of muzzleloading for more than 40 years. He joined the National Muzzle Loading Association in 1973, and later became a charter member of the Contemporary Longrifle Association in 1991. In 1987 he built his first longrifle. Influenced by Hershel House's work, he builds guns in the style of "the Hershel House Woodbury School" with iron mounted guns being his specialty. Jerry wryly comments, "Sometimes I work on the far side of this school. Some of my work is a little different."
He is a serious student of the longrifle culture and has studied with some of the most noteworthy artists in the field, taking five years of classes at the annual Traditional Arts & Arms Making Workshops at Conner Prairie Living History Museum in Fishers, IN. There he was taught by talented gunmakers Hershel House, John Schippers, Mark Silver and blacksmith Melvin Lytton and others. Additionally, he had the opportunity to work with Frank House down in southern Illinois. Jerry is a humble guy and credits others with his success, "Most of what little I know I learned by doing, but so many people have helped me along the way and I can't thank them enough." Today, besides building firearms he has broadened his talents into the arts of blacksmithing, crafting knives and making powder horns.
Jerry is well known for his iron mounted rifles but also likes to branch out into the tools and accoutrements of the frontier. This year he has donated a frontier-made powder horn. American powder horns can range from a simple homemade product with a cut off tip and a pine plugged butt to professionally made elegant carved map horns with screw tips and finely carved hardwood butts. Most are somewhere in between. The folk art horns vary with the local culture; for example Pennsylvania Dutch, Scots Irish, and Native American. Sometimes they show the merging of several cultures. It is an interesting contemporary challenge to pair the appropriate style horn to the rifle.
This folk art horn has the air of being home-made, and carried by the maker. The outside curve is 12 inches and the butt diameter is 2 3/4 inches more or less. The horn has a neatly done staple and hanging ring for the strap and the burned-in spotted pattern suggests an influence by Southern Native American art forms. Horns similar to this would have been seen for over 150 years on the frontier. This horn would really pair well with the Bill Smith bag and Bill Pritchard rifle in this years auction.
Like all of Jerry's products this horn has an air of utility, frontier charm, and a sense of ruggedness, meant for long use.
Jerry's contact information is below. His website is well worth a visit.