Of all the tools of the trade in the longrifle culture, the humble powder horn is just one of those implements that, apart from being absolutely necessary in any blackpowder rig, possess a nearly indefinable aesthetic allure. For collectors and woodsmen alike, horns are eminently utilitarian, but nonetheless are works of art in their own right. Fortunately for attendees of the 2016 CLA fundraising auction, artist Jerry Eitnier has donated a quintessential example of the horner’s craft.
Eitnier modestly describes the piece as a “common horn for a common man”, crafted for actual use by the modern longhunter. Unadorned, straightforward, and ready for business, the horn projects the rugged dependability that is the hallmark of Eitnier’s work. But despite the yeoman-like presentation of this workhorse, the overall composition of the horn is possessed of an understated dignity that fittingly captures the unconquerable character of the American frontier. Like all of Jerry Eitnier’s work, this piece is exactingly crafted using traditional techniques, and could easily pass for a centuries-old artifact. The pine base plug is secured in place with wooden pins and sealed with beeswax, and its rich patina shows wear from being worn on the shooter’s left side. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece; in over four decades of experience, says the artist, “I don’t think that I have finished any two things alike.” Despite its appearance of age, this fine horn is ready for use in the field and destined to see service as a multi-generational heirloom.
The project is Eitnier’s way of giving back “for all the help that I have gotten over the years”, he explains. “I have been blessed to have known some of the best artists in the world and they have all influenced me in some way.”
Jerry Eitnier my be contact by telephone at 765-798-3525, or you can visit his website: http://www.eitnierrifles.com.
Copy by Joshua Shepherd with photos supplied by the CLF.