Monday, November 7, 2016

Painted Gun by Ian Pratt

I have been working on a series of guns inspired by both painted furniture and painted trade guns, taking from the trade guns the idea of painting the stock, and incorporating furniture painting forms including underpainted and overlaid designs and the use of contrasting color to highlight moldings and panels

This gun was built to represent a mid 18th century composite piece which utilized a mix of salvaged European trade gun parts along with some domestically made pieces. The use of curly maple, the texture of which shows strongly on some areas of the stock, suggests that the gun would have been stocked somewhere in the colonies. I have my own thoughts on where the gun would possibly would have been made, but I didn't want to leave too many strong architectural or stylistic clues on this one.

The black underpaint with red oxide design was adapted from a chest that was probably made in 18th century Taunton, Massachusetts. The original design, which had a wandering vine feel, was given a somewhat rococo spin to make it flow nicely with the lines of the stock.

Apart from leaving us wondering where it may have been stocked and who may have been it's maker, the gun was also intended to be a thought provoker in other ways. It appears that the paint may have been a later addition. In wear areas on the stock, the underlying wood shows that it had been first stained and finished. Would the gunsmith have stained and finished a stock he intended to paint? But the paint certainly looks like it belongs there...








Copy and photos supplied by Ian Pratt.

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