Thursday, December 31, 2009

Calumet Type Pipe with Quilled Stem and Feather Fan by Ward Oles

Size: Bowl(2.45" h. x 2.5" l.)
Stem:(25 in.) OAL:(27.5")
Material: Catlinite,viburnum stem,porcupine quills,deer hair, vegetal fiber cordage
Date: c.1770
Attributed to: Unknown
Geographic distribution: NE United States
Sites: Harvard Peabody (Stem); University of Michigan/RMSC (bowl)

Photos supplied by Ward Oles.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lake Cumberland C.L.A. Mini Show 2010

This show was started in 1995 at the home of Mel Hankla as a show-and-tell at a “Hammer In” where multiple forges were set up for blacksmithing and teaching demonstrations. In 1998 it became the first C.L.A. Mini event with the goal to provide a learning atmosphere and to promote the mission of the Contemporary Longrifle Association. Each year it’s a “sell out” and boasts 50 tables of items, both for sale and on exhibit. It has a reputation of attracting makers and collectors of the finest traditional muzzleloading firearms, accouterments and other related objects, as well as grand original pieces, resulting in a priceless opportunity to study the old along with the new.

The show is at the picturesque Lake Cumberland State Resort Park at Jamestown, Kentucky. The view above is seen from all the reasonable priced guest rooms at the Lure Lodge, the great restaurant, and the gunroom. The rustic atmosphere provides a motivating environment for only the best of contemporary art and fine antique items pertaining to the Longrifle Culture.

The theme of this show is education and both artists and collectors bring out their best for display. There are fifty tables of traditional muzzleloading firearms, their accouterments and other related objects, all welcome, regardless when they were made.

This year’s guest speaker will be Dr. Jay Hopkins, noted historian and collector of southern powder horns. His collection will be on exhibit and he will speak at 4:00 o’clock Saturday afternoon. Larry Spisak; Morgan’s Glade will provide music throughout the week-end !

Show dates are February 6-8, 2009. Show set up starts: 10:00 A.M. Friday till noon Sunday, February 8th. Open 8:00 A.M. Saturday till 11:00 P.M. Friday and Saturday.
For more information contact Mel Hankla at or call 270-566-3370.

Copy and photos by Mel Hankla with additional photos provided Jan Riser from the 2009 Show.

Below are a couple of artist that attended the 2009 Show.

Rich and Jeanne McDonald

Shooting Bag made from bark tanned sheepskin. Hand stiched with linen thread. Lined with hemp, strap is hand woven from hemp and linen. Bag has been overdyed in walnut hull dye for an aged look. Bag measures 7 3/4" wide by 8 1/2" long. Bag features one inside pocket.

Hammer Poll Tomahawk: Curly maple handle measures 17" long. Head forged from carbon steel measures 2 5/8" across the cutting edge and 6 1/2" long. Edge cover made from bark tanned deerskin.

Copy and photos supplied by Rich and Jeanne McDonald at Long Knives and Leather.

Charlie Wallingford Knives

INTEGRAL BOLSTER KNIFE-- integral bolster with a full tapered tang. Bone scales are held with two copper pins. One of the scales has a crack that has been repaired. The blade is 5 1/2 inches long. Overall length is 9 3/4 inches. A vegetable tanned leather sheath covered with bark tanned deer skin is included. the sheath is to worn under a belt or sash.

BELT KNIFE --5 1/4 inch blade forged from 1084 carbon steel with a full tapered tang, pewter bolster and curly satin wood scales. Overall length is 9 3/4 inches. A vegetable tanned leather sheath with a 2 3/4 inch belt loop is included.

BELT KNIFE-- a 5 1/4 inch blade with a crown antler handle, decorative pewter bolster, and an engraved sterling silver pommel. Overall length is ten inches. A vegetable tanned leather sheath with a 2 1/2 inch belt loop is included.

Copy and photos supplied by Charlie Wallingford at CW Knives.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Whale Tail J.P. Beck Rifle by Ron Luckenbill

This rifle can be best described as a documentary copy of the original. Fortunately, I had access to the original prior to and during the building process to assure that all details are correct.

The gun starts with a 47 ¼” octagon to round barrel custom built by Ed Rayl to the dimensions of the original barrel. This barrel, however, is 45 caliber rifled, the original being about 50 caliber smoothbore. The lock started as a Jim Chambers small Siler. It was extensively modified to reflect the look of the original lock, including conversion to a bridleless frizzen. The simple single trigger is square across the bottom, as was the original. The patchbox was hand built using the same hinge arrangement as the original. The opening mechanism, again, is exactly as on the original Back rifle. The engraving of the patchbox is a duplicate of Beck’s engraving. The hardware was cast by Reaves Goehring who used original Beck parts for the molds. The ram rod pipes are handmade to copy the originals. All of Beck’s original file work was used. The stock is a modestly curled piece of maple, as was used on the original. The carving of the stock is patterned from the original. The finish is of the same hue as the original down to areas of shading including vestiges of an earlier varnish finish.

This rifle duplicates the look and feel of the original and can be taken hunting or to the range. This long barreled rifle weighs in at a mere 7 ½ lbs.

Copy and photos supplied by Ron Luckenbill.

James Rogers Bag

Photos supplied by James Rogers.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The 18th Century Artisan Show III

This show is February 5 & 6, 2010 in Lewisburg, PA. More info can be found at their site here.

Below are a couple of the artisans that were present at the 2009 Show.

Poster design by Robert Weil.

Jim Hoffman Forge Work

8 inch round bottom spider

Small Frying Pan

16 inch diameter Hanging Skillet

Trivet with Handle


Photos supplied by Jim Hoffman.

Erin Kettenburg Pennsylvania German Sgraffito Plate

This authentic 18th/19th century redware plate hand-made by Erin Kettenburg. This plate measures 10 inches in diameter and is a spectacular example of quality, historical sgraffito work. Each piece is made of traditional hand-rolled, drape-molded red Pennsylvania clay and is decorated with basic period materials: yellow/white slip, various manganese, copper and iron oxide colorants and clear overglaze. (For safe handling, Erin does not use lead-based overglazes.) This plate utilizes a slightly crazed overglaze however it has not been highlighted with any premature darkening. As per tradition, backs are unglazed. Each piece is signed on the back. More information about Erin Kettenburg's redware: This redware pottery is being created in true historical tradition and is entirely hand-made.  Each plate is formed of red clay which is rolled by hand to appropriate thickness (no rolling mill is utilized) and shaped upon various hump or ‘drape’ molds.  A base coating of lightly-colored  slip is then applied and decorative elements are subsequently cut through the slip in the old Pennsylvania German sgraffito tradition.  Selected coloring agents are used and finally a clear overglaze is applied and fired which yields a very subtle, attractive ‘crazed’ surface.  The backs are signed and unglazed.  A wide variety of pieces are available ranging from the basic copper-green highlights to more elaborate multi-colored designs incorporating manganese and iron oxide.  Erin is working in a primitive folk-art style and each is entirely unique:  due to the entirely hand-made nature of these plates, no two will ever be identical!  As with true 18th and early 19th century work, the hand of the potter is quite evident in each.

Copy and photo supplied by Erin Kettenburg.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Jan Zender and Rochelle Dale Silver

Two sterling engraved gorgets, known as moon gorgets. These were some of the earliest trade silver items, made to take the place of shell gorgets.

Photos supplied by Jan Zender and Rochelle Dale.

Tim Ridge Dirk

Fluted White Bone Handled Dirk, 4 3/4" Handle with Iron Fittings, Solid Base Ferrule, Through Tang, 7 3/8" Blade with Filework on Spine is 1 1/4" at Widest, 1 1/2" False Edge, Inside Belt or Sash Sheath with Flap and Tie

Photos supplied by Tim Ridge.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

David Parrish Table Loom for Karen Jones

the looms is detachable from the stand

box that sits inside frame

tools for weaving

Photographed by Jan Riser.

Eric Fleisher Bag

Photos supplied by Eric Fleisher.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Twined Bags of the Great Lakes Tribes by Tom Conde

The techniques used in making these bags are the same as those used to produce the textiles found in pottery impressions from the Middle Mississippian culture, AD 600 - 1600. Some scholars believe that these techniques may have been in use before 5000 BC. Originally produced using plant fibers and animal hair, these types of textiles are mentioned by writers with DeSoto in the mid 1500's and du Pratz in the mid 1700's. Marquette and Hennipin mention various fabricated articles among the tribes they visited in the late 1600's. Both the "plain" utilitarian bags for hulling and washing corn and for storage, and the bags with figures of animals and spirit beings or geometric patterns worked into them, have been collected in significant numbers from the Great Lakes tribes and their nearby prairie neighbors. Although the collections are predominantly of articles from the latter half of the 19th century, some scholars place the figured bags as early as the mid-18th century. These open-twined bags were made mostly of plant fibers and animal hair but European cordages and wool yarns begin to show up by the mid 1700's. At about the same time another type bag begins to appear where the figures are even more stylized than on the open-twined bags. These bags are done in a compact-twining technique, where the wefts have no spacing between them and the patterns are created with the weft rather than the warp strands. The bags appear to always be woven upside down. Starting at the bottom and working down to the top, finishing with the opening edge of the bag. The most common method is by hanging the warps over a stick and then twining around and around to make a seamless bag. The figures are worked upside down so that when the bag is finished they will appear right side up.

These bags range in size from 3 or 4 inches up to over 2 feet wide. Regardless of size it appears that, unlike the fingerwoven bags made of yarn with beaded designs, none of these bags were made with straps for carrying on one's person. The bags with figures from the natural and spirit worlds are usually different on each side, in keeping with the beliefs of upper and lower levels of the world ruled by different spirits, with the earth in the middle.

Copy and photos supplied by Tom Conde at Conde Trading