CLA artists consistently demonstrate the ability to marry museum-quality aesthetics with rugged practicality. Artist Jack Weeks and a cadre of talented craftsmen have collaborated to produce a truly outstanding bag and horn set for this year’s CLF fundraising auction.
The project is the brainchild of noted CLA artisan Jack Weeks. The basic concept, he explains, was to assemble “the equipment a market hunter in the three rivers area would have carried to collect skins and to furnish meat for the garrison and the village at Fort Pitt.” Some of the items, Weeks says, the hunter could have made for himself; other components in the set he could have traded for locally. “Our hunter,” explains the artist, “used a smoothbore French fusil de chasse to kill big game with round ball and used the same gun for turkeys and waterfowl.”
This fine set is well fitted for display behind a glass case, but rugged enough for use in the field. All leather items – including hunting bag, lock cover, flint wallet, bullet pouch, and shot pouch – are all hand crafted from subtly aged vegetable-tanned cow hide. The face of the 9” x12” hunting pouch is adorned with a pinwheel hex design pierced on the flap; the body of the bag sports a 3” gusset and a full-length partition. The leather is finished with a homemade and historically appropriate coat of black bear oil and beeswax. It carries an attached knife sheath with a broken razor knife hafted with a deer leg bone; perfect for cutting patches on the range or in the field. This exemplary set also includes the basic necessities for the care of your firelock: extra flints, a gun worm, an iron turn screw, a brass vent pick, and a wooden loading block with a shell toggle.
“In the process of gathering and creating items,” explains Weeks, “I had contributions from three CLA artists.” Rick Lorenzen of Michigan donated an antique powder horn; Shayna Matthews of Maryland contributed a hand-woven horn strap; and Kenny Nichols of Alabama lent his skills with a hand-carved antler tip powder measure.
For more information on the work of the artists, contact:
Jack Weeks ()
Rick Lorenzen ()
Shayna Matthews ()
Kenny Nichols ()
Text by J Shepherd with photos by D Wright