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The Honourable Company of Horners has created this Supplementary Blog to enhance the HCH's regular website. We will use this Blog to give you information that does not easily fit within the structure of the other website.
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Nov. 1-2, 2013 – Horn Class by Roland Cadle and Art DeCamp – Hollidaysburg, PA

The class is being held at Village Restorations, Inc. in Hollidaysburg, PA. Click Here for their website.

October 5-8, 2013 – Recreating the Philadelphia Screw-Tip Horn Class at Conner Prairie

24th Annual Traditional Arts & Arms Making Workshop
Saturday-Tuesday, October 5-8
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday, October 9
8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

This class is sold out, but Conner Prairie is taking names for a waiting list.

Further develop your horn-working skills through the construction of an early style internal screw-tip Philadelphia horn. Noted hornsmith Art Decamp will cover a wide variety of topics, from the history and architecture of early horns to many tips and techniques for reproducing period-correct powder horns. This horn will have a turned tip as well as turned and applied collars. Other techniques covered will include proper horn selection, scraping, heating, shaping and coloring of horn.
$580/$560 member (tools required).

For more information see Conner Prairie Interactive History Park’s Website.

Art DeCamp 2012 Conner Prairie Class.

Fort Roberdeau 18th Century Marketfaire and Rifle Frolic – October 11-12, 2013

Village Restorations and Consulting, Inc., the National Muzzleloading Rifle Association and the Getz Barrel Company are pleased to announce the Fort Roberdeau 18th Century Marketfaire and Rifle Frolic. This event will be held at Ft. Roberdeau in Altoona, Pennsylvania on October 11-12, 2013. If you are an artisan or sutler, we have space left to accommodate you. The shoot will be held in conjunction with the market fair at the neighboring Altoona Rifle and Pistol Gun Club.

Please see the website at for more information.

The Advanced Horn Class at Jacobsburg Education Center was a Great Success. (June 8-9, 2013)

The first ever advanced horn class was held at the new education center at Jacobsburg Historical Society on June 8 and 9, 2013. The class kicked-off on Saturday morning with 10 students in attendance. The day began with an explanation of the history of scrimshaw and how it became to be called engraving and then moved into the preparation of the surface to engrave. The pre-flattened horn panels were sanded and prepped creating a large cloud that soon covered all and everything in the center in a nice layer of aromatic horn dust. The class then moved on to applying the artwork (a Fraktur design by journeyman John DeWald). A break for lunch and it was then on to engraving. The day ended with students in various stages but all thoroughly enjoying the work and conversation and questions abounded throughout the day.

Day 2 started with a brief overview of lettering and engraving styles and then the students went to work. For several hours with the exception of a helping hand or advice from John DeWald, you could of heard a pin drop in the center. Everyone applied themselves in their own artistic fashion and soon the horn panels were nearing completion. A short lunch break later, as preparations were made to age the panels, Frank Willis took the reins and aspects of staining and coloring horn were discussed and shown. John Dewald also demonstrated engrailing techniques and then it was time for finishing touches on the horn panels. Rit dye was used and then waxing and buffing and the panels were done!! John DeWald spent time adding color to his panel and then graciously donated his original Fraktur drawing and polychrome horn panel for a give-a-way to the students. All names were put in a hat and Gus Tabor’s name was drawn as the recipient.

After all was completed and the center returned to its clean state, Frank Willis asked each student for a critique of the class. Overall everyone conveyed a good response and offered suggestions for improvements for future classes. Additional advanced horn classes are being planned with projects to include: A flat, screw-tip horn; a horn ditty box and a horn cup/tumbler. Details will follow as plans and dates are finalized. We would like to extend thanks to Jacobsburg Historical Society, Roland Cadle, and to all the students for their attendance and patience. It is with great pride that the guild offers these classes; holding to our purpose to remain dedicated to the research, preservation, and education of horn workwork. Stay Tuned as more great times are a-coming.

If you are interested in attending a future horn class at Jacobsburg, please call Frank Willis at 908-246-8935 or email The basic horn class will be held in January 2014 and the advanced horn class will be late May or June of 2014.

Saturday Powder Horn Workshop in Lenior, NC on August 3rd, 10th and 17th, 2013.

>>Click Here to go to the Ft. Defiance website for more information.<<

June 8-9, 2013 Horn Engraving and Coloring with John DeWald at Jacobsburg Historic Site

The advanced horn class at Jacobsburg will be a class focusing on the engraving, engrailing and staining of horn.  All materials will be provided but students are encouraged to bring a finished horn or horn object they wish to engrave, engrail, or stain.  They are also welcome to bring along any engraving tools that they are comfortable in using.  The planned project for engraving is a Fraktur design on a pre-flattened piece of cow horn. The Fraktur design will allow for the teaching/explanation of the different styles of engraving in one piece of artwork.

The class will start with the preparation of the surface by scraping/sanding and then focus on engraving with final steps to be the application of ink to the design and the staining/coloration of the horn to add an aged appearance.

This class will be taught by Journeyman John DeWald and will be held over the weekend of June 8 and 9th at the Jacobsburg Craft Center.  The cost is $120.00.

If any one is interested in more information about this Advanced Horn Decorating Class, please contact Frank Willis at 908-246-8935 or John DeWald at 570-220-6450. Class size is limited, so please let us know if you wish to attend.


To see some samples of John DeWald’s work, please go to his website at


Horn Class June 21-23, 2013 in Tryon, NC with Clinton Byers

Clinton Byers is one of our Freeman members. He is known for his traditional styled powder horns with low dome and flat butts. Here he is at the AHEC at the last HCH Annual Meeting.

For more information, please go to the Tryon Arts & Crafts School website  at

The 5th Annual Jacobsburg Powder Horn Class was held in January of 2013

The 5th Annual Jacobsburg Powder Horn Class

The 5th annual HCH sponsored powder horn class was held this past January in the newly renovated craft center at the Jacobsburg Historical Society. Most HCH members know this is site of our annual Summer Reception. Seven students were shown the process of turning a cow horn into a graceful, functional, black powder container.


For many years there has been a very successful flintlock rifle class at Jacobsburg. The addition of a horn class 5 years ago, by the Guild, has been a great addition to their craft program and has introduced over 35 people to the art of making a horn.


One of the students this year was Jim Newell. Jim has been a member of the Honourable Company of Horners for a number of years and had the following to say about the class:

“Over all these years, I have collected and made horns with little actual training or understanding of the art of horn work. This January, I attended the horn making class at Jacobsburg, where I finally experienced my first thorough understanding of the proper architecture of the classic powder horn. What a wonderful experience it was! I can’t say enough thanks to the many members of the Horn Guild that gave one-on-one help to an old novice. The Horn Guild should be proud of their members who volunteer their time and skills. All the course fees go to the Historical Society.”


Plans are now underway to hold an advanced class to teach scrimshaw, staining and decorating the horn. This class will be taught by John DeWald and will be held over the weekend of June 8 and 9th at the Jacobsburg Craft Center. John is an extremely talented Guild member and has recently advanced in the Guild. The cost is $120.00.


If any one is interested in more information about the Horn Class or the Advanced Horn Decorating Class, please contact Frank Willis at 908-246-8935 or John DeWald at 570-220-6450. Class size is limited, so please let us know if you wish to attend.

The HCH Spring Pole Lathe Turns Horn! – AHEC February 2013

We were all treated to a demonstration of the HCH spring pole lathe turning horn at the 2013 annual meeting at the AHEH in Carlisle, PA this past February. The mandrel was the last critical piece made. It is comprised of lathe turned maple, a short piece of octagonal gun barrel and a bronze bushing. The turning fixtures are mounted to the mandrel.

Dick Toone spins a horn.

Here you see Dick Toone, the lathe builder, tuning the spout end of a spinning horn. This is accomplished by using one of the purpose-built fixtures. This fixture consists of a wooden cone fitted with a tap to which the spout end of the horn is threaded. This allows the horn to spin directly with the back and forth motion of the drive. As with all spring pole lathes, the operator must move the tool in and out in synch with the alternate spinning of the work. This is a very tricky business!

Dick is experimenting with soaking the horn is warm water just before turning. Early testing has shown that the soaking does make the horn turn a little easier.

We will publish new updates to the Spring Pole Lathe Project as the project matures!

To read other posts about the HCH Spring Pole Lathe Project, click here. Then scroll down. You will see newest posts first, followed by older postings.

April 11, 2013 – The Science Channel USA – Powder Horns on “How It’s Made” – Featuring Mike Small

Last year the crew from The Science Channel’s “How It’s Made” spent twelve hours with our own HCH member Mike Small. They chose Mike to help with a segment on how to build a powder horn.



It’s our pleasure to let you know that this segment on Powder Horns will be airing on the Science Channel in the US on:



The original airing was on Thursday, April 11th at 9:00pm ET.

Watch it! Here is the link for the  “How It’s Made” Segment on Making a Powder Horn


The Guild congratulates Mike Small for his collaboration with The Science Channel on the upcoming segment on making a powder horn!
Here is the link to Mike’s website: