I am an artist whose work has an intensely historical, even biographical concept to it. I see the objects that I paint through the eyes of a 18th century artist and craftsman. My goal as an artist is to create every item with an historical past with an aged look and feel to it.
I made the pouch for Billie Bob Thornton (Davey Crockett) for the movie The Alamo, as well as provided other props.Early American Life magazine thrice named me one of the top leather craftsmen in America. My pouches were rated for their quality workmanship, fidelity to period design and construction techniques by judges expert in museum-quality antiques and fine, high-end reproductions. My work has also been featured in videos, tv documentaries and numerous times in magazines and on their covers.
All of my hunting pouches are one of a kind and museum quality.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
TWO ARTISANS NAMED BY EARLY AMERICAN LIFE MAGAZINE AS SOME OF THE TOP TRADITIONAL ARTISTS IN AMERICAN COMBINE EFFORTS FOR FIRST FRIDAY SHOW.
Since 2011, both Ron Vail & Ken Scott have been selected by Early American Life magazine as two of the top traditional craftspeople and artisans in the United States, a total of six times.
Ron has received this honor for the powder horns and other horn items he makes., while Ken has been chosen for both his leatherwork and his paintings.
Ron’s horn work represent those items made and used by soldiers, long hunters, mountain men, Native Americans and early settlers of this country. Typically the items are made to appear old and well used. They are purchased by historical reenactors, museums for display in dioramas, and by interior decorators and individuals wishing to display them in homes or offices.
Ken’s work is owned by curators and museums, collectors and historical reenactors worldwide. His work has been featured as movie props, used in TV documentaries and videos and seen numerous times in magazines and on their covers. He made the hunting pouch for Davy Crockett (Billie Bob Thornton) in the movie “The Alamo,” as well as provided other props for that movie.
The work of both of these talented artisans is well known and is recognized for uniqueness, top of the line quality workmanship, fidelity to period design and attention to detail. Their goal as artists is to create every item with an aged look and feel to it.
Just completed teaching the Leather Working/Recreating the Kentucky Rifle Hunting Pouch workshop at Conner Prairie. Great students. Lots of learning, fun, & the joy of making new friends. Here are the participants with their completed pouches.
I also taught a workshop on Southern Backcountry design/Fraktur from Virginia and the Carolinas
Bobby talked to me at the CLA meeting in Lexington about making him a pouch that would depicted the hanging of Frankie Silvers, a young woman who was hanged for the murder of her husband Charlie in Morganton, North Carolina, on July 12, 1833. Bobby, being from Morganton has grown up with the legend about the murder and Frankie Silvers, the first woman hanged in the state.
After several phone conversations and letters, this is the pouch that I made for Bobby.
The Frankie Silvers story has been told in countless newspaper and magazine articles, plays and documentaries and even in a ballad or two. It continues to hold the imagination of many today as it has for almost two hundred years.
Here’s how the story goes....Frankie, suspecting Charlie of infidelity with another man’s wife, killed Charlie in a fit of jealous rage three days before Christmas 1831. She decided to exact her revenge as he lay sleeping on the floor of their cabin. Frankie got an axe and then struck Charlie's in the head. The first strike, however, did not immediately kill him and he thrashed around the house mortally wounded. Frankie hid under their bed, eventually coming out when she heard his body fall to the floor. She took another swing with the axe severing Charlie’s head. With the help of some of her family, Frankie attempted to conceal the evidence of the murder by chopping the body into pieces and burning them in the cabin's fireplace. The story was that Charlie had gone hunting and had not returned.
A search of the frozen river and surrounding countryside did not locate Charlie. A thorough investigation of the home and fireplace area by a neighbor revealed bits and pieces of charred bone and an uncommon amount of grease. A further search dried blood under the wooden floor.
Frankie was charged with the murder, arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to die by hanging. After a failed appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court, she broke out of jail with the help of her family. After a few days on the run, she was caught and returned to prison. Her execution was set for July 12, 1833.
When the day arrived, she was led to the scaffold. The sheriff asked if she had anything she wanted to say. Before she could answer, her father yelled, "Die with it in ye, Frankie!" The noose was then placed around her neck, and FRankie Silvers became the first woman to be hanged in North Carolina. This pouch depicts the hanging.
Ron Vail and I decided to combine our talents on this one!
Having both been recognized as top traditional craftsmen in America by
Early American Life magazine we thought, "let's do one together!"
This fine Southern pouch & horn set has a nice aged look. It is is one of those nice, plain early pouch sets that seems the more you look at it, the more character and charm it has. Banded Horn is hand carved to give the appearance of a turned horn of the period. I made the Pouch out of rough-out tanned cowhide and hand sewed it with waxed linen thread, Edge and top of flap has been hand pinked. Punched out design on flap add a home made look. Front of pouch bellows is sewn from three prieces of leather. Pouch is about 11" high and 10 1/2" wide. It has an inside pocket sewn to the back. Strap adjust with a brass buckle.
The handmade banded horn by Ron measures about 14 1/2" around the outside curve with a 2 3/4" diameter base. He hand filed five hand rings around it to replicate a turned southern banded horn. The front strap ring is connected to the horn with a copper band. Both stopper and base plug are hand carved.
Jeff Bibb & MaryEllen Pratt
Both are doing fine work.
Jeff is making southern Appalacian pouches.
MaryEllen is making pouches to compliment her husband Ian's fine rifleguns.
The Pouch making workshop is taught at Conner Prairie in October
During their Arms Making workshop.
Full information is posted below in another post.
time back John Balzar, a Los Angeles Times staff writer, contacted the
folks at the Kalamazoo Living History Show about writing an article on
the art & craft of the American frontier and artists who practicing
those crafts. Balzar then contacted me and we met at the show. Balzar
also talked to several other artists about our craft that weekend. If
you follow this link you can read that story. http://articles.latimes.com/2006/apr/09/entertainment/ca-craft9
This article is copyrighted by the Los Angeles Times.