Powder Horns

Powder Horns
June 12 – June 16, 2017
This hands-on intensive course will instruct participants through the basics and many advanced techniques of North American powder horn making and the application of scrimshaw, engraving, and other structural and embellishment techniques. Selection and preparation of various hornmaterials, as well as layout and the execution of various techniques and designs will be covered. While exotic and international powder horn styles will be covered, the emphasis will be on the skilled creation of the North American style powder horn. In today’s world of powder horns, the North American style is the one most sought after by collectors and black powder shooters.
Jim Stevens with student

Jim Stevens with student

Special artistic ability or experience is NOT needed to succeed in this class. Skills learned will be applicable in either personal or professional pursuits.

Jim Stevens is a world renowned scrimshander, writer and artist. He has been commissioned to create works of art for collectors throughout the world. Jim brings his expertise and his no-fail attitude with him to inspire all who attend his classes, paving the way for all to express themselves in a media that warms the soul.
Visit Jim’s website or email Jim at stevens@scrimshawstudio.com
The most expensive item on the following list is less than $40. I have purchased everything on the list and spent less than $100. All the items are small enough to carry in your luggage (don’t pack liquids or aerosol cans) but it is still easier to buy what you can from the College supply store. Everyone will be given time on our first day to go to the supply store and purchase materials. The College has a first-class tool, art and office supply store on campus. Phone 719-846-5609. Their prices seem to be equal to or less than prices on the outside.
Also, buying at the school store can definitely save you a lot of shopping or packing time. You can even give them a call ahead of time and let them know what you need so you can be assured they will have what you want when you arrive. If you already have any of these items,bring them. There’s no need to repeat your purchases.
Where to shop, source index:
(You can always order materials from the Internet if you prefer.) a=school store, b=local art store or jewelry supply store or hardware store, c=local supermarket, d=local department store (like Walmart or Kmart).
One hobby knife handle (ie: X-Acto knife) (with rubber grip if you prefer)
Package of 5, #11 hobby knife blades
One small tube of Titanium White artist’s oil paint
One small tube of Ivory Black artist’s oil paint
One #2 pencil
One black aquarellable pencil (Stabilo or other brand)
One white aquarellable pencil (Stabilo or other brand)
One pencil sharpener (small hand held type)
One roll of transparent tape
One pair of scissors
One pink eraser


A clear plastic ruler (6 inches long is fine)
One small can of spray adhesive
One small bottle of rubbing alcohol
One small pair of pliers
One headband magnifier (ie: Opti-visor) (see note below)
Three sheets each of #400 and #600 wet/dry sandpaper
One package of .0000 steel wool pads
One paper dust mask (to use while sanding and polishing)
Safety glasses or goggles (required in school’s tool shops)
One small package of facial tissue
One package of assorted fine point, hand sewing needles
One small package of cotton swabs (Q-tip or other brand)
One small flexible-neck desk lamp. (see lighting note below)
One double-ended reversible pin vise (one end with zero minimum capacity)
The Scrimshaw and Powder Horn materials in-class fee is $12. This covers the cost of ivory, Tagua vegetable ivory, cattle horn, black buffalo horn, and other materials that I will have on hand for special in-class projects. This is the only in-class fee. I will have all these materials on hand when you arrive.
Headband Magnifier Note:
If you have one, bring it. For those buying one for the first time,
Opti-visors headband magnifiers are one of the few that come with a choice of lenses. Lens powers are designate d by the numbers 3,5,7, and10. A #3 lens is 1x magnification and allows you to work about 14 inches from your material. Not much bending, but frankly not much help either. A #5 is 2x magnification and allows you to work about 8 inches from your material. I find this is fine for most work. A #10 gives 3x magnification but only about 4 inches of work distance. This is great for minute details but can be hard on the back over long periods of time. I use a #5 Opti-visor lens for general work and switch to a #10for those times when I need the extra power for very fine details. I guess the best advice I can give new buyers is to get what you
think will work the best for you and what fits your budget.
Other Types of Magnification:
We will talk about opti-visors, microscopes, thread counters, combination lamp/magnifiers, jewelers loupes, binocular loupes and other types of magnifiers during the course. If you already use any of these magnifiers (or another) and are comfortable and enjoy using what you have, go ahead and bring it.
Lighting (desk lamp note):
Our classroom has good overhead light, however you’ll soon learn that you need additional lighting on your bench. This is why a desk lamp is on the materials list. Your lamp should have a flexible neck and use a regular incandescent or low power tungstenbulb. What you want is a lamp whose light can be positioned at a very low angle to the bench, with the back of the lamp pointed towards you while reflecting light off the material you are working on.
Other Items:
(Not required but nice. Bring them if you can.) Plastic box for your tools and supplies. Notebook and pen (For taking notes during discussions). Seat cushion for your stool (they are hard). Three old hand towels (to pad your work and your elbows and for wiping your fingers). Also bring any additional tools and/or supplies you feel you may want or need, any artwork or pictures you would like to work from, and a file folder for holding handouts.
Scrimshaw Class Final Project: For your final project you will need to purchase and bring with you the material you want to use. If you do not bring your own material for your final project, you may select from what I will have on hand. I have no business relationship with them, but TheBoone Trading Company is a reputable company that has any material you may want for your final project. Their number is 1-800-423-1945. Your final piece should be a belt buckle, pendant, money clip, or similar item. I recommend a flat blank rather than a domed cabochon, since domed cabochons are harder for beginners, but a domed cabochon will still be okay if that is what you prefer. Also, for pendants, order a pendant at least 30-40mm in length.
To register contact Donna Haddow, 800 621 TSJC Ext. 5724 or 719 846-5724 or donna.haddow@trinidadstate.edu