“‘Powder Horns Fabrication & Decoration’ a book review”

Jim Stevens is a member of the Honourable Company of Horners and an author. Stevens wrote Powder Horns: Fabrication & Decoration. I asked Stevens if I could review the book and he sent me a loaner copy very quickly. My assessment of the book follows and I hope you enjoy it. By the way, the HCH’s publication, The Horn Book, will have a more detailed article about Jim Stevens in the next issue.

Thanks for reading — Rick Sheets HCH Webmaster.

Powder Horns: Fabrication & Decoration
Author: Jim Stevens    Schiffer Publishing    Size: 8 1/2″ x 11
Illustrations: 275 color photos     Pages: 176     Binding: Soft Cover

First of all, I want to thank Jim Stevens for allowing me to review his book. The book is thoughtfully laid out in six chapters, from horn basics through how to strap the horn for carrying. You can start with a fresh horn or hull, learn to turn it into a powder horn, embellish it and then finish with a finger woven strap.

Stevens’ book does not gloss over anything.

Something I look for in a “how to” book is appropriate illustrations or photographs. Stevens’ book has 275 of them. Stevens’ writing is clear and concise. He picked a clean, modern type face and size that makes the book easy to read

Chapter 4 was most interesting for me. Stevens takes the reader through the decorating process. Stevens illustrates the time-tested scrimshaw techniques for the purist, and then how to use technology to help get the image you want on your horn. The option of using modern transfer techniques is very nice if you have a complex image to reproduce or if you are challenged in drawing. So do it old-school or new-school; it is up to you.

I would like to point out that the book has what I consider a bonus; you will find a whole chapter on how to weave a strap using several different methods.

Using the clear instructions in this book removes any excuse you have for making a nice horn and then strapping it badly! After reading Powder Horns: Fabrication & Decoration, I can truthfully say, “Pick-up the book, then buy your horn and tools.” You will save a few false starts and a wasted horn or two.

>>Buy the book from Schiffer Publications from this link.<< -Rick Sheets


The Honorable Company of Horners

April 21, 2011

Rick Sheets