- Associated Press - Sunday, October 12, 2014

PERRYVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Powder horns and flintlocks aren’t commonly used or made in modern times, but one Perryville man has found a passion in creating them.

Terry Goode, owner of Goode’s Locksmith, spends much of his free time scrimshawing powder horns.

“It’s just a hobby that I do while I’m watching TV,” he said. “My wife quilts and I scrimshaw. It’s a nice hobby.”

He learned the craft in 1973 from his future father-in-law, Walter “Buddy” Tyler. Goode was something of an artist and Tyler showed him how to apply that skill to powder horns.

“He was like, ‘You’re a pretty good artist, I’d like you to try something.’ It went from there,” Goode said. As he got into the craft, Tyler showed him various scrimshaw work and more about making the powder horns.

“I’ve kind of carried it on,” he said.

Since then, Goode has made and scrimshawed about 250 powder horns.

“You make a picture with a knife and a pencil - but it all starts with a horn,” Goode said. He scrapes them smooth and fits a walnut plug to hold the powder. It’s attached with brass or wooden nails and beeswax to seal the space. Goode also makes a plug for the smaller end of the horn, which has to be removable in order to get the powder out.

To scrimshaw on an item, Goode will draw a design in pencil. The design is then cut using a knife - pocket knife for Goode - to carve out the image. After that, ink, dirt, oil or graphite from the pencil is rubbed into the design. It’s then rubbed down, traditionally with glass, to smooth the surface out.

“I stay more traditional. We have a lot of artisans who scrimshaw and they’re very good, but I stay more traditional,” Goode explained.

His designs often include eagles or maps of the area.

“They won’t look like the highway maps of today, but you’ll have Fort Logan, Harrodsburg, Danville, Harbison Station - which was Perryville - Bardstown. Places of the time,” Goode explained.

The maps are sometimes difficult to depict - especially Kentucky with its numerous waterways. It isn’t so important to have the distances correct, Goode explained, just the locations as soldiers would use the maps to know which area they needed to walk in.

Other traditional scrimshaw work included name, rank and other identifying details as they were carried by soldiers; propaganda; or whatever the owner would want on there - “it was more than just to hold gunpowder,” he said.

The curved surface makes drawing on horns a bit more difficult.

“If you took this picture and laid it out flat, it wouldn’t look right,” Goode said. He always draws straight on the surface, because that’s the best way to determine placement, he said. “It’s all about aesthetics.”

Scrimshawing traditionally involved a piece of ivory, but now usually uses cattle horns. It can be done on other surfaces as well - Goode has created designs on cue balls and even Ostrich eggs.

He sometimes uses old yard sale or estate sale finds to locate deer antlers for the plugs or cow horns to work on. While he generally buys the cow horns from a dealer, he said those can also sometimes be found at the estate sales, as people used them to decorate over doorways in homes.

Goode’s father-in-law passed other traditional crafts onto him - how to build flintlock pistols and forge knives. For a woodworking project his senior year at Danville High School, Goode built a flintlock rifle - everything except the barrel and the lock was homemade.

“This started from a square block of wood,” Goode said, showing off a flintlock pistol he is working on. “We try to use curly maple - in furniture they call it tiger striped.”

While he has made the parts for the guns over the years, now Goode primarily purchases the parts, carving the wood and assembling the gun himself. In the past, the only way to obtain the parts for a flintlock were to purchase the old guns - now there are companies that specialize in parts for the flintlocks.

It’s not uncommon for a person to do more than one craft, and like many others who scrimshaw and make flintlock pistols, Goode also forges knives, but said he doesn’t do that as much.

“It’s a wintertime thing,” he said with a smile. Goode also used to re-enact but said he has scaled back on that as well.

His favorite remains scrimshawing.

“I just fell in love with it. It was something I was interested in and I had talent and just put it to use,” he said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide