Thursday, January 18, 2018

February 2014 – Message from the Guildmaster

February 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster



Guildmaster Jeff Bibb.

I hope that the advent of February finds you in good spirits. We are anxiously awaiting the coming of spring and some relief from the cold, stink bugs, and high heating bills .I suspect our forefathers felt much the same way, and looked forward to hearing the birds sing, the greening of the fields, and the promises of another year. Life held no guarantees for our colonial ancestors and the brevity of life for many of them bears this out. We are indeed fortunate to experience life in our time, even with the frustrations that our modern world often provides.

Speaking of high spirits, what more could we all look forward to than the first weekend of March in Carlisle, Pennsylvania? Yes, once again it is time for the annual meeting. I don’t know where the past year went. Seems like only a couple of months ago, I was on my way to Carlisle for the last meeting. This year promises to be a stellar event with more masters workshops including a special bag-making workshop with Frank Willis. Dick Toone has been turning out horns, one after another on the spring pole lathe. Personally, I can’t wait to see what he has learned over the past year’s operations.

On Friday and Saturday, Tom Ames will give two presentations focused on “Symbolism” in horn work. Due to unfortunate circumstances, Tom was unable to attend last year, and we are all looking forward to hearing his thoughts and observations this time around. This topic is a fascinating study, and with Tom’s dedicated research and interest in history, I am sure we are in for a real treat.

The display room will once again be in full swing with a special table for the numerous raffle prizes that folks have generously donated. Thanks to everyone who has helped in this area, and especially to Kris Polizzi, our Fund Raising Chairwoman, who has worked diligently to make our raffles a success. In addition, there will be a special display of original hunting bags and/or bags and horns. At this point, I believe we have around twenty originals lined up to show. This will be a rare opportunity to closely examine numerous links to the past in leatherwork, all under one roof. I should make note that this display will be a strictly “Hands-Off” affair. Because of the fragile nature of 100+ year old leather and fittings, please do not handle any of the bags without explicit permission from the owner.

Another new addition to the displays will be a table hosted by the Southern Chapter. Having just completed our fourth year of gathering and horn-working instruction, we will have a special display featuring all of the horns completed at this year’s meeting, along with various examples of previous years’ work. I hope you will stop by and see what your Southern brothers have been up to.

Of course, Saturday will culminate with the awards presentations and our traditional banquet on Saturday night. Last year was full of surprises for all in attendance, particularly for our past Guildmasters. We have tentative plans for a special speaker at the banquet that I think you will all enjoy. This year, I have been promised that there will be no fireworks and surprises, but with the devious minds of some of our membership, I remain unconvinced. I suppose you will have to attend to see for yourself.

With all of this activity going on, the weekend promises to be a busy occasion. However, I believe the true value of this gathering lies in the assemblage of our members to talk, share, laugh, and celebrate our historical pursuits in grand fashion. Nowhere else can one experience this level of talent and commitment to the furthering of history and horn working. No other organization offers the sharing of information and techniques that are freely passed on to anyone willing to listen and learn. This level of communication and teaching among our membership is unique, and perhaps our most valuable asset. I hope that you will avail yourself of this opportunity to gather with your friends in the coming month. I look forward to seeing all of you there.

The end of this conference will mark new beginnings for the guild in several areas. We are working hard on the first section of the new “HCH Jim Dresslar Digital Museum”. Several hundred images from the original book have already been digitally transferred and are ready for publication. Dick Toone will assume the office of Guildmaster for the coming two years. We are all looking forward to working with Dick, and I am certain that he will continue our growth and expansion in the historical community in fine fashion. I would also like to see our members meet on more local levels to teach, learn and share our pursuits. I challenge you to expand your efforts in this area to augment interest in horn-working, and to help others grow and learn their craft(s). The success of our little annual gathering in North Carolina convinces me that local workshops like this serve to strengthen the HCH through the spirit and participation of its members.

As always, I encourage your thoughts, observations and comments. My door is always open, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,

Jeff Bibb

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