Tuesday, February 20, 2018

March – April 2016 – Message from the Guildmaster

April 19, 2016 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

Tom-AmesAs your newly installed Guildmaster, I am pleased to take this opportunity to introduce myself and express my thanks to the HCH membership for electing me to represent you as your Guildmaster.  I know that the HCH Executive Committee and our membership is committed to seeing the guild grow and to continue to foster interest in our heritage in horn.  My thanks are extended to each and everyone one of you in supporting our (and your) efforts to promote the artisanship of horn working, researching and documenting various aspects related to the craft, the collecting and preservation of horn artifacts and sharing our information at public venues so our unique heritage is not lost to the future.

For many years the collecting of longrifles had long overshadowed general interests in powder horns and other horn artifacts.  For decades, powder horns took a back seat to the “Kentucky” rifle.  Thankfully, that has changed.  Over the last 25 years, interest has grown tremendously, not only in powder horns but for general items of horn as well.  Who would have thought that 20 years ago, when the first horn fair was organized by Roland Cadle, that our organization would have stabilized with a membership that hovers around 400?  The guild has come a long way folks.  From a meager beginning of devoted attendees, the HCH, now with a score of years behind us, can count itself as a prestigious and professional association.  The Honourable Company of Horners can be proud of the inroads we have made to bring our lowly horn artifacts of the past to the attention they deserve in this new age of discovery when everything seems to become obsolete soon after it hits the market.

Horn gives us a sense of stability in our world of synthetics and plastics.  Working horn has its way of soothing the soul when we become stressed by daily activities.  It seems give us a sense of belonging to our past as well as strong and lasting connections with others who can understand our particular interests and passions. For many individuals who never suspected they had a creative bone in their body, horn working has awakened newly discovered talents.

The guild has several projects on the horizon.  The publication of a new book by Dr. Jay Hopkins devoted to southern horns—an area that deserves attention and will be the very first work to cover the subject in detail. The On-line Horn Museum is still being finalized.  A formal HCH Library is in the process of being formed.  It will be comprised of contemporary books & research material, as well as rare volumes devoted to horn work and will be made available to members for research at each annual meeting.  Thanks are gratefully extended to HCH member Glenn Beall for the opportunity for the guild to acquire some very rare books devoted to horn working for the general interest and knowledge of our membership.A formal presentation ceremony has now been integrated into recognizing our Journeyman, Master and Historian advancements.  These are but a few additions that have or will be taking place in the near future.

I want to remind everyone that the guild is an active organization comprised of a dedicated membership for the purpose of promoting horn work and researching the varied avenues associated to the craft.  It is up to YOU to help advance the skill and knowledge and thereby, help YOUR guild grow.  There is much work yet to do: Committees need your help.  Our Horn Book is a premier publication but it takes additional funding in order to maintain the level of professionalism expected of it. Any help you can provide to offset this expense is gratefully appreciated.  If you are delinquent in paying dues, please remit them.  If you have thought about joining the guild but are hesitant for whatever reason, please join—we have a lot to offer.  The HCH is comprised of members from all walks of life, members who may be varied in their interests, skills and abilities, but as a new member you will find yourself on common ground with all.  Life is too short to let opportunity pass.

In this, my introductory message, I also want to congratulate and thank Guildmaster-Elect Carl Dumke and Awards Committee Chairman,Clinton Byers for their dedication and their willingness to take on new responsibilities.   I do not wish to take the wind from outgoing GuildmasterToone’s sails, so please check out the upcoming issue of the Horn Book for his complete review of the 2016 Annual Horn Conference.  If you weren’t there, you missed a great weekend of interactive learning and reuniting with good friends and associates.

Thank you all for your support.  I am honored to have your confidence and to have been elected your Guildmaster.

Thos. E. Ames
HCH Guildmaster

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