An Artist & Craftsman
I think of myself as an artist and craftsman working in a number of mediums, but I have a 40 year obsession with the recreation of flintlock longrifles and accouterments. My particular interest, being a Virginian, is in longrifles from Virginia and East Tennessee along with their associated shot pouches, and powder horns.
While I have referred to myself as a gunmaker, gun stocker, or gunsmith; I have interests in all sorts of arts and crafts including sewing, leather work, fraktur (18th and 19th century German American calligraphy & folk art), period cabinet making and joinery, wood turning, and photography. I have relegated the role of gunmaker to a hobby and am concentrating on the recreation of historically correct shot pouches, powder horns and fraktur. Going forward I will be concentrating on my role as a harness maker and horner.
An Craftsman at Home in Any Century
As much as I consider myself an artist and craftsman, I made my living mostly in information technologies for over 20 years. I am now retired due to my health, but I still keep my hand in cutting edge technology with my photography work, maintaining this web site, and working with the audio/visual ministry at my church. Very early, however, I fell in love with antique firearms, particularly the American longrifle. I was captivated by the artistry and craftsmanship of these guns. The variety of skills required to create one appealed to me as well as its integral part in the history of our nation. I was also, and still am, fascinated with the flintlock as an ignition mechanism. Consequently, I have spent a good bit of my spare time , what little there was of it, learning to build flintlock longrifles. I am still learning, and currently picking at a couple of personal projects that should stretch my carving and engraving skills. That must take a back seat, though, to my new concentration on being a professional harness maker and horner.
As important as recreating flintlock longrifles and accouterments is to me, I strive to make Christ the most important thing in my life because he died so that sinners like you and I might be forgiven our sins and gain eternal life. I have had, and continue to have, some very difficult challenges with my health and have seen some very dark times. It is only through faith, prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit that I have made it through many days. Life isn’t easy, and Christians aren’t perfect. I am certainly very far from perfect. We are all sinners. The Bible tells us that not one of us is justified. However, as a Christian, you are forgiven and striving to get better in every way each day. As a sinner needing forgiveness; just ask Christ into your life; sincerely repent of your sins; rejoice in the fact that your sins, past, present, and future are forgiven and forgotten; and let the Lord help you each day to become the person he wants you to be. Not unlike mastering the recreation of flintlock longrifles, it is a life long, difficult, journey, but the end of the journey is eternal life. Don’t wait, start your journey today! Jesus loves you and is waiting for you to ask him into your life. Once you do, you will also find that he will lift your burdens and make things possible that are far beyond your capabilities.
May God bless you.
Mark E. Elliott