Thursday, July 31, 2014

Got an e-mail recently from a friend who expressed the opinion that adding some "how-to" type writing to my blog might help with increasing the interest.  I'm sure he's correct, and I intend to share some of my bumbling at some point.  However, I am equally sure that my expertise is not in the crafting of primitive tools.  My creations are serviceable, and meet my needs without being an embarrassment when I use them in public.  Make no mistake though, others do it much better.
One of these others is a fellow by the name of John Strunk.  He lives on the Oregon coast with his wife Pat, and a nicer couple would be hard to find.  My favorite story about John illustrates the type of person that he is, and one of the reasons I like and respect him as much as I do.  It occurred one day while we were wandering around "stump shooting."  Knowing that he is both an avid fisherman and hunter, I asked him which was his first love.  Without hesitation he told me, "my wife." 
John is a retired wood shop teacher with a long-time interest in bow-building.  His skills have moved well past craft to artistry, and I have had the privilege of taking a couple of classes from him that have truly impressed me, not only for the amazing performance potential that he helps you to release from simple pieces of wood, but also for his ability to make the finished product beautiful in the process.  He's a fine teacher, with a calm and clear style, ideal for young and old alike.  Within the past few years I was able to acquire a couple examples of his handicraft, and they can  easily compare in performance with the few glass bows remaining in my collection.  Whatever limits they have in contrast to fiberglass they more than make up for in attractiveness and that indescribable, soulful feel that wooden tools have that glass and plastic simply do not.  He's been in a few publications, one of them being the (now) four volume set of the Bowyer's Bible, and I've come across one or two articles in Primitive Archer Magazine.  John continues to offer 1-2 day classes, either in the intimacy of his home shop, with room enough for maybe 3-4 people (including John) and also in workshops that he holds at various gatherings for archery enthusiasts.  Last I spoke to him, his bow making business had achieved the level that he no longer needs to advertise, as orders generated by word of mouth have been sufficient to give him all the business he can handle.  That being said, I am going to publish his e-mail. 

You can reach him at .

To actually get a look at the man, hear his philosophy in his own words, and some other examples of his work, check out the link below. 

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I just today (after many months of the Blog being up) figured out how to allow comments on the things I post. That has always been my intention, but apparently I didn't know how. I will moderate the comments, but I welcome disagreement as long as it is civil. Strong language in the heat of passion is okay, abuse and personal attacks are not. Enjoy yourselves!