I use rasps and files to shape the horn, including the bolsters.
I use these tools to carve in and scrimshaw the design. Concrete nails, pounded out, shaped, hardened, and set into dowels.
The colors are ink. When I'm done I boil the horn in a strong brew of tea. much of the color is lost or doesn't show up real strong after that process. The "distlefink's" as the PA Dutch call them, I used our own thistle fink's, better known as the gold finch and the gold hue is pretty much lost in the photograph, but is there.
My dyslexia is showing Jaeger. Not to worry though, lots of misspelled words on original horns. Not a first for me either, I've misspelled the name of guys I was making them for, but never got a call to change it, they liked the mistake.
When I'm putting lettering on a horn its more like drawing than writing, that plus an intermittent dyslexia that seems to be getting worse with age is all I got. I was never issued an internal spell check either. There that ought to cover it.
Thank you Bob.
Many, many years ago a fellow entered a set of horns at Dixons' that I had made for myself. To be honest, at the time I didn't know what Dixons' was or its' importance to the world of muzzleloading, I have since learned. I wasn't there that year and he told me they didn't quire know where to place my horns for the judging but they liked them and gave me a first place in whatever category they finally settled on. It was a very humbling experience for me and I still have the ribbon and jury summery.
Thank you again for the kind words.
I think I'm on my third set of straps, and probably the last, Hah!