Hershel House and his Woodbury School
By Mel Hankla, Photography by Ric Lambert, Jan Riser, Mel Hankla & H. David Wright, Reprinted with permission from Muzzleloader magazine, July/August 2009.
Hershel Carmen House was born July 4, 1941 and needs no introduction to these pages. His work has been nationally known for the better part of four decades. Hershel and his younger brothers Frank and John are the progenitors of what is known as the "Woodbury School" in today's contemporary longrifle society. Named for the small Kentucky town on the banks of the Green river in which they grew up. Products made by this family ingenuously express their personalities, exhibit varied artistic talents, and reveal a genuine way of life that has significantly influenced many aspects and countless members of today's contemporary longrifle culture.
Frank & Lally House - Artistry in Unison
By Mel Hankla, Photography by Ric Lambert, Gordon Barlow & H. David Wright, Reprinted by permission of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association / Muzzle Blasts magazine, April 2009.
Frank and Lally House are well known in today's contemporary longrifle culture. Each an artisan in their own right, their names are usually spoken together and their unique conceptual art is treasured by collectors internationally. Lally creates embroidered pieces inspired by traditional Native American designs using naturally dyed porcupine quills and moose hair. Frank is a renowned gunmaker, blacksmith, and horn worker who was influenced by his brother Hershel House, the progenitor of the Woodbury school of contemporary longrifles.
Meet John House, Builder of Fine Knives and Longrifles
By Mark Sage, Photography by Ric Lambert, Jan Riser & H. David Wright, Reprinted by permission of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association / Muzzle Blasts magazine, March 2009.
In Woodbury, Kentucky, near the Green River, is a very neat and efficient shop, reconstructed from an old general store that John House frequented when he was a boy. It was a sentimental restoration project for John and he did 98% of the work himself with very few modern tools and even less money. John dismantled the old store piece by piece, found another similar building to help make up for some of the rotten wood and restored the relic from his early childhood that held so many pleasant memories for him. The final result is a charming, well-built structure that is neither shiny nor pretentious - sporting the old patina on the siding and exuding an earlier era in Kentucky's history. This resurrected building is a strong and stunning reflection of a man possessing considerable artistic talent, attention to detail and a gifted ability to meld wood and metal craft into a thing of beauty and functionality, while at the same time coaxing the past into sharp and harmonious focus. It is this commitment to patience, solid construction methods and historic realism that guides everything he does-whether it be a hand forged knife or a fine longrifle or even a willow back chair.
Preserving American Tradition - Hershel, Frank, and John House carry on the magic passed down by the old masters.
By Mel Hankla, Photography by Ric Lambert, Steve Auvenshine & H. David Wright, Reprinted with permission from Muzzleloader magazine, January/February 2009.
There has never been a time since its invention that the American muzzleloading rifle has not been produced; yet when regarded simply as a shooting apparatus, it fell out of favor soon after the close of the Civil War with the development of the metallic cartridge. However, during the last 50 or so years, thousands of individuals have again become very interested in them. They study them, read about them, collect them, shoot them, andů they build them...