Horn artist seeks study funds

2016-02-26 06:00
Selma Niewoudt seeks funds to study horn scrimshaw abroad.

Selma Niewoudt seeks funds to study horn scrimshaw abroad.

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A FORMER teacher in Kokstad has taken an interest in a different kind of craft that has very few people practising it in South Africa.

Selma Nieuwoudt decorates bull horns with scrimshaw, which she says she started about ten years ago.

“When I left teaching due to getting Parkinson’s Disease, I spent more time researching the art and found a whole new aspect to it,” she said.

Powder horns were used to carry gunpowder for front loading flintlock guns.

“The use of Napoleon’s army of metal powder flasks in the early 1800s made the horns become obsolete.”

The method used by soldiers of the early American colonies, whose unique engraving-style became a folk art, is still taught and practised by the Honourable company of Horners (the American guild of powder horn makers).

“The guild is the reason for my fund-raiser. I am seeking donations to study under, and be recognised by, the Honourable Company of Horners.”

Nieuwoudt said members of the horn decorating guild in America actually replicate gunpowder horns from the 1700s. Some of them are sold and some create them to become family heirlooms.

“I would like to go to America and learn this craft and then hopefully come back to South Africa and teach classes,” she said.

“Classes begin in April which is around the corner and that would be American Spring. I would like to have enough money by then,” added Nieuwoudt.

If you would like to fund Nieuwoudt’s trip, please visit

https://www.youcaring.com/selma-nieuwoudt there is an option to donate via PayPal in US dollars but donations of any currency are welcome.

“If anyone is interested in this art, please contact me through the website’s comments sections,” she said.

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