Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Great Event!

Wow, did we ever have a great time at the SCA Agincourt Tourney last Sunday.
In the days leading up to the event I was being a bit of a weenie worrying about the weather. I hate trying to keep my goods dry under the overhead and I didn't want to get all the way to the site and find out that it was canceled for rain.
Luckily, the day was great. Weather was a little bit overcast and cool but there was no hint of moisture until right as we were packing up to leave.

Typically, I don't sell a lot of ready-made arrows. I have a few dozen on my table so people have something to look at and see examples of the art I do but I have always thought that the chances of an archer finding the right arrow dynamics (spine, tip weight, length, etc.) in colors that they like are rather slim. That's why I make true custom arrows, so we can get all that stuff done right.
Well, this event proved me wrong. Of the five or six sets of arrows on the table, three of them are now in new loving homes. I don't really have time to make more arrows for the table before this coming weekend's Queen's Champion event so I hope everyone understands that my display will be a little bare until I've had a chance to get more put together.

Those Asian flavor bow socks I just made got a good reception. One gentleman was looking for a bow sock for his Asiatic recurve and when I showed him those cases it turned out to be just perfect. If you're gonna have utility, there's no reason why that utility can't be beautiful.

After this weekend's event I have a suggestion: if you get a new set of arrows start out close to the target.
One gentleman this weekend had the first two shots with his new arrows sail right over the target. The new arrows were apparently faster and had a flatter trajectory than what he was used to. One of those overshot arrows was recovered but the last I heard, one was still out there in the grass.
Lesson learned, start close to see how things go before backing up.

Happy archery!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Important Links

See all those links over on the left side of the page?

Those are all links to places that I think you may be interested in for one reason or another. Some are good places to buy things and some are good for information.
I guess it’s about time that I give a few minutes to explain them.

Greenman Cooking Blog
This one is a little self-explanatory, it’s a small time cooking blog that I write. I really enjoy cooking, and while I’m no famous chef I have managed to keep my girlfriend and I in good food and occasionally manage to cook something good for friends or family.
In the Greenman Cooking blog I may discuss recipes I’ve tried or want to try, things I want to buy for the kitchen, cooking programs I like to watch (I love PBS cooking shows), or just about anything else that comes to my mind on the subject.

Greenman Gourds Blog
In addition to making and selling arrows I am also a gourd artist, and perhaps I am using that term a little loosely… I am no fine artist by any stretch of the imagination.
Gourds give me a good outlet for art that really isn’t suitable for the 11/32” dowel of an arrow. With gourds I can paint them, stain them, burn them, carve them, or just leave them natural. I particularly enjoy making usable gourd art like drinking vessels, bowls, canteens, cups, and drums. My gourd art runs towards the primitive style, partly due to that’s what I like to do and partly because my artistic talents don’t extend to more complicated art.

Jesse's Hunting and Outdoors Forum
Jesse’s is an internet forum covering hunting, fishing, and all the attendant variations of such. The forum is based in southern California and that is where many of the participants are located. However, as it has grown we’ve seen Jesse’s gather a much wider following.
The forum is broken up into sections covering a wide variety of subjects. If you are at all interested in the outdoors there is a good chance that you’ll find something of interest and other people to chat with about it.
Membership in Jesse’s is free.
Warning: if you’re anti-gun, anti-hunting, or vegetarian, it is very unlikely that you will enjoy the site.

Paleo Planet
With the help of the late Kris Tuomala, Tom Mills has created what is possibly the world’s best forum for pursuing and sharing knowledge of the old ways of doing things.
If you’re interested in flintknapping, primitive pottery, primitive living, primitive archery, metal forging, or any number of other subjects, you’ll probably find it at Paleo Planet. One of the really incredible things about Paleo Planet is its international membership. There are literally participants from all over the world.
Membership in PaleoPlanet is free and there are basically only two rules: no politics and no religion - two subjects that can be quite divisive.

Richard's Bowyery
Richard Saffold makes wood bows. He makes good wood bows and he makes them for a very reasonable price.
While Richard uses and is familiar with a number of different woods, he particularly loves to use ipe, a tropical hardwood. Ipe was originally brought to the US to use in the construction of backyard decks. Richard was one of the first bowyers to see this wood’s possibilities and has written a number of articles about it for major traditional archery magazines.
Steven Saffold, Richard’s oldest son, has become a pretty accomplished knapper. His work is also available through Richard’s Bowyery.

Sagittarius Archery
The Sagittarius website is pretty bare and basic. You won’t find flashy pictures of what they carry or a bunch of text. What you will find is just about the best price on feather fletching that’s out there. It’s where I get a lot of the feathers I use.
For the best service, give Ruth a call at the number listed on the Sagittarius site, she’s great to deal with and she’ll set you right up.

Trad Gang
Trad Gang evolved from people who got tired of another traditional archery forum. It quickly grew in membership and is now one of the leading forums on the subject of traditional archery with over 25,000 members.
Within the Trad Gang forums you’ll find sub-forums on many different aspects of our passion: collecting, making, selling, shooting, events, politics, photography, etc.
Membership in Trad Gang is free.

Vador Fletching Jigs
A question that comes up pretty frequently in archery forums is, “what fletching jig should I buy?”
The usual answer is Bitzenburger. While there is no doubt that the Bitzenburger is a great jig, I tend to see them as too pricey, especially if you need more than one. When it was time for me to buy my first jig I got a Vador Uni-fletch. I’ve never regretted that decision and now have a table of 12 Vador Uni-fletch jigs as well as a couple off to the side for small jobs and repairs. Some of my jigs are now about 15 years old and I can’t tell the difference with a jig I bought two months ago.
If you are in the market for a fletching jig, email Vador and there is a chance that they will have cosmetic second jigs available for a good price.

Victor Smith Knives
I first met Victor at the old Wrightwood knap-in in Wrightwood, CA. He let me shoot his Bear Kodiak Magnum and that was it, I was hooked on those beautiful short bows.
Victor makes some of the nicest and best performing hunting knives that you can imagine. He’s done extensive testing to figure out what makes a knife perform to its utmost and does everything in his power to make a knife that makes your hand happy to hold and use it. Victor's 40 years of traditional archery hunting have served well to teach him what's needed in a knife.
Take a look at Victor Smith Knives and you'll see handmade tools crafted by a man who puts a lot of love, passion, and hard earned skill into his craft, and that knife will do the job for you.

White Wolf Custom Bows
Tony Semenuk is the owner and bowyer for White Wolf Custom Bows. While I’ve never shot a White Wolf bow I have it on very good authority that they’re great shooters. Tony leans more to colored actionwood instead of expensive exotic woods in the risers. This keeps the cost under control and gives a very unique look to the bow. There are White Wolf bows that are a little flashy for the range as well as bows that are a little subdued for the forest.

None of the sites listed above give me anything to be listed in my links column. In many cases they have no idea they are even there. But for each one of these links I feel strongly enough about it to include it here and recommend it to my readers.

Happy Archery!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanks Everyone!

You can't see it but there is a hit counter on each of my blogs.
Besides the number of hits I get on each blog I can also see interesting information like where a particular visit is coming from and if a visitor uses a link from the blog to exit.
Trust me, I can't tell who anyone is or get specific information about them. The best I can do is see about where a reader is in the world.
Speaking of which... take a look at this map, it shows the general location of recent visitors to Greenman Archery:

(click to enlarge)
A visitor from Johannesburg, South Africa... is the Internet great, or what?

From the time I started the hit counter to today, when I am typing this post, there have been 8,375 visits to Greenman Archery, 999 visits to Greenman Cooking, and 409 visits to Greenman Gourds (that's always been a slow blog, both in my posting and in visits).

Thanks to everyone who reads the blog on a regular basis and to those who just stop for a quick visit. Thanks especially to those of you whom I have had the pleasure to communicate with and answer your questions. 
Not a whole lot of people sign up to follow the blogs or actually leave feedback, but that's just human nature. I still appreciate everyone who has been here.

Happy blogging!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hand Dyed Canvas Bow Socks are Back!

I’ve been running low on the longer lengths of canvas bow socks so I finally bit the bullet, bought another roll of fabric and made another order of dye.
For about the last week I’ve been cutting, washing, dyeing, washing, and sewing bow socks in the 70” and 80” sizes.
While I personally don’t care for padded bow socks I realize that some archers like them. Problem is, most padded socks are made of wool or fleece and those materials tend to collect stickers and pine needles. Both of which can be a real pain to remove from the fabric.
This go-round I’m making a few fleece lined canvas socks to see how they are received. These socks will have the advantage of a strong sticker-resistant canvas outside and a padded fleece inside. I will have some in both the 70” and the 80” bow socks.
I recently saw some really nice fabric with a decided Oriental flare to it. I’m going to get some of that and make a few canvas lined bow socks out of it. These will be really striking and unique socks that will be just the thing for an Asiatic recurve bow.
The new roll of canvas I got came at a higher price than the last roll I bought so I’m afraid these new socks will be a little higher price than in the past:
Hand dyed 10oz canvas bow sock - $10.00
Hand dyed 10oz canvas bow sock w/fleece lining - $15.00
Asian pattern bow sock w/canvas lining - $15.00
Bow socks that I still have in stock from before will remain at the old price of $8.00 each until they are gone. I’ve never really understood why stores raise prices on old stock when the new stuff comes in higher. I’m sure it makes sense to an accountant somewhere but it doesn’t to me.

Events Coming Up
It looks like the next event I'll be at is the SCA Altavia Agincourt Archery & Thrown Weapons Tournament at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, CA on Sunday, October 24th

After that is Queen's Champion Equestrian, Archery, and Thrown Weapons on October 29-31 near Santa Barbara, CA. (not yet confirmed on this one, I'll make a note when I am). Confirmed!

In November is one of the premier 3D shoots for Southern California, the Gene Foster Memorial Traditional Rendezvous, November 13-14 up outside Fresno, CA. A good friend has been trying to get me to this shoot for a few years and this year it will finally happen. I'm really looking forward to being there.

Finally, the Shire of Heatherwyne is holding Medieval Marketplace on Saturday, November 27, Kunz Park in La Verne, CA. Not an archery event but this one promises to be fun.

I got this in an email recently. While I am normally fairly modest it made me so happy I just have to share it:
Greetings Guy: I just wanted to give you a BIG Thank you.  I have had and shot alot of arrows over the years but your arrows are superior. They love my longbow and it loves them. I am shooting groups with your arrows I have not been able to shoot with other arrows. Just wanted to say GREAT JOB and keep it up. Thanks again. Don

Woo hoo!
But, lest I forget myself and try to take all the credit, good equipment will only get an archer so far. It still takes a skilled hand at the string to get the arrow going to the target.

Happy Archery!