Beauty from Scratch

Don't settle for ordinary, plain gun stocks and handgun grips or mediocre gun leather. Turn them into personalized works of art!

About Beauty From Scratch

Custom Wood CarvingBeauty from Scratch is basically me -- Ben Hansen, formerly Thomas Josiah Dimsdale (SASS 3930) when I was a cowboy shooter.

I retired in 2010 as executive editor of Prescott Newspapers Inc. where I spent the past 13 years of nearly 50 years in the newspaper business.

Ben Hansen - Wood CarvingsI came to woodcarving and scrimshaw through my love of the old west and cowboy action shooting. I have done my own leather work most of my life, and I made all my own rigs when I got into cowboy shooting. I also admired fancy grips and fancy guns, so I started studying scrimshaw and woodcarving. I use a combination of traditional tools and ultra-high speed tools in doing both.

For seven years while I lived in Prescott, AZ, I was a member of the Prescott Gang, a group of gun craftsmen who each year put together a one-of-a-kind gun-holster-presentation box collection which the Happy Trails Foundation raffled off to benefit the youth home that Roy Rogers founded near his ranch in Apple Valley, CA. Since their inception, the Silver Screen Legends series has brought in more than $100,000 each.

Let’s talk about what I do.

First, gunstock carving. Imparting beautiful scroll designs and hunting scenes on gunstocks is a longtime tradition in Europe. It also appeared on early muzzle-loaders in this country and on fancy presentation guns. But with the advent of ultra-high-speed carving tools, it is becoming more widely popular in the U.S. It’s possible to put images of your favorite game animals, portraits of loved ones and pets – really almost anything on your rifles, along with ornate, European fish-scale, basket-weave or diamond checkering or stippling. Correspondingly, you can do the same on wood handgun grips.

Second, attractive on ivory or imitation ivory Scrimshaw had its beginnings in almost all maritime cultures. On the whaling ships of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries, sailors relieved their boredom by scratching images into whale’s teeth and bone and then filled the scratches with lamp black to complete the image. Scrimshaw is especially attractive on ivory or imitation ivory grips, but it also looks good on real or imitation mother of pearl. It’s possible to transfer almost any image you want onto grips in scrimshaw.

Finally, leather work. I have been making holsters, purses and wallets since junior high school. I make beautiful, hand-tooled cowboy action shooting rigs, but I also do many shoulder holsters and concealed carry holsters.

Each piece of any work I do is unique and hand made.

I look forward to working with you to make each of your guns a unique work of art that shoots and rests in unique, beautiful weather.

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