Mark Kisenwether

Gunmaker - Craftsman

For as long as I can remember, I have always had the desire to build and repair things, and what started as tinkering with broken things, has turned into a lifelong passion. Accurately preserving the past not only affords due respect to our forebearers, but more importantly our posterity will greatly benefit from having physical things that make a direct connection to their history. In today's world of technogadgetry, one cannot expect to experience from looking at a two-dimensional collection of pixels on a screen, as they can from running their hands over three-dimensional object. No matter how skilled the painter or photographer, a picture lacks the sensations of sight, feel, and smell that their generations-removed grandparents experienced. This is not just about the “stuff”, it's about actually experiencing the past and understanding how the craftsman put a part of themselves into their work.

I have been exceptionally blessed to have enjoyed experiences that many people cannot even imagine; though the mileage has taken its toll on my body, I would not change a thing! Many describe their lives as being a linear path, or coming full-circle, but mine is a collection of seemingly random tangents where the most modern automated mass-manufacturing machinery collides with nineteenth century muzzleloaders, tenth century wood work, and four-thousand year old tools. No matter the time or place, the one thing that remains true is the craftsman's dedication to their craft, and it is my desire to not only preserve and represent the physical treasures of the past, but also to carry on, and pass on, the craftsman's tradition.

While I have dedicated much time to the study of everything from the historical methods and materials to modern industrial engineering, I have come to understand that one can live a hundred lifetimes and still have as much to learn at the end, as in the beginning.