THE MAKING OF AN AMERICAN ARROW

WE WANTED TO MAKE SOMETHING SPECIAL

as a thank you to our guests from one of our favorite brands- SHINOLA.

so after months of considering every possible swag/gift/object (and realizing its all been done ten fold)

…we landed on something most authentic to summercamp.

an archery arrow.

so- the fun would begin. all in, it took nearly 8 months.

and even more months of researching US family-owned arrow makers- we found a third generation family that had this art in their DNA. and still made them. on the same vintage equipment.

 

we would begin the process of picking the feathers (literally dozens, all turkey feathers, scissor cut and hand died)

then the sinew style (to tie off the tips)

then the knocks (who knew there where so many to choose from? bone to plastic to metal)

then– the wood type for the shafts themselves. (a dozen diff types based on use of arrow)

then we started researching the pantone swatches for the lacquer bands…

 

 

then, we dug into the exploration for the patterns for the bands, (each signify a diff thing)

literally a dozen different versions where designed before we would land on the perfect balance.

after round after round of testing, samples, restarts, shaft bands–

each was hand made, numbered and signed by the maker.

at this point, these arrows where literally our babies.

and babies needed special swaddling-

so after a million phone calls and emails, we found a seamstress to custom make linen (muslin)bags with black thread stitching, andleather strip drawstrings.

on those bags, we rubber stamped with ‘SHINOLA AT WANDAWEGA’.

we then started the equally fun part– the finish and shipping packaging.

wood shavings (after researching and pulling a dozen diff samples)

we found a company who still manufactures the original cardboard arrow shipping boxes.

enclosed in the box was a letterpress thank you card,

which would be affixed with a brass hat clip fish hook,

which was tucked into in a wooden veneernvelope,

which was then rolled into a new-old-stock archery target.

tucked inside that was a offset print black-core card with the story of the maker.

we enclosed each with a letterpress sealing band, and vintage camp postcard.

we made only 40 of these, as gifts for our friends who came to hold a creative retreat at camp.

our friend Joline Rivera was so taken by the craftsmanship of these arrows, and so enamored by the story of the maker- it took her all of an hour to contact them, book a flight to come shoot a story.

the story would become a beautiful offset printed book. hand stiched binding, and a feather sewn to the cover…. that arrow, her visit, thestory of making these lovely limited edition arrows would later become a story- just published in the latest issue of SWEET PAUL MAGAZINE.

These arrows will not be sold in stores. They where few, and they where special.

as are the few who still possess this rare talent to make them.

 

thank you:

  • photographers: Paul Strabbing, Matthew Gore, Kathryn Gambling
  • model, book maker & designer: Joline Rivera
  • assembly team: Emily Monroe, Herb & Anna Hernandez

 

THE BOOK JOLINE DESIGNED & MADE:

THIS is the new issue of Sweet Paul Magazine, with the feature story of the maker and the craft.