Erwin Tschanz is a landscape contractor for the warm months of the year, which leaves him time during the winter for his hobby, turned business in 1979—Gen-Nis-He-Yo Trading Co., from the Seneca word for “Land of the Beautiful Valley.”
Tschanz makes an assortment of reproduction 18th- and early-19th-Century items in horn, leather, and treen. He is passionate about making things using techniques from more than 200 years ago. He believes many of these methods have been lost with time and have to be rediscovered.
In 1980 he earned the titles of Master Horn-smith and Journey-man Leather Worker from the Brigade of the American Revolution. He is a founding member of the Honorable Company of Horners and holds a master’s rating.
His work in natural, pressed, and turned horn includes powder horns, priming and pocket horns, needle cases, mugs, beakers, boxes, bullet and shot tips, spoons, and oil bottles. Among the treen he copies from 18th-Century pieces are plates, bowls, tumblers, goblets, serving bowls, trays, cutting boards, and some Native American style bowls, spoons, and water drums.
Through his company Tschanz offers various knives and tomahawks as well as leather hunting pouches, knife and tomahawk cases, wallets, notebooks, flint wallets, bullet bags, shot snakes, belts, and straps. All leather goods are made from vegetable-tanned leathers that are hand sewn with linen thread.
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