Huntworthy Productions supplies traditionalists with handcrafted bows and other necessities for an unforgettable archery experience. Here at Huntworthy, we understand the demands of the hunt and the archery lifestyle. James Parker is the only bowyer at Huntworthy Productions. All bows on this website are built exclusively by him. When it comes to traditional archery, James produces bows from one end of the spectrum to the other -- from simple stick bows, to bamboo backed and bellied composite bows, to fiberglass bows, to elite horn bows -- all his bow types are truly worthy of the hunt.
James's love of archery began in his childhood at the age of six, as he constructed and shot simple bows made of sticks and strings. From there, his journey in bow making began. Through the years, he researched, studied, and practiced building bows. He met Herb Reynolds, founder of Carolina Traditinal Archers, and recognizes him for his support and knowledge of archery. Through much hard work, James familiarized himself with many facets of archery till he was able to construct bows from one end of the archery spectrum to the other. Today, the range of James's bow-building experience extends from the modern to the ancient. He has built primitive self bows and also replicated nearly every type of Native American bow known to modern man. He enjoys making laminated bows of all-natural materials, employing the superior capabilities of bamboo in many of his models. Also in his repertoire are modern composite recurves and longbows. James has researched and replicated bows (and other weaponry) of ancient people from around the world. James has always had a special affinity for horn bows, and his bow-building skills reach their apex when he began successfully replicating composite horn bows. James has built the same types of these exceedingly powerful war bows that were used in China, Hungary, the Middle East, and various parts of Asia. James's love and knowledge of archery is not only intellectual. It is also personal and widely used and practiced in his daily life. Not only does James makes his own personal bows, but he also makes his own arrows of river cane, which he tips with his own stone arrowheads. He uses these to hunt and provide for his family of five.
Alongside James's bow-building journey, there has always been an interest in flintknapping and primitive living skills. James began flintknapping in 1977 because he was interested in arrowheads he was finding near his house. Without the readily available teaching aids and videos that there are today, James only had two books on flintknapping to study. These two books showcased two famous French flintknappers, Jacquex Tixier and Francios Bordes. It was still years before Dr. Errett Callahan would publish The Basics of Biface Knapping in the Eastern Fluted Tradition. James had to teach himself flintknapping until he took a workshop from Callahan. Errett Callahan, a master flintknapper and founder of the Society of Primitive Technology, became a mentor to James. Callahan, who had knapped every grade of material using traditional methods, taught James his style of flintknapping and also introduced James to Old World knapping techniques and advanced bifacial reduction (this is the stages of manufacture from flake or spall to finished point). In 1990, James received a scholarship to attend Errett's workshop again. This workshop furthered James's journey to advanced flintknapping. The two workshops that James spent with Callahan helped shape James into the knapper he is today. At Callahan's, James saw films, photographs, and the actual replications Callahan had finished on all grades of material. James was introduced to hand axes, blades, cores, and many things from across the globe that Callahan had replicated personally from a wide array of cultures. James took Callahan's instruction to heart and pursued flintknapping obsessively, making thousands of replications in the years that followed. James recognizes other knappers who have influenced his knapping. Among them are Jack Cressan, Scott Silsby, Mike Stafford, Scott Jones, and Steve Watts. Today, James practices and preaches traditional knapping techniques, using wooden billets, hammerstones, and wood and antler pressure and percussion tools. He uses these techniques not only because native people used them, but because they work. On harder materials, such as rhyolite, wood billets and pressure flakers are the only tools that are effective. James was a consulting flintknapper at the Uwharries Lithics Research Conference in the Uwharrie Mountains near Asheboro, North Carolina in 1999. He aided in the understanding of the use of rhyolite by the prehistoric people of the Morrow Mountains and the surrounding area. When it comes to flintknapping, James's is goal is to promote the authentic methods and the ethics of flintknapping.
In the area of primitive skills, James has Steve Watts to thank for his progress from student, to practitioner, and finally to teacher. James met Steve in 1986 and began taking workshops from him in the Aboriginal Studies Program at the Schiele Museum of Natual History in Gastonia, North Carolina. James took classes that covered the vast sets of skills that Native Americans and other primitive people throughout the world had to procure and use everyday. With Steve, James also attended primitive skills outings which involved application of primitive technology in the field. In these settings, not only did James's education and capabilities accumulate, but so did his enthusiasm and appreciation for the importance of promoting and teaching primitive living skills. James believes that it is important not to forget these skills and to be more self-sufficient in this modern world. Out of a desire to support awareness and advancement of primitive living skills, James keeps these traditions alive as a demonstrator and instructor of these technologies. He has volunteered as a public educator at the Schiele Museum, performed demonstrations at Museum events, and taught primitive skills workshops there. He has constructed shelters and housing in a reproduction of a Catawba Indian village at the museum. Aside from his work at The Schiele, James helped begin and nurture the development of the first reproduction Indian village at the Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum in Bastian, Virginia. James has been asked to teach and demonstrate lithics skills and other primitive technologies at various archaeological and historical locations such as: Red River Gorge in Kentucky; Moundville Archaeological Park in Moundville, Alabama; Chehaw State Park in Albany, Georgia; Historic Camden in South Carolina; and Fort Defiance in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
James's experience enables him to build fine, handcrafted bows of superior quality and in a class of their own. His background also equips him to teach in the areas of bow building, flintknapping, and primitive technology. He offers classes out of a desire to share this knowledge with others and also to keep these skills and traditions from being lost.