REXBURG — The variety of art and media Jim Munns uses is practically unlimited, along with his market, which is from coast to coast.
Munns, of Rexburg, is an engraver, a flintnapper — one who shapes flint — and he makes one-of-a-kind knives with deer antler handles.
For engraving, Munns utilizes his computer and a laser machine to transfer art to leather, mirrors, glass, metal, ceramic tiles, wood, rocks, cups and antlers.
“I hesitate to call myself an artist, but I’ve always liked Western art, and when I see things I like I try to create them,” he said.
His wife and business partner, Sherrie, disagrees, and said she believes Jim is an artist.
“I love what he creates, it’s all over this house,” she said, gesturing to a set of draft horses engraved on wood that hangs on the living room wall and to a ceramic tile etched with deer and trees in an alpine setting.
Much of what Munns makes is either sold or given as gifts.
“Sometimes I think to myself when he makes something I really like, ‘Oh no, he’s going to sell it,’ ” Sherrie Munns said. “Once, he made a rose engraved on leather. It was a beautiful chocolate color.”
Munns, a production foreman at Bench Mark Produce, in Thornton, utilizes a laptop computer at home, and a huge laser printer that dominates a corner in his workshop. Generally, it takes Munns at least several hours to create a piece of art.
“It’s amazing what he comes up with by playing with the computer,” Sherrie Munns said. “He is very computer savvy.”
Munns is a talented flintnapper. By hand, he makes classic-shaped arrowheads and long blades from coal-black obsidian that he and Sherrie Munns find during summer camping trips to Kilgore. Many are displayed and marketed at the Kilgore Store. Many more are displayed in their home, and a separate room, is filled with dozens of examples.
His art is sold by word of mouth and at various art shows. From Nov. 24 to 26, the couple will be at the Montana Arts Festival in Missoula. They’re regulars at the Mountain Man Rendezvous in Alpine, Wyo., in June, and the Billings Mountain Market in February and in September.
He has done custom work for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. And for several years, Munns has been commissioned to burn the logos and the year on the trophy saddles, breast collars and head stalls given to the reining royalty at the War Bonnet Roundup, the Whoopee Days Rodeo at in Rexburg and the Pioneer Days Rodeo.