brazen (BRAY · zen): Middle English ‘brasen’, from Old English ‘broesen’ before the 12th century. 1) made of brass; 2) of the color of polished brass; 3) marked by a contemptuous boldness; 4) to face with defiance or boldness.
A 1996 photograph of Will Fanning’s friend and singing partner, Bill Kimmons, inspired the image that has become the BrazenHead signature. On a whitewater rafting trip on West Virginia’s Gauley River, Bill was sunning his golden locks when his wife Becky saw the picture and asked photographer Rankin Harvey to take it. Charleston, WV, photographer Tom Rhule made a few adjustments in Photoshop™, and voila, the brazen image was born. It was not until the winter of 1998, however, that they knew why.
In creating sketches for a stained glass piece for her old friend Will Fanning, artist Sharon Harms produced drawings from the photograph that would become the BrazenHead logo. Her stained glass BrazenHead hangs in the inn’s entrance. Sculptor Keith McManus (also the fiddler for the old-time string bands Stewed Mulligan, The Legendary Woodticks and Grass-Squatch) supervised the hand-carving of the massive sugar pine BrazenHead sign that hangs in front of the inn. Friends who gathered at the first Greater Libra Birthday Party in October, 1999 in an Elkins, WV bar, contributed funds toward the creation of the sign as a birthday present to Will. Graphic designer Johanna Ellis transformed Harms’ sketches into the BrazenHead logo.
The West Virginia BrazenHead is just one more in a long line of brazen associations. To begin a BrazenHead quest, go to http://www.themodernword.com/joyce/joyce_intro.html