Clogs and Coracles

by | Mar 23, 2021 | 7 comments

For being in the middle of a pandemic, my life is pretty full.  Tools and chairs have been selling better than ever in my career. I have made over 200 reamers in the last 12 months and am about to run out again – whew!  The online classes are doing well and have been a wonderful way to collaborate with people that I have admired for years.  Who would have thought a pandemic would bring us together? 

Here are a couple short British Pathe films of English craftsmen. They thoroughly amused me.  You can watch them both in about 6 minutes:

Coracles! They make a basket and go fishing for salmon in it. Really cool.

I’ve always been fascinated by clog making – it’s like a chair seat for your feet. The tools are super cool too.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Herbert Forsberg
3 years ago

Great post Elia. How DO you find these old shorts. Delightful!

3 years ago

Lovely, but neither actually were “english craftsmen”. It’s a bit like calling someone from Texas a yank.

Alfred Kraemer
3 years ago

… and the variations of wooden clogs: in Northern Germany they were usually made of poplar,willow, basswood, or alder. The local clog maker – his house was distinguished by a large conical pile of shavings next to the work shop – made a couple of sizes. The final fit was accomplished by a leather strap over the top of the opening – to match the wearer’s foot.
Some insisted on a larger size to have room for some straw inside. My grandfather’s favorite footwear. They also were fairly water-resistant – especially the alder shoes.
There were some other advantages of this type of footwear on farms – but I don’t remember them.
I do remember how fast a chunk of wood turned into a clog through the quick work of the clog maker. The spoon gouge worked just like a spoon bit – just creating a much larger opening.


Alfred Kraemer
3 years ago
Reply to  Alfred Kraemer

Part 2:
Obviously, some clog makers were far more mechanized than the shop I visited during my grade school years:


Subscribe to Elia's Blog

Search the Blog


Donate below to help keep the blog going.  Thanks!