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.
Great post Elia. How DO you find these old shorts. Delightful!
It’s my version of getting lost on Facebook for an hour. One video leads to the next…
Lovely, but neither actually were “english craftsmen”. It’s a bit like calling someone from Texas a yank.
… 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.
Obviously, some clog makers were far more mechanized than the shop I visited during my grade school years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78gvuS-2kXc
Cool! It’s amazing to me how long these trades lasted in Europe. What a great memory.