I’m a bit behind on posting about my recent travels to Europe, but I hope that the scope and content of this do end up making up for it. My original plan was to visit four museums, both the V&A and Museum of London, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the Northampton Museum. Unfortunately, the MoL was unable to accommodate my visit due to a last minute project, but I still was able to get in quite a bit of work. Unfortunately, I’m unable to post/publish my photos of the work specifically, as I had promised that I would not publish them in any real way, but I don’t think that the Ashmolean will object to me posting a selfie of myself with a shoe that I’d been lusting to see for many years. =) This is the 1600s shoe after which the “Stratfords” were designed.
A fun little pair, blue edge binding, turn-welt construction. The commission request from the lovely Miss K was one for a strapped shoe flexible for use in multiple centuries, but with a double-sole to help protect and insulate from rocks and whatnot. The results, as you can see, are pleasantly below.
In preparation for an amazing trip (of which you will hear more about soon), I worked up a new pair of 18th century shoes. Similar to the ones I worked up a while back, these ones were actually for me! The basic pattern was similar, but I must note that as it had been over two years since I worked on that past pair, I made some rather newbie-type mistakes. I must also preface it by saying that I visited several museums just weeks after finishing this pair, and as is always the case, one discovers so many things that were done incorrectly. Refer to the original source material in all things! In any event, they look decent enough, though I can’t wait to get my hands on a couple of weeks to make another pair for myself, an even better pair.
One thing about this piece is that I attempted it in a manner consistent with what is described in Garsault’s 1767 work, the Art of the Shoemaker, translated and annotated by the master cordwainer Al Saguto at Williamsburg (available here).
A while back, over cocktails, a friend of mine mentioned what neat idea it would be to have a Viking chest that looked, for all intents and purposes, like a normal 6 panel Viking chest, but would unfold and unlock to have a cocktail bar inside. I agreed, and we continued the conversation, not really giving it a second thought. A few months later, he again brought up the subject, and when my friend Kelly brings up something twice, he really means to do it. With a couple of precious slow hours at work, I came up with what I thought was a rather clever design. It sure looks like a normal viking chest, doesn’t it? More below the cut…