Posts Tagged ‘techniques’

16th Century Pantofles – The Right Way

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Some of you may have gone through the Lesson 2 Writeup on a set of 16th century pantofles, but I’m pleased now to be able to give you a far better reconstruction, based on period examples and historical practice. This was a special project for Miss Kit, and I’m delighted to be able to give you some details on the construction process. Many of the techniques were similar to those in Lesson 2, so I ought not to completely decry that older knowledge, but this new piece looks so much more like the period examples.

What I thought worked particularly well were the slashed “ridges” on the upper of the pantofles. These are very similar to some extant pieces off of which I modeled this new pair.
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Europe Part I: London, Oxford, Northampton

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

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.

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Making shoemaker’s wax (redux)

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Back in June of 2011, my friend Matt and I worked up a batch of shoemaker’s wax, often called “coad” in the medieval jargon. We started with pine pitch, pine rosin, and a bit of beeswax to make some nice little balls of coad that were perfect for shoemaking. Fast forward to today, and unfortunately, our source for excellent pine pitch has dried up (pun intended). What is commonly available today is pine tar, a similar formulation, but with a great deal more volatiles still embedded, which makes it into a thick, viscous liquid rather than a gummy, solid substance. Below is experimentation to come up with some shoemaker’s wax using what we have available today. As always, if you find a source for solid, but slightly soft, gummy pine pitch, please let us know!

There are two primary sources for pine tar that I’ve used. One is the Auson Kiln-Burned Pine Tar, and the other is “The Real Stuff” pine tar, with sources in the links.
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Sewing the Treadsole of a Welted Shoe

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

I thought it might be illuminating to describe the manner in which I currently outsole a shoe, since I’ve recently started playing with a new technique and rather like the results. In two separate instances with two different and very knowledgeable individuals, I’ve had welted stitching described to me as “rice grains laying against each other,” or a similar variation thereof. As a result, I think I’m getting rather close to the ideal, as I hope the images will soon describe.

But, just to be sure that we’re on the same page, let’s first remind ourselves the construction of a welted shoe.
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