Through the Mists of Time...

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#276 Post by elfn » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:45 am

Lisa, those are fascinating! Any idea what wood was used? Ash? Hickory? It's got to be a hard wood. The u-channel on the perimeter with the hand made nails would give a really good grip. Wonderful.

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#277 Post by zach » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:05 am

Hey, I just watched a series of videos on Youtube about a guy who still makes those. He makes a slightly different style, but he uses the same clasps and all. Clogs are very neat. I don't know if you've already seen the videos but here's the link to the first one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8yShISGZKw&feature=relmfu

(Message edited by Zach on October 11, 2012)

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#278 Post by tmattimore » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:33 am

I have always called them ice cutters shoes. Until refrigeration ice was cut in the winter and stored in warehouses for use in the summer. Union Pacific had a huge ice operation in Laramie until the 1930's they had huge ponds that froze over and then they pumped steam into them to pop the ice free. Men would then walk on the ice and cut it into blocks. Shoes like this were common in N.E. for both cutters and just walking around on ice.

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#279 Post by trefor_owen » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:32 pm

Clogs is what they are.
Jerry Atkinson (the guy in the youtube clips) makes them as do all other clogmakers in the UK..including myself - and I use the same "knives" as J does.... great fun!
Clasps (the fastenings - here black japanned steel but also made sometimes from brass for "posh" clogs) were the standard fastening method.Other methods were with a Button (sometimes a metal stud button but often a "shoe" button), laces, strap and buckle.
The leather is called KIP, this is actually split kip.Now Kip means something different to different people so to clogmakers its a reversed leather ie used "inside out", wax and tallow impregnated, originating in the Indian subcontinent and refinished here.
The metal strips underneath are Clog Irons, or caukers or cackers or pedolau depending where you come from, and sorry Nori but the nails are not handmade but mass produced. Irons were used to prevent wear to the wooden soles which are Alder tecnically a "hard wood" but on the soft side!
The toe end has been repaired - often this damage was caused by someone working on their hands and knees and dragging their feet on the ground so wearing out the toes of the clog uppers. Think of a collier in a 3ft high coal seam on knees on rough ground... there were still 3ft seams in Yorkshire till around 1985..
I'm happy to add more if anyone wants more!!
ps I want to teach someone in the US the clog trade- any takers?
Trefor Owen - a clogmaker..
I reckon there are only 3 full time working clogmaking concerns in the UK currently, plus some part time and a few museum demonstrators and the odd shoemaker doing a few pairs now and again.. maybe totalling up to 21 in the whole UK..... sad...

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#280 Post by trefor_owen » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:56 pm

p.s.
If you scroll down the list of other videos on the left side of the page till "Ade looks at Clogmaking" - thats a tv programme I was on recently, shows my workshop, some of my produce.. and other bits etc

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#281 Post by leech77 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:40 pm

I would love to learn clog making craft! Where can I get alder for the soles? I don't think I have any growing on my property, but I've been looking to plant some trees on my front hill for shade to get my ivy to grow better Image

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#282 Post by das » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:35 am

Lisa,

Trefor is spot-on, they are UK-made clogs, look to be around 1900 +/-, but the style was enshrined for decades. Unlike most that show up here (US), yours does not appear to be tiny children's souvenir clog brought home from steam-ship excursions to/from Liverpool and the North. Yours is a wearable size, and shows signs of honest wear, though it's in great condition.

There were (are) many types made, some occupational (though notoriously awful to wear on ice--the irons collected "clinkers" or show/ice balls underneath like iron horse shoes), some for everyday wear, others for fancy dress and dancing, etc. The clasps often have a patent date stamped on them. I made some based on excavated examples found in a 1780s storm drain in Lancashire, England--about the oldest ones surviving. If you can find it, Evelyn Vigeon's article is about the best I've seen in print: http://books.google.com/books?id=8BHdLwEACAAJ&dq=inauthor:%22Evelyn+Vigeon%22&so urce=bl&ots=HoqsLBaHF-&sig=KjizVVXQb1UbjPXZ3-Vd3Zrn33o&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3e93UNCpEtL 2rAGahoDAAQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#283 Post by das » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:38 am

Lisa,

Trefor is spot-on, they are UK-made clogs, look to be around 1900 +/-, but the style was enshrined for decades. Unlike most that show up here (US), these do not appear to be tiny children's souvenir clogs brought home from steam-ship excursions to/from Liverpool and the North. Yours is a wearable size, and shows signs of honest wear, though it's in great condition.

There were (are) many types made, some occupational (though notoriously awful to wear on ice--the irons collected "clinkers" or snow/ice balls underneath like horse shoes), some for everyday wear, others for fancy dress and dancing, etc. I made some based on excavated examples found in a 1780s storm drain in Lancashire, England--about the oldest ones surviving. If you can find it, Evelyn Vigeon's article is about the best I've seen in print: http://books.google.com/books?id=8BHdLwEACAAJ&dq=inauthor:%22Evelyn+Vigeon%22&so urce=bl&ots=HoqsLBaHF-&sig=KjizVVXQb1UbjPXZ3-Vd3Zrn33o&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3e93UNCpEtL 2rAGahoDAAQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#284 Post by gshoes » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:33 am

I just saw these at a local auction. There is a wire that is fastened down around some narrow staples. Kind of interesting. I thought that I would share them with the group.

Geri
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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#285 Post by dlskidmore » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:52 am

That's the most foot-shaped toebox I've seen in a long time.

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#286 Post by leech77 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:07 pm

I saw a pair at an antique shop a few weeks back with the same wire and staple set up. I would have liked to have bought them but couldn't justify the $45 they were asking. Now if they had a blocking knife I would have sprung for that in a heartbeat!
-Eric

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#287 Post by jesselee » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:44 pm

Alrighty.. This has my blood boiling! I MUST learn this Trade. I have made wood soled Confederate shoes and understand the dynamics of the clog aspect. If anyone else is making clogs, please drop me a line. I think I will try my hand at making the clasps as I have experience making dots and conchos, its much the same.
The Jeremy Atkinson videos are very inspirational. I reccomend them as he touches on foot to sole aspects which are very old school and important.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#288 Post by trefor_owen » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:08 am

As this thread seems to have created an interest, I thought I had better elaborate a little on my offer of teaching someone from the US this trade.
It is a genuine offer and if the following factors and points are added together, I hope it also shows that making clogs in the US has a future(though it will never make you rich!).

1/ I'm 61, most of the rest of the trade in the UK are certainly in the similar upper age ranges. We are all likley to retire around the same time and as far as I know, no maker has a proper apprentice/apprenticeship scheme currently.
2/ Rhiannon (my Wife) and I make on average 2 pairs of clogs for US customers PER MONTH, and I assume the other makers also deal with US customers, so lets be conservative and say 5 or 6prs per month go to the US from the UK.
3/ Carriage costs to the US are roughly £23, which is about 1/4 the price of a basic pair of clogs. A number of US customers are displeased with this "extra" on top, and the goods travel un-insured.
4/ Sometimes US Customs apply an import levy and wont release the clogs till its paid.
5/ My experience of US customers (based on my time working the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in DC) is that US customers dont like doing mail order where feet are concerned, but wish to deal as near face to face with the maker as possible.Even with Skype and video calls etc, UK makers are hardly on US customers doorsteps!
6/ Since our last Government Budget, existing clogs sent back to the UK for repairs have a UK import duty charged on them on entry to the UK (5 prs for a Florida team for repair were charged £168.00 impport duty recently, even though they were made here originally!)- this makes sending repairs to the UK very expensive (carriage to UK + import levy + cost of repair + return carriage)and there are literally 1000's of pairs of clogs already in the US which at some point will need repair work doing on them.

Put that lot together and I wonder why the numerous companies who make the "Swedish" slip on style have never cottoned on to making UK "Traditional" clogs.
There is a distinct market, there is a limited supply.
To me it makes sense for trad clogs to be made in the US as an adjunct to an exisitng shoe making business.
Thus my offer is serious!

A couple of additional points:
a/ Those who may have glanced at my website will have seen that I have taught a number of people in the UK how to do it.. and I'm currently teaching two local 30 year olds. I'm passably good at teaching even though some of my students may only ever part time producers.
b/ We make Traditional Clogs, predominantly for 'Traditional Dance' customers, we hardly tickle the surface of the "Fashion" or "Designer" market which is massive in the UK and must be equally big in the US. (We have worked with Fashion design students on their final shows for about 5 years now)- the Fashion market is begging to be exploited.
c/ I teach for free and always have - I just like doing it but also think it is essential to the continuance of this trade.
d/ Mostly we accomodate for free as well, we have a good size sea side house with spare rooms - thus costs would be only airfare (yes I know that is significant!) and food.

By now you should all be convincced that you need to learn this parallel trade!

And before someone asks, I have tried to get various US organisations to fund & run making courses in the US (eg bodies like CDSS who have a definite interest in trad dance and run the Pinewoods -nr Boston- folk camps over the summer)but have failed and when we did the Smithsonian the trouble it took to get my sole cutting knives through US customs was horrendous- I couldnt cope with doing that again!
Let me know if you're intersted and we can go from there...
cheers
Trefor

ps there are clogmakers websites for:-
Jerry Atkinson, Phil Howard, Mike Cahill, Galloway Boot and Shoe Co, Colne Valley Museum, Walkleys Clogs,John Fox and myself which all give different opinions about Clogs!

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#289 Post by bobcann » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:27 am

My Gracious!!! What an offer from Trefor! And a great opportunity for members (and non), and possibly for THCC. I'm unsure of procedure, however I'd like to suggest that this be further discussed here on the Colloquy and possibly at the annual meeting the end of this month. Should we move this to a separate Colloquy heading? As I'm of Trefor's age, I'm not likely to take up this trade, but I'm very interested in it. Wish I'd discovered it (and many others) years ago.

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#290 Post by 1947redhed » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:12 pm

Trefor, generous offer.
Learning the skills aside, where are the knives coming from these days? Approximate cost?

I know there is an interest for custom makers acquiring bottoms--I get emails all the time asking if I know a source for the usual Swedish clog bottoms.

Georgene

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#291 Post by trefor_owen » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:30 pm

The most recent lot of clog sole cutting knives on ebay UK went to a chap I taught last winter.
There were 2 "sets" in the lot: 1 almost unused Block knife, 1 heavily used block knife; 2 Hollowers with a little life left in them;1 gripper-handle and cutter in good nick plus 1 gripper-handle only no blade.

Sit down, draw breath, Darren paid £945.00 for them.
As he was in Greece (on family issues) I collected them for him as I was dancing not far from where they were being sold (Atherton nr Wigan in Lancashire).The seller told me he was the son of a clogmaker who had turned to using machine made soles and bought in uppers after the 2nd War; and the knives were all that was left - no other tools.

A chap who came in to order some clogs last week claims he can make knives so it is my intention to do some tech drawings + photos then ask him to make a couple of gripper blades, see how they turn out, if ok ask him to make holowers etc .. but it will be a slow process.

I spotted on the website of Mike Cahill (www.clogmaker.eu)that he claims to have the largest private collection of knifes in the UK!!

Barnsleys have been asked by numerous people (including the museum at Golcar nr Huddersfield Yorks)and I gather some of the members here, but again I dont hold great hope of a quick result..

I am greatly flattered by the interest caused by my offer, thanks for the emails and today, the phone calls! Be aware I use a mobile (Cell) phone at work so the call charges will be astronomical!I am happy to teach anyone but I dont run a "formal" course as such.. much more hands on and discussion while doing...
Trefor

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#292 Post by amuckart » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:17 pm

I have some pretty good photographs of Jeremy Atkinson's knives, which I showed to a blacksmith here who said he can make them. I ended up moving cities and haven't picked that idea up again, but I imagine it would be on the order of NZ$1000 or so for the set.

IMO you want a blacksmith rather than a knifemaker, These are things that will be much easier to forge and for the gripper handle you want to drift that square hole which is really a blacksmith skill.

If you do have more pictures of them or even detailed drawings I would be extremely interested in seeing them. I want a set of these more for medieval patten making than clogs, but the fundamental idea is the same.

Thanks.

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#293 Post by das » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:53 pm


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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#294 Post by dai » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:10 pm

Greetings on this Saint David's Day,

Consider the Gelli Iago 100 shoe hoard found in the 300 year old Welsh farmhouse. Interesting, because much about this immediate area has been documented by the Welsh writers, literary men and historians Carneddog and Bob Owen Croesor, mostly in the Welsh language, while the National Trust are asking for people to come forward with local knowledge. Who will delve the Welsh archives then? I doubt there would be a rush to inform the National Trust of much that isn't already noted somewhere. But, surprise surprise, the shoemakers of America may care to read on as there is an American link. There was huge emigration from this part of Wales to America. And once again Bob Owen was the expert on the matter, and has documented this emigration. I wonder what he had to say on exporting local customs.

The places Gelli Iago (the farm of the shoe hoard), Croesor (a village), Namor (another village) and Carneddi (Carneddog's home farm) are all in walking distance of one another. Why not go there on Google street maps! Carneddog's family were 300 years at Carneddi and so some were present at the time Gelli Iago was built. Bob Owen and Carneddog were close friends, and their wives were cousins; the homes of each of them were rather crowded with books. Bob Croesor had 47 thousand of them for instance. Little district, avid collectors.

As clogmakers have been asked to put old shoe uppers onto new wooden clog soles then a hundred unmatching leather shoes (not a clog to be seen among them?) would be just the thing for someone to keep in store for this purpose. At times footwear was hard to get thereabouts. Speculation ;&#62Image

Finding a heap of medieval manuscripts in Bob Owen's wife's pantry was something to be expected in Croesor. If he and Carneddi wanted to store an interesting heap of old shoes they had been given, the sort of things collectors attract, then their wives would no doubt shoo them up the mountain and get them out of the house. If these two antiquarians kept a pile of shoes under the dust in the hearth of Gelli Iago who would be surprised? The dates of Carneddog's departure from the old homestead, of Bob Owen's passing away, and the "abandonment" of Galli Iago farmhouse are not greatly distant from one another?

Dyfed Evans's biography of Bob Owen "Byd Bob Owen" (published y Gwasg Gwynedd, 3rd printing, August 1979) shows Bob to be a great leg puller, apart from his scholarly achievements. He was also a bit of myth buster, an iconclast. Did he pull a hundred legs?

Hwyl, oddiwth Dafydd Coed-Isaf (Cheers, from Dai of the Lower Trees, New Zealand)

Carneddog and Catrin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/llgc/4403307735/
Bob Owen and Nel http://www.flickr.com/photos/37199428@N06/8469901287

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#295 Post by dw » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:05 pm

Check it out:

2000 year old shoes

Tight Stitches
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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#296 Post by dearbone » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:51 pm

quote, Why they were left in the temple in antiquity and not retrieved is a mystery. "There's no reason to store them without having the intention of getting them back at some point," Veldmeijer said in an interview with LiveScience,

I guess this expert never heard of concealed shoes before!

Thank you for sharing that.

Nasser

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#297 Post by das » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:53 am

Or Egyptian funerary “votive” shoes frequently found in tombs. Never heard of a “toggle” pre se, and a “rand” is rolled under—it’s a “welt” that is a flat strip inserted into a seam.

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Re: Through the Mists of Time...

#298 Post by dearbone » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:48 pm

Thank you brother Al,

Not only in Egypt which it's first kings came from Babylon/southern Mesopotamia,this will give the Egypt experts something to chew on for a while, that people of the Semitic/Arab origin in Mesopotamia (Iraq) known as Babylonians in the past were burying their dead with items, vessels, tools,helmets, food,and so forth for the after life, as far back as the forth millennium B.C, The unearthing of the royal graves at Ur cemetery and Assyria by the British east India company in the 1820s produced the biggest collections of the king museum,now the BM collections, contents of gold and silver and coper from 3500 b.c graves and thousands of tablets in cuneiform were taken to London and remain there to this day unable to read the cuneiform properly but hopefully one day, So as you see burying the dead with items of his/her liking goes way back, I personally don't mind being buried with some of my shoemaking toolsImage

Regards
Nasser

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Re: The Gallery

#299 Post by farmerfalconer » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:34 pm

Nice! I like the color a lot.
Are those leather covered wood heels?

Also, dickensbrothers.co.uk is a source for veg waxed calf but I dont know if they had that in te 17th c.
Its where CWF gets their leather.

Cody

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Re: The Gallery

#300 Post by fclasse » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:45 pm

Thanks for the pointer - I believe that there is evidence for waxed calf in the 16th century, but I'd have to do a bit more digging. And yes, the heels are carved poplar.

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