Sandals in progress... If you have ever taken a class with me you might know that all the intimidating sewing isn't as bad as it looks. The sole is three layers thick but the use of a good, sharp awl makes the double needle sewing go quickly. A lot more work goes into these than … Continue reading Handmade Sandals
On a Cello Banjo no less! I gotta say, I'm not sure I've ever seen a Cello-size Banjo before but I like it! Robby Faverey has some amazing talent and I hope you check out more of his work on YouTube. https://youtu.be/CSUUajaRdzM ENJOY! If you are still interested at this point, check out more about … Continue reading Bach Cello Suite, Prelude
One of the better things about modern communication is the ability to meet and talk to people from nearly all parts of the globe. I have been in communication with Jacob from Botswana for years now and he has shared some photos of the beautiful backpack he made based on my earlier design. That one … Continue reading Jacob’s Beautiful Leather Backpack
There was a time when Britannia accidentally ruled the world through commerce... Other European nations partook of the colonization of vulnerable lands with massive resources as well, tying the world together, for good or ill, and shaping the modern world as we know it. It was common for young men to begin their careers by … Continue reading Colony Exports
During the heyday of Caravan living it is important to remember that these were rarely the dwelling of a loner. The Caravan was the hub of the nuclear family and groups of wagons represented larger, extended family groups and allies. We are social creatures that thrive in community.
Every traveler has a campfire has the center of daily life. The hearth has been our home for 1.5 - 2 million years now. No wonder it fascinates us and brings so much comfort. Nomads in a stationary culture are often tolerated at best and left only marginal space to congregate. This will probably never … Continue reading Traveller Life
The heart and soul of a trail camp.
Does this mean we should neglect our intellect? Absolutely not. In fact, the opposite. We should strive to cultivate both mind and body to become the most perfect specimen we can become, daily. I came across this passage while reading a bit this morning from Amateur Joinery in the Home (1916) by George and Berthold … Continue reading Everyone Should Cultivate Manual Training
Well this is exciting. I got interviewed at winter count near Florence, Arizona back in February. It's heavily edited from a much longer discussion but I don't think I sound too stupid here talking about the Vardo. The interview is very close-up and tight but you can get a feel for the interior layout. There … Continue reading Interview Time
On the Subject of Beer: "Little children, that do not work, should not have beer." William Cobbett, Cottage Economy 1833 (25). I guess we need to put 'em to work then. How things have changed in 180 years!
"And, pray, what can be pleasanter to behold? Talk, indeed, of your pantomimes and gaudy shows; your processions and installations and coronations! Give me, for a beautiful sight, a neat and smart woman, heating her oven and setting in her bread! And, if the bustle does make the sign of labour glisten on her brow, … Continue reading Pleasant to Behold
"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." Wise words from a wise man. Stay safe...
Here's another small project happening amidst all the "real work" that needs to get done during this quarantine. I want to keep this one but after inquiries rolling in, it may go into the shop (or another just like it). Be Safe!
Kentucky Hunter's Pouch - Few words are needed to show this project. It is a Kentucky Hunter style pouch of a style popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries in America. Its antecedents come from Britain and mainland Europe but changed with the times as North America was colonized. In the days before the common … Continue reading Hunter’s Pouch
This post came from looking through a few class photos from Rabbitstick several years ago based on an inquiry. This is one of the years I taught my favorite sandal design, an ancient one though still cleverly marketed as a modern style. I call them saint sandals as they look like something you would see … Continue reading Sandals
Enjoy this beautiful Showman's Wagon ca. 1900. This would be a wonderful way to travel.
THE PHYSICAL CULTURE PERIL And how the nation may easily be saved from it. An essay by P. G. Wodehouse May 1914. Images added by G. Crawford. Physical culture is in the air just now. Where, a few years ago, the average man sprang from bed to bath and from bath to breakfast-table, he now … Continue reading The New Fitness Craze; thoughts from 1914
For bow makers and other wood crafters...A shaving horse is an invaluable tool if you create or work with odd-shaped objects that are otherwise difficult to clamp or need to constantly move around. I don't know how I would get half my projects done without one. A horse, in combination with a small bench or … Continue reading Shaving Horses and Portable Woodworking
Robyn Hode – An hundred shefe of arowes gode, The hedys burneshed full bryght; And every arowe an elle longe, With pecok wel idyght, Inocked all with whyte silver [or silk]; It was a semely syght. A Gest of Robyn Hode, lines 523-8 in English Popular Ballads, 1922 edition England, ca. 1450 A.D.
A look at the origins and evolution of our favorite camp stove... This post was going to be a few words about the Primus stoves we all love and some images I've collected from around the web. As usual, I found myself rambling all over the topic without a clear direction but here is a … Continue reading Classic Liquid Fuel Stoves
A little show and tell this rainy winter morning. I've been carrying this walking stick in one form or another since 2001. What does that mean? I just can't leave well enough alone, that's what. It was a straight knobbed staff before attaching the stag horn but I decided it would be more useful and … Continue reading Thumb Stick
I love this little vehicle. A true 1920s work of art.
After a little over a week traveling across the country in the new and improved vardo I want to share a few unedited and unstaged photos of life in the caravan. I am still pleased with almost every aspect of the Little Green Vardo, even after 29,000 miles. More of my work can be found … Continue reading Caravan; life in the little green vardo
This is a pretty good setup for any outdoorsman (our outdoors woman for that matter). By 1925, the scouts had worked out a pretty good uniform and gear setup based on many old experts not the least of which was the US Army. If there's a bit of a paramilitary look to the scouts it … Continue reading Boy Scout Gear from 1925
I'm happy to say that I will be heading to the annual primitive skills gathering known as Winter Count down in the Sonoran Desert. Thankfully, it has moved to a more remote location further into the desert and far away from the Phoenix sprawl.I will be teaching a course that I have been doing for … Continue reading Winter Count is Coming
And you gotta hit the road...Rock what you got.
For most of human history we have moved across the surface of the Earth as more-or-less self-contained units. Rarely alone and generally with all the stuff we owned. Obviously, this was before the age of Consumption as a way of life.I love to see the details; the wash basin, table and chair, the little mirror... … Continue reading Car Camping – bathing in camp
Sometimes you have needs ... I needed a net bag for my water bottle while I'm on the road. I knew this was going to be a problem when I left home so I threw in a ball of string in case I had some time on my hands. I almost always bring something to … Continue reading The Joys of a Morning Quickie
New Year's resolutions from Woody Guthrie's notebook 1943. It was an interesting time; the world was at war, America was coming out of an economic depression coupled with huge crop failures and sleazy bank practices, and the Guthries had made their way West to California with record numbers of displaced migrants looking for a better … Continue reading Woody Guthrie’s New Year Rulin’s
"One of the reasons for its success is is that science has a built-in, error correcting machinery at its very heart. Some may consider this an overbroad characterization, but to me every time we exercise self-criticism, every time we test against the outside world, we are doing science. When we are self-indulgent and uncritical, when … Continue reading Science and Self-Correction