The Shoemaker


A real treat from the Sifting the Past blog.  It is worth checking out if you are interested in researching the past through images of the period just prior to mass industrialization.  The Townsend’s have a couple excellent websites including an interesting 18th century cooking blog with videos.  There is so much in this painting that describes the time and the craft of the cordwainer.  There is a palm awl and lasting pinchers in the lower right, the ever critical strap for holding the shoe while sewing, the sewer’s palm for pulling tight the lock stitch, as well as the hammer, mallet, and knife of the trade.  He is holding the sole awl in his left hand.  The basket on the work bench contains a great bone tool made from a metapodial bone as so often found prior to the 20th century when craftsmen made their own tools.  I want my shop to look this great sometime soon.

4 thoughts on “The Shoemaker

  1. George
    i was at a piano players house yesterday and the husband had found a long 1/4 to 1/2 inch leather cord that used to be used in old pianos and it showed me how i could possibly use leather and someone mentioned copper for the windows and doors on my wagon as the gasket products my body reacts with
    i appreciated your comment about the scientists that looked at the genes of that 1500BC egyptian family and verified that they were like human species and i found it interesting of those large strange shaped skulls that have been found and are at museums (usually not on display)
    George i do wonder what weight your vardo came in at and what the size is as yours is closest to what we are building
    it is big snow blizzard up north here so good
    i too would love to visit the shoemakers exhibit i so love simple lifestyle and connection
    and would consider living with others in teepees ( i have 2) and other simple dwellings

    1. I haven’t weighed it but it is around 1500 lbs empty, probably close to 1800 lbs traveling. All the dimensions are on the Instructable as there are many ways to measure it but the basic footprint is about 8′ long by 6’4″ wide inside. Good luck on the build.

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