I hope these become treasured heirlooms as they live their life.
Images from Mendel, A.D. 1425. I'm dedicating the next few weeks to my small leatherwork business. When I'm making things with my hands and simple tools, I feel a real connection with our ancestors. It's nice to get lost in the projects and learn new techniques along the way. When I'm away from this portion … Continue reading Leatherwork is Timeless
Sometimes it's nice to have the security of a bag strapped closely to the body and not swinging around your neck and shoulders. This little 9 x 5 x 2 inch design has done quite well over the past year and has been a popular seller in the shop. Made from 7 oz. veg-tanned leather … Continue reading Small Possibles Bag for the Belt
I'm re-sharing an older post of some experimental turnshoes I made quite a few years ago. These were based on some Scandinavian examples from the archaeological record. They came out pretty good for a first try. My only modification would be to tighten the width through the arch and lengthen the toe area slightly. I … Continue reading Medieval Turnshoes
Some things never really change... While looking through my image archive I came upon some leather working illustrations dated to the early 15th century. All but one of the images below is from the extremely informative Mendel manuscript dated 1425 created at Nuremberg, in what is now Germany. Creating leather from animal hides has been … Continue reading Leatherworking Images from the Middle Ages
A sheef of pecok arwes, bright and kene, Under his belt he bar ful thriftily, (wel koude he dresse his takel yemanly: His arwes drouped noght with fetheres lowe) Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales, Prologue, The Yeoman, lines 104-7.
Here is a great little instruction set on how to make a European Medieval-style belt bag. You see these in paintings and illustrations on just about every traveler. Not only will you come out with a nice bag but it is a fine and simple introduction into leather working and sewing. All makers need to start somewhere and this might be the right project.
During the Middle Age was common carrying small items like coins, keys, inside pouches or purses attached to the belt.
There are many archaeological and iconographical documents, you can search for your favorite patterns, but there is a model that in my opinion, is one of the best for a bushcrafter.
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Tinsmiths were the sheet metal workers of the preindustrial days in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. This almost certainly includes Africa as well but I haven't been able to find any depictions yet. These craftsmen created many everyday objects and mended all sorts of metal. Here we see a smith creating a flask. I … Continue reading Medieval Tinsmith
Prior to power sawmills and corporate lumber production, much of the carpenter's project time was filled with simply making trees into boards. Most illustrations I have found of preindustrial carpenters feature someone hewing, planing, or chiseling with the occasional scene of sawing a board to length or width. An image is just as much about … Continue reading Carpenter, 15th-16th Century
Bag maker and salesman from the 15th century. This should inspire some Medieval era artisans out there. Cutting board and leather knife.
Still gathering old images of tools, occupations, and craftsmen. Now I just need time to edit and post them in a sensible way. To kick off this series, it's a wood turner and his lathe from the early 15th century (German). I think the artist may have neglected to show the tool rest here. This … Continue reading Occupation, Wood Turner ca. 1425
Over the weekend, I was able to design and nearly finish a new leather haversack. I've wanted to make one for a while but I'm always hesitant to start a big sewing project if I don't think I'll finish it in a short time... I hate lingering unfinished projects (not to say I don't have … Continue reading Haversack