Sandals

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

Winter Count is Coming

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

Fishing Reel

I've been working on a new hand reel to keep in my pack with my travel fishing kit.  I didn't have much of a plan when I started so I drilled out a couple of one-inch holes a little further apart than the width of my hand and started from there.  The wood came from … Continue reading Fishing Reel

Photo Gallery

I've added a photo gallery in the sidebar to the right of the main blog feed.  I think nearly all these projects have been shared here over the years but this makes for easy viewing.  I'll continue to add images and re-post some older work as I get time so please check back feel free … Continue reading Photo Gallery

Primitive (but useful) Sewing Kit

Sewing I do quite a bit of sewing and I feel it is an essential skill for nearly everyone.  My sewing includes new buckskin trousers, cotton shirts, shoes, a few leather bags, backpacks, and repairs to clothes to name just a few projects.  All this has caused me to think about sewing without manufactured goods. … Continue reading Primitive (but useful) Sewing Kit

Cozy Camp

I made it out for a brief stay in the eastern Ozarks this week.  The rain and cold came back just in time for my outing making it a little less comfortable than it could have been but I still enjoyed the time out. I chose to stay fairly low-tech with the exception of a … Continue reading Cozy Camp

How to Build an Earthen Oven — Savoring the Past

https://www.youtube.com/embed/i0foHjPVbP4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent The existence of ovens like this is easily documented for the 18th century. In fact, just about every ancient culture had a very similar oven. There’s one particular wood cut illustration from medieval times depicting an earthen oven built on a wagon. There are references in 18th century literature and also archaeological evidence that … Continue reading How to Build an Earthen Oven — Savoring the Past

Disclaimer

Something to keep in mind when learning a new skill. A Primitive Technology Disclaimer. ​I firmly believe that in Preindustrial Societies, the onus of learning was on the pupil.  Anyone who wants to succeed will find a way to learn.   Real learning is an active endeavor.  We learn best by carefully observing and doing.  There … Continue reading Disclaimer

Ghillie Making at Winter Count 2014

One of the many things taught at Winter Count this year was shoe making in the form of carbatina or ghillies.  These are relatively simple shoes notable for their one piece construction and generally involve very little sewing.  I am interested in how things are learned and for me, the process is more important than … Continue reading Ghillie Making at Winter Count 2014

Craft Fetishism or A Return to Craft Values?

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There’s been a noticeable increase in crafted products over the last 5 years.

From Artisan Bread, Chocolate and Beer to handcrafted bicycles, bags and belts. Crafts have been celebrated in books, documentaries and Design fairs. Artists like Joana Vasconcelos have adopted crafts such as crochet and lace for their chosen media, and even graffiti has taken a crafted turn with new techniques in stenciling and knit-bombing. With significant developments in progressive crafts such as digicraft, many industrial designers are also turning to craft values instead of the traditional industrial ones.

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But why is it that in today’s increasingly technological culture is there also such a strong crafts vibe?

A successful exhibition titled POWER OF MAKING  at the V&A in London recently celebrated this craft resurgence and presented some reasons for it. A few of the exhibiting artists, designers and craftspeople like Ji Yong-Ho and Demakersvan have already…

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Antler Points

I am very interested in the European Upper Paleolithic.  There are many amazing artifacts of antler and bone known from good archaeological contexts.  Having lugged a load of antler and bones around over the last several years, it seemed to be time to make some new goodies.  I went through a phase 15-20 years ago … Continue reading Antler Points

Primitive Technology Gatherings

The culture of off-beat primitive technology gatherings has grown and morphed into many forms around the continent and I suspect, around the world.  Certainly, when I was a school kid, I didn't know of anything approaching the types of gatherings we enjoy today.  I guess the closest thing we had were Larry Dean Olsen's practical … Continue reading Primitive Technology Gatherings

Spear Thrower

And in some spare time, I carved a spear thrower inspired by the an Old World Upper Paleolithic design.  This one is made from seasoned shagbark hickory (carya ovata) from my old farm.  It would certainly be handy as a multi-purpose tool to a hunter-gatherer and could easily serve as a club or throwing stick … Continue reading Spear Thrower