Craftspeople

Historic questions, thoughts and other interesting stuff

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saxon
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Craftspeople

Postby saxon » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:30 pm

Just a thought ....... those of you who actually do a craft or trade as part of living history and also for a living ...... what was - or is it - about that particular craft/trade that made you want to take it up and demonstrate it /make a living from it ? were you a natural at it and is it possibly something that's in your ancestry ?



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Colin Middleton
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:11 pm

I started leatherworking and mail working because it was cheaper than buying things. Turns out that my grandfather used to be into leather (and wood) working when he was younger too.


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lucy the tudor
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby lucy the tudor » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:02 pm

Ermm, Grandma taught me to knit, but I learned to spin and weave from hippy mates at college.
Leatherwork 'cos we needed it, but I since learn that my Grandad used to work in a tannery and made stuff in leather, I inherited his skills in cutting bits of digits off, but as he had the sense to work for someone else at that point, he used his compo payment to buy a readymixed concrete lorry and change career.
Wood work, hmmm, other Grandad had some tools I now have, and use daily, and an uncle left some palm chisels and leather punches which have made their way into my posession.
Sewing- other Grandma had my Mum's sewing machine for decades until she bought herself a better one, and it came back to me ( Mum couldn't do the tension, and used to end up screaming)
Gosh, sorry, bored myself into a stupor there

wake up you lot,

to answer original question, just enjoy making stuff, and needed stuff, the two seemed to go together, then people asked me to make a bit more for them, and it snowballed.


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Re: Craftspeople

Postby gregory23b » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:55 am

Gave me something else to do at events, made me learn new skills, improve or adapt old ones, brief foray into selling the items - back to that in about 18months' time and commission work. My learning curve just keeps on curving.


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son of a dragon
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby son of a dragon » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:41 am

I started doing leatherwork out of necessity. I joined an archery club a few years ago (before i started re-enacting) and wanted a decent leather quiver, the one i wanted was £100, so i decided to try making my own, in the end it cost me about £25 all in. No history of leatherworking in my family though.



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Gobae
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Gobae » Wed Aug 11, 2010 5:42 pm

I started blacksmithing because I wanted a sword and couldn't afford one, but that was 10 years before I started re-enacting. But once I started down that path I discovered not only that I had a natural talent for it, but I really enjoyed it.



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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Cap-a-pie » Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:24 pm

got interested in the reverse engineering aspects of maille, trying to figure out what tools/processes etc. (as a kid i took things apart - which mostly went back together with no spare parts left), family history of metal working and engineering.


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Re: Craftspeople

Postby GOK » Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:28 pm

The cookery aspect came out of necessity, and recreating the 17th century garden is linked into that, but also because I love growing things (I used to help my grandfather in the veg garden from the age of about 5). The sewing was born from necessity too (I either couldn't afford kit, or was unimpressed with what was for sale) - although I rarely sew in-character (I'm thinking about remedying that though).

The natural dyeing is another thing altogether; I've always been 'into' it but have only recently started earning money from it (I run workshops), and doing it for LH purposes. I have no idea whether it's a family connection but my maiden name is Rossetti, and my father was Venetian...Gioanaventura Rossetti from Venice wrote his Plictho in the 16th century, which was a veritable tome about the art of the dyer! I'd love to think that there is a connection, and that it's in my blood but of course, I have no evidence of this!

I suspect a lot of us have something 'in our blood' so to speak, which manifests itself in our desire/need to be creative; I supect there may be something in the whole inherited memory/knowledge thing. Or maybe it's just I feel a need for continuity and not losing our traditional crafts. :)



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Re: Craftspeople

Postby bourbon » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:54 pm

ok I know it's a very late reply but I've only just found the thread. The Ferrers have in their midst a Carpenter who in real life is a restoration carpenter. a Blacksmith who in real life is a Farrier. a Spinster whose mom owns a dressmakers shop, a calligrapher who is a pharmacey manager but had been practicing calligraphy since the age of ten. a History teacher, and me, I drive a forklift truck for a living, why do you think we have wheelbarrows on our show :D :D


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Re: Craftspeople

Postby davetmoneyer » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:15 am

With 50 years experience of collecting, studying and writing about coins what else would I do?


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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Tod » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:31 pm

I was making biker stuff, panniers, tool rolls etc. When I started re-enacting with the SK it took me about 10 seconds to work out most of the leatherwork was wrong and rubbish. So I did some research and then made my own, that led to me making for others, then I went to shoemaking college for 5 years and started to make re-enactment shoes. So a a result I can make the same things with the same tools as I do at home.



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steven pole
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby steven pole » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:08 pm

When I started 15th century reenactment I couldn't afford the prices of shoes and stuff so I learnt to make my own by visiting museums, buying books and making lots of mistakes. I've been making and repairing leather items for the last 20 years since all those years ago. I don't do it for a living, but it helps me to buy leather and kit I need.



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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Medicus Matt » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:02 am

I got fed up of seeing so many crappy, inaccurate scabbards in late Roman and early medieval re-enactment, so I started making them.
Which meant learning woodworking, leatherworking, bone/antler carving, bronze casting and metalworking skills.

I'm quite good at it now. It keeps me in wine and allows me to barter for the stuff that I can't make. I don't charge enough, but then I'm not having to make a living out of it.

Given that I only got a grade C for Metalwork 'O' level and hadn't touched a chisel since I was 13, I've been surprised by how well it's gone really.


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steve stanley
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby steve stanley » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:35 am

When I started doing Colonial American stuff,I found there was no-one making what I needed this side of the Atlantic.....So leatherwork,beadwork & some basic sewing followed...........

Steve


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Snowshoes and axe and gun
Send me up in Grand River
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Redders
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Redders » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:30 am

Much the same as the above.

I started making stuff that I either couldn't find this side of the water or because i was impatient and waiting lists were too long.
I look to fill gaps in the market and supply stuff that no one else does, or, there is a greater demand than the current supply can meet.

Self taught with leather, skins and embroidery.
Getting busier than ever too :D



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Treaty Money
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Treaty Money » Thu May 05, 2011 11:58 pm

Given that I only got a grade C for Metalwork 'O' level and hadn't touched a chisel since I was 13, I've been surprised by how well it's gone really.


Matt, you've come on in leaps and bounds then! My Roman scabbard was likened to a Patrick Barta at the weekend and the individual with whom I discussed this was of the opinion that my Matt Bunker Scabbard was better :)


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Medicus Matt
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Medicus Matt » Fri May 06, 2011 11:17 am

Ummm....gosh! :$


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Pelican
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Re: Craftspeople

Postby Pelican » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:23 pm

Very late reply but I think an interesting thread worth resurrecting! I was taugh to sew by hand at about 4 (I can still remember the best Christmas present I ever recieved as a kid, my gran had put together a box of some brightly coloured thick embroidery thread, plastic needles and that fabric that had ready made holes in. I stitched a ginger and white cat with the contents whilst my mother watched on wide eyed and admitted she could have done no better). Never gave up, was always making presents and cushions out of mum's offcuts etc. Started re-enacting at 19, decided I'd make my own dress using the free Greenland kirtle pattern on Sally's website and I've not looked back. I don't intend to make enough to give up my full time job, but it brings in some petrol money for events.

The rest of the time I display a 15th century tailor's shop for living history events now. The wettest, greyist, windiest weekend can be rescued by a small child telling me that granny has taught them to sew over the summer and they've enjoyed it. I always tell them to keep practicing because they don't know where it will take them!

After 3 years making costume for myself and other people, my father revealed that since time immemorial the Irish side of my family have run a tailor's shop. Tailors, every bloomin' one of them.


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