Saturday, January 06, 2007

Combs in the Forge

I went to visit Dan's Forge which is the blacksmith shop built behind the Rice's Inn Hughlett Tavern in Heathsville, Virginia. I knew they were working with some apprentices and were willing to try to recreate historic tools.

I asked them if they could make me a set of Viking or English combs for combing wool. After some rather interesting discussion about what would be involved and how they would be used and whether or not they really needed to be sharp; I dashed home and brought back a copy of the Woolery's paper catalogue with a picture of several varieties of combs and Amos's book with a fairly detail set of instructions of how to make them.

These guys were awesome. They were both interested and even a bit excited to make tools that would be used and were historic.

They have about three projects (commissions) ahead of me (one of which is fairly large: a fireplace screen for a fireplace large enough to walk into for one of the historic homes in the area.)

They are going to call me when they get started in case they have more questions. They think it won't take but a day to accomplish. One of the fellows is also a wood worker and will prepare the handles.

They were surprised at the catalogue and to see that there is actually a market out there fiber working stuff. They said they had a member of their guild who worked at Stratford Hall and she could sheer a sheep in 8 minutes flat with those non-electric sheering clips. When I go back I will get her name and number and find out if she might know where I can get my hands on some fleece.

They also told me that in April the Tavern folks are hosting an event where folks will be demonstrating old skills (like barrel making, weaving, wood carving, etc.). They wanted to know if I was interested in getting in costume and joining the festivities. I told them I would but that I do not sew, have a limited income, and don't have costume. I was amused when one of the fellows told me that his wife would be happy to make me a costume in exchange for a pair of hand knitted socks. I smiled and told him I best talk to her about such arrangements for I would be highly annoyed if my husband negotiated such a deal for me!

In any case, I'm delighted and excited because in the back of my mind I have this notion of selling handspun yarn at the farmer's market. I probably would not be able to generate a lot of money, but I would certainly meet some interesting people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Personally I would go for it!
The lady in question may be thinking of old style stocking socks, and believe me the time spent on both would be similar!

Re-enactors and Pagan people can be so generous and outgoing, it is always worth a chat, you never know!

Good luck on the course!