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A Highland Dirk – Trial by Fire

Perhaps I am a bit crazy and over ambitious, but I recently decided that I want to try making a Scottish Highland Dirk (biodag in Gaelic/Gàidhlig).  I am only just starting blacksmithing, and my tools are a bit simple, small, and crude.  Between the forging, the artistry needed to build the handle, and the leatherworking for the sheath, this was far more involved and difficult than I am truly capable of.  In...

Some bigger thoughts on moccasins

This past year at the NAVC (North American Voyageur Council) Fall Gathering, I did a lecture on “The Hidden Language of Moccasins.” It was a two-fold presentation that first looked at the universal design of moccasins as a simple shoe from around the world, and then looked at a bigger idea of how moccasins actually affected biomechanics, changing the way humans wearing them walked. Here is the first part...

Vintage Victorian

With a full winter beard about to be shaven, I decided that I would leave some hair at first and have some historical fun. Having some large mutton chops, I then pulled a random selection of clothing to create a Victorian look as a Scottish bagpiper. Using my bellows-blown smallpipes, I then took some photos and a brief video. The playing in the video shows my newbie status at piping, my struggle with maintaining...