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Bagpipe Banners

For quite a while, I have had an interest in bagpipe banners.  Maybe it is my love of bagpipes.  Perhaps it is my interest in heraldry.  Maybe I am just odd.  Anyway, as a historical event recently contacted me, asking for me to portray a historic piper for the NorthWest Co., I decided to make a couple conjectural banners to use as interpretive tools.   We know that there were bagpipers present in North America,...

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...

Old Year Reflection and a New Year’s Goals

  It is January 1st, and we have made it through another year.  As I sit here, I would like to review some of my historical highlights from 2016 as well as officially set forth some goals for 2017. Highlights from the past year (in no particular order)… I built my forge and am now blacksmithing a bit Progressed from practice chanter to full bagpipes Noelle (eldest daughter) shaved a minute off her...

Hammer While it is Hot!

  I have wanted to get a forge up and running for a very long time.  My biggest hold off has been the fact that I have not had a great spot to have and locate it permanently.  Now that we finally have the shed built, I now have a spot for a forge. Not so long story even shorter… the forge is now done and running.  I have had a chance to mess around a bit, and have made a small, early medieval knife blade...

A French Hunting Pouch

  The topic of these French hunting bags recently came up elsewhere on the internet, and it reminded me that I have been planning on posting this article written by Eric Bizet.  Eric is a reenactor in France that follows (or at least did) my blog.  Since, we have chatted numerous times via email.  In 2014, Eric sent me the following write up he did on a particular type of bag.  I am posting his quick English...