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2. obsession

I obsess.  When I develop an interest in something, I dive headlong into it until, weeks or months or years later, I re-emerge, exhausted and ready to move on.  Thus far, rope has held my interest the longest, and I’m pretty sure it’ll stick around for awhile, although I no longer obsess furtively over “best conditioning practices” or whatnot.

Easy access to the Internet has allowed me complete research power for finding out every factoid, rumor and forgotten technique I could ever want to know concerning my subjects.  From Photoshop to rope to bootblacking, and most recently, leather whip-making, I literally have the expertise, learning process, and detailed examples of thousands of people to peruse, from blogs detailing a personal project to forums dedicated to the topic.

I suppose you could say that my sudden interest in learning to work in leather is more an extension of my growing passion for bootblacking.  It is a fairly natural progression to want to expand one’s knowledge in leathercare beyond just footwear (delightful as such footwear can be).  When I was at IML, I received some great advice on how to care for my leather jacket – an article of clothing whose condition I’d taken for granted.

But back to whip-making.  Brought on by sudden inspiration, curiosity, and the question “just how hard is it to actually braid leather into a whip?“, I started searching for tutorials online.  Youtube is a really tremendous resource, and I quickly found these gems.  So now I want to make my own leather whip – a 4-foot snakewhip or signal whip, I think.  I don’t really want or need a handle, nor do I want a monstrous 8 foot bullwhip.

Granted, this would be a tremendous project, given the time and materials it requires.  Precut lace at the width I’d need (6mm it seems) is expensive, so my other option is to collect leather straps and make lace myself.

We’ll see if this ever comes to fruition, but in the meantime I had fun de-cording some nylon rope I had and making a test whip with 12-plait braiding (and an 8-plait belly).  It was actually quite easy once I learned the braiding pattern, and the whole thing took less than 5 hours, including undoing and rebraiding the belly once I got the hang of dropping strands.  Like learning to make rope, once you’ve seen how it’s made, it becomes demystified.

Yes, I am obsessed.

Categories: geekpost, photos, sundry
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  1. June 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm

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