Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Grandfather the Shoemaker

My grandfather passed away many years ago when I was about 10 yrs old. He was born in 1899, something I didn't know until recently.  Wow! I actually knew someone that was born in the 1800's!  That strikes me as being a bit bizarre and phenomenal too! 
He immigrated from Vranovske Dlhe, Slovakia and set up shop as a shoemaker in Peterborough Ontario. The house along with the garage that housed his workshop have been passed down to my cousin now and even though  it has been 35 years since my grandfather died, only now is it being cleared out completely.  One of my  recent visits to Peterborough turned out to be a most serendipitous one.  I had just finished putting away my latest jewellery made from grommets after showing my mom and sister. That's when  my cousin walked in to announce that he would be soon  cleaning out the workshop to make some room for his own things.  He mentioned that amongst some old machinery there still lingered some supplies like thick shoe leather and grommets and rivets! Grommets? My ears perked up and before you could blink I was there going through dusty old drawers and  jars full of grommets.  There were hundreds of them.  What a find.  I haven't played with them yet but I can't wait to get my hands on them to make more Grommet Jewellery!!! 

This is a tool that is about 10 ft long in total so i couldn't get it all in the picture. It has many different stations along it's lentgh. Some parts are for buffing, other for sanding and it attached to a vacuum that took all of the dust away. I couldn't help but think that a much smaller version of this would be perfect for polymer clay artists.

This poor old Singer has seen better days.