Friday, December 4, 2009

Farm Craft - Braiding

I'm back home from my trip to Alberta and Saskatchewan. I'm just trying to get back into some kind of routine again before Christmas. I have a few orders to work on and clients and potential clients to contact from my days off. I've promised to send pictures back to family from the trip and need to organize all my trip pictures while they are still fresh in my memory.

Growing up on the farm I can remember my dad working with his hands every day. Welding, fencing, carpentry, feeding the animals, working on machinery, etc. I can remember my dad in his shop taking the loose binder twine that came off the hay bales left over from feeding the cattle and braiding them into ropes. He showed me how to braid a loop in one end and how to add new strands into the braid to keep it going forever. In the end, these big ropes would go on my swingset and I would climb and swing on them for hours. Here's the most recent binder twine rope, with a tire swing for the grandkids. He taught me simple three strand braids and I'd practice on anything - horse's manes, shoe laces, twizzlers and I still use that same braid in my work when I braid a looped sinew line for a harpoon.

On the most recent trip, I brought back this riding bridle and reins that my dad made decades ago from recycled electrical wire. Its flat braided from pairs of wire in 3 strand and 4 strand braids. There were some loose ends on it when I found it hanging in the horse barn, so dad spent an hour the night before I flew home working on it, weaving the wire back in on itself and adding a missing ring. You can see some of the loose ends around the bit in the standing photo, but its very neatly finished now.

Although Dad stressed that it was only repaired for display, not for riding. Which shouldn't be a problem, I love having something that my dad crafted with his own hands on display in my home.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Caption:
First: Dad making some last minute repairs to the bridle before I fly back to Newfoundland in the morning.
Second: A tire swing with braided twine rope for the grandkids.
Third: Dad holding the bridle and reins he braided out of recycled electrical wire.
Fourth: Detail of the reins attached to the bit.
Fifth: Detail of the bridle

1 comment:

  1. Great photos of your dad at work. Looks like you had a most interesting visit! I'm looking forward to heading back to Ontario to visit my family now.


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