Because most customers had to wait for service, the clogger’s shop was a debating chamber for adults and a place of wonder for children. How fascinating to watch the clogger shaping the rough blocks of alder into snug-fitting soles with his three remarkable knives, each having a handle similar to that of a spade.
First the long-bladed shaper, then the hollower and finally the gouge-shaped gripper; the last-named was for cutting–in the welting rebate. The bench used for sole cutting, with its ring bolt, was called the ‘stock’. A short while ago I had the pleasure of watching a master clogger in the Rossendale Valley demonstrating his skill in cutting clog soles.
Among samples of his work were a beautiful pair of dancing clogs just completed for a member of the Britannia Coconut Dancers. As light as a feather, the leatherwork was covered with decorative ‘crimping’ and three tiny brass bells were set into the tongue. Altogether exquisite workmanship. I was also surprised to learn that this master craftsman has exported clogs to Russia and China.