Cloggers, Dumfries

  'Scottish Cloggers. Stages of the old woodland craft of clog-making. Dumfries 1959.   Clog-making which thrived in south-west Scotland during the early nineteenth century, is now largely a factory process. For workers in sloppy, muddy places clogs are a more serviceable kind of footwear than either leather or rubber boots, and there is still a certain demand for them in country districts, on farms, in dairies and piggeries and elsewhere, in slaughter-houses, mills and breweries.   It is a sad reflection that even if clog-dancing were to become the fashion and to create a considerable demand for fancy clogs, the clogger's skill in cutting and shaping the wooden sole would still perforce pass into factory production.   Sole and heel were cut and shaped in one piece from a block of soft wood, mostly alder, ash or birch, two inches thick, the harder woods being liable to split.   Clogmaker Hutchison, at his bench, is using three long chisel-edged knives with his skilled right hand in turn to cut the sole to its correct shape, hollow out the contour of the inner face and make a groove around the sole to which the 'uppers' will be fitted. Finally, he is seen fixing an iron 'caulker to the sole, a thin strip of metal which causes the characteristic noise of the clog.   Clogger Grierson was the last of these highly skilled craftsmen to sell the old clogs in Dumfries, but all that was left to his skillful handling was fixing of leather uppers to ready made clog soles sent to him at his shop by the factory.'   Dr Kissling's note, 1978   The clogger pictured is James Hutchison Senior of J. Hutchison & Son Clog-makers, Dumfries.   Research note, 2019
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Dr Werner Kissling
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Accession number :
PP/KISSLING COLLECTION, Retrospective 1978/78-83
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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