OK, I’m going to share. A while ago I experienced a family tragedy; due to the illness leading up to it and the grief following, I didn’t work much in the shop for around three years. I tell students ALWAYS: Don’t take a class until you can go home and continue building boots, because you *cannot* remember this complex and complicated craft unless you do it continuously. But I’ve been making boots now for over 25 years–I thought I’d be able to pick back up immediately. I was wrong.
That arrow is pointing to a blister on my hand, because my hands are soft now, and a day of working makes them hurt.
I’d planned to not share pictures of this boot on social media, because those of you that have been paying attention will recognize it. I made these boots a couple of months ago and they’re back, because they didn’t fit–at all. I’m struggling to get back to the skill level I was before; thank goodness I have kind and understanding clients.
The moral of this story is: Respect this craft. Learn it, practice it, and know that it will kick your butt once in a while. I master it occasionally and it teaches me humility. It’s a good deal and I don’t mind.