12 October 2010

Dog collars

So. Finally the new dog collars are finished!

The above picture shows the original collar made for our cocker spaniel to wear at Medieval re-enactment events. It was based on some pieces that appear in various Renaissance and Medieval paintings, but with some alterations for reasons of practicality - we didn't intend Katy to go hunting, so some of the fittings were altered. The collar itself is made from three layers of leather, stitched on the curve to keep the shape, with the joining plates being made from dismantled hinges. The loop and studs were hand made from brass. She also had a matching lead with studs. The studs themselves couldn't work loose, but the fixing for the ring was less substantial than was really needed for such a feisty dog! The collar was later dismantled and revised. More on that later...

The collar received a great deal of interest from various quarters, not just re-enactors, but also dog owners generally. A commission followed on the success of Katy's collar to make a set of 4 collars for 2 whippets and 2 greyhounds. Because of the differing needs of breeds, I decided to try out a selection of shapes and styles until I settled on a more traditional shape, but still using the hand made studs and riveted loop. The buckles are taken from French medieval examples, and the strap loop is cut to match. The collars were all treated with multiple layers of dubbin and edges rubbed and dyed. They are hand sewn throughout.

Whilst working on these collars I had the opportunity to think about revising Katy's own collar. One of Katy's great characteristics is her strength - for a bitch she is remarkable! We decided that for the sake of everyone else's lunch at events that perhaps something a little more robust would be more suitable and so set about making a more traditional collar for her. We re-used the studs from her old collar, and the ring, but made a new loop and buckle, matching the engraving on it. The result was a very much more practical collar which could be used on a daily basis. The well worn result is below!

An update to the whippets collars:
Some photos of very happy dogs!

Awww. Doesn't it just make you want to wag your tail and roll?

... thanks for the pix Frances!