Welcome to all, and thank you for stopping by to look over my wares. I have been doing fancy-work on-and-off for over fifty-five years, ever since I was initially taught it by an old sailor who lived quite close to me. I used the know- ledge through my Navy days and have now taken it up again as a full-time business.
I make belts, lanyards, wheel-coverings, tiller-wraps, hand-rail wraps, bellropes of varying complexity, instrument straps, camera straps, luggage slings.... if you can do it with a piece of line, I've probably either made it or seen it. I can do MacNamara's lace and mast skirts, but they tend to get verrrry expensive due to the great amount of time involved.
Scrimshaw is made in the traditional method using needles and graphite (for lampblack is not something one can find about the house these days) and is usually done on bamboo or bone for needlecases, although I will attempt other materials on pre-paid order. An example is found at the top of this page as well as HERE for some personalized cases. As I make more of this it will eventually migrate to it's own page(s), provided my hands hold up!
Belts are "made-to-length" (although I do keep some standard-length belts on hand) and vary from simple squareknots throughout, to ten-diamond designs, open and filled diamonds, chevrons and crosses, etc., etc. Prices run from $120.00 for a small plain belt up through the roof for specialty items. I also can make suspenders (galluses), one example of which is shown on the knotpics page.
Wheels are coxcombed along the rim of the wheel (aesthetically, I prefer to leave the spokes un-flemished as it produces a 'floating' effect on the rim fancywork, but if you wish, I can also do work on them as well) and can either be done at my location (if you ship me a wheel to work on) or I can travel to your location to do the work. (See page for details)
WARNING: This AIN'T cheep!
I also do stair rails, companionways, or anything that's round and needs flemishing. It's QUITE pricey but for those who love the look, a definite plus for their vessel or home/workplace.
This is a picture of me after doing three flights of stairs for The Joint Strike Fighter people in Maryland.
Clicking on the picture will take you to a page all about it.
IF YOU HAVE pictures of your work or something you'd like to send for inclusion on the site, please take a moment to read THIS page and send me an email if you have ANY questions at all!
Earrings, Necklaces and wristlets are just that: cumshaw* work for those who want to 'knock-'em-dead' at the yacht club or marina. They pack a lotta bang for the buck in that respect.
Instrument straps and instrument decoration are a specialty. Guitar, Mandolin and Autoharp straps are all a min. of 2-1/2 in. wide and can go to 5 inches, but the price is exponential to size. Saxophone straps are highly useful and very strong, and they're a vibrant change from the usual 'black piece of string" that most guys use. (page coming soon) Turksheads on flutes, etc., are most impressive. I also do canes, walking sticks and walking staffs.
As long as we're talking about instruments, I played Irish mandolin for many years and have done something rather special for those who love Irish music but who (like me) cannot READ music: go HERE for information on this project and to acquire a CD of the tunes involved. I think you'll be impressed!
Professions which use hand tools (Geologists, Archaeologists, Surveyors, Building Trades) can also benefit from having some fancy-work cast onto the handles or heads of their tools: They improve your grip and serve to identify your tool immediately, as well as being a mark of pride.
Thanks again for stopping! Go poke around a bit and I bet you'll find something you like. If you have any questions on anything here, please EMAIL me. Also, if you see any ERRORS on the page (overlapping text, bad links, egregious exhibitions of my stupidity, mis-spleeings) PLEASE let me know so I can fix it.
Vince Brennan Chief Artisan
*cumshaw: From the Chinese "kahm shia" or "grateful thanks" GI's used candy and nylons
(Gee... you still here?)
Well, since you are, let me switch hats to my non-commercial one and talk a bit about the LIBRARY section of the site.
In there you will find pictures of fancywork and other nautical-type items (mostly handmade) which occupied the time of a great many sailor-men during the age of sail. When you were on a whale-ship and looking at four years before you returned to your home port, and sometimes six months between landfalls, it was next to impossible to stay occupied and sane, especially when you consider that a whaler carried more men than were necessary to just work the ship, so most men either did scrimshaw with scraps of whalebone from their harvests or, more rarely, fancy knotwork. Admittedly, I tend toward the knotwork. Go visit.
There are also pages on Tutorials on making ropework, pages devoted to just one knottyer's work, pages for knottyers who have gone on to Fiddler's Green and so forth... it's an interesting place I've got here and you'll never know just what you may find in the orlop!