Artisan Series: The Bootmaker
Peter Limmer works away at the Limmer Boot Company in Intervale, New Hampshire.
“They don’t make ‘em like they used to,” is a well worn and time-honored phrase. I’m happy to say that in some cases, they do still make ‘em like they used to, and I’m out to find those artisans who continue to create high quality products and art, regardless of the cost. Come to think of it, if any product is made with skill and love, is it not art in its own right?
On a whim, I typed “cheap Chinese products” into Google and got 33,400,000 hits, most of them rather proudly touting their ‘cheapness.’ Perhaps not so curiously, this is 27 times fewer hits than if you enter “Justin Bieber cheap product.” I’m just sayin’.
We’ve all had the experience of buying something that breaks shortly after purchase, or worse, shortly after the warranty expires. Check the label, and you’ll see an obvious trend: It’s a piece of mass produced garbage made overseas that sacrifices quality for the corporate bottom line. I’d rather pay much more for something that was made with skill and love, by someone who pays attention to each item, than to live a life with garbage-to-be.
The following is proudly displayed on the Limmer Custom Boot website:
“Our boots are a sound investment whether stock or Custom as they offer extreme durability and reliability. It is not unusual to have boots in our repair department that are 50+ years old and still going strong. With over 30 years of experience in making boots, Peter S. Limmer, grandson of Peter Sr, will put the same painstaking care and effort in making you the best pair of boots you will ever wear.
“Simplicity, practicality and painstakingly wrought quality are fundamental to an understanding of the uncompromising standards that have gone into the creation of all Limmer boots and shoes.
“Born from a family tradition that was firmly established when it was carried across the Atlantic Ocean and launched in this country in 1925, Limmer represents a unique combination of old fashioned family pride and the humble dedication that comes from devotion to craft.
A name that says hard work and meticulous effort, Limmer is your guarantee of quality in every purchase.”
That’s music to my ears. So, here’s an image to celebrate the hard working and dedicated artisan who still makes something to be proud of. Part of a waning culture, Peter continues the family tradition of producing a quality product, “Art” by any other name.
In response to several requests:
This was created from nine separate exposures, shot from tripod with the Promote Control. Merged in Photomatix Pro 4, where I de-ghosted Peter's head and left arm. I still needed one of the original files to deblur the arm. I combined a Shadowmap, a double-tonemap, and a vivid tonemap to create the depth I wanted to see. Nik Color Efex Pro's Darken/Lighten Center filter was used to draw the eye first toward the bench and the artisan, and then the eye travels to the back window. Topaz InFocus put a nice sharp to things, and Nik Dfine 2.0 took out some of the noise where I wanted it to.
Or, as Peter himself put it, "Must've been the subject." :^)