Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Souvenir No. 2 From Holland

Dutch Souvenir 1

What is the second Dutch souvenir after tulips usually brought from Holland? Klomps, of course!
Near Amsterdam there is an ethnographic museum where one can trace the history of klomps development, to see the fully automated production process of this unique wooden shoes.
Dutch Souvenir 2

On the territory of the museum there are houses where visitors may look the traditional Dutch culture.
This house is devoted to the history and production of klomps, besides one may find a necessary for all museums gift shop there and buy klomps of all possible colors and sizes.

The first thing to see is an exposition of historic klomps. In each of 12 provinces of the Netherlands there exists a special design of the shoes. This map tells all the datails about it.

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Initially such wooden shoes were intended for feet protection from mechanical impact while work with heavy devices.

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The Dutch made wooden shoes not only for themselves but also for horses in order they do not sink in soft soil.

Dutch Souvenir 6
Later they began to make klomps not only for work but for holidays too.

And for sport, like these ancient skates.

More modern ones.

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These are intended for walking on ice.

Such heels prototypes.

Dutch Souvenir 11
Wedding klomps.

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Modern design...

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But let us look at the process of klomps production. Here it is semiautomatic, one shoe is produced for 5-6 minutes. Manual production takes about 4 hours...

If you've seen how a copy of a door key is produced you already understand the principle. On the right a sample is fixed, on the left - a preliminary soaked cottonwood log.
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Two minutes rest...

...and half of the shoe is ready.

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When the upper is ready it is fixed in another machine that cuts out an inside in the same way.

Here a sample is on the left.

And now the shoe is ready. The wood is so wet that if you blow strongly in the shoe it starts dripping. They say that you may squeeze out up to 50 ml of water this way.
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To be dried and painted.

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Here you may buy klomps of all colors and sizes. If you wear them every day they will surve you for about a year!

Choosing your size it's better to have some space around a foot, approximately for one finger. And you'll wear the shoes with pleasure.
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If you think you can't wear such shoes in your everyday life, just buy some model as a souvenir from Holland. They will surely remain when your souvenir No. 1 - tulips, will fade. 

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