Welcome to the new site! Come in a look around. I think you'll really like the direction we are going. We're working to update all of our product pictures as quickly as possible, so keep an eye on our shop pages. Also, please reset your bookmarks for the new page.
Turn Shoes! I am now making period constructed turn shoes. Although, I have been making them for years, they were costly to produce. Now they have become affordable. Turn shoes have now arrived and made a first appearance at Gulf Wars 2011. The Vlaardingen Shoe and the Reimerswaal Shoe were both very popular and I am very fond of the Medieval High Shoe.
Thank you once again for taking an interest in my craft. As of 12/11/2010, I have completed well over 4000 pairs of boots and shoes even providing boots for Walt Disney MGM studios, Stan Winston Studios, several Shakespearean festivals, and a several opera companies. I very much enjoy my job. Since 1999 boot making and medieval leather working has been my primary means of earning an income. I take great pride in, and extract much joy from, making boots for people.
I am Michael J. Fine and I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am married to a beautiful lady, Jennifer who is also known as Rhieinwylydd. Jennifer helps me a few days a month and travels with me to merchant at large events.
In the SCA, I am Sir Bohemond le Sinistre, Order of the Laurel, Knight of the Company of St. Martin. I live in the Barony of al-Barran (Albuquerque, New Mexico), which is a territory of the Kingdom of the Outlands. My wife Jennifer is known in the SCA as Lady Rhieinwylydd Cyfeilog.
On 11/25/06 we had our first child, Shannon! She is almost 6 months old in this picture. My travel schedule will be cut down for a few years.
Though I attend some Renaissance fairs, I mostly attend big SCA events like Pennsic and Estrella. Above is a picture of me and at the bottom of this page is my coat of arms so that you may easier find me at events you are attending. I display my coat of arms at my tent at every event I attend. I'm almost always camped with the Outlands, but I don't always run a merchant booth, so the best way to find me is to look for my coat of arms. At most SCA events I attend, I participate on the field and fight. If I am not running a merchant booth at an event, and you would like to talk about boots, please feel free to come up and introduce yourself. I will be more than happy to take your boot order.
I have been recognized for my artistic skill in the SCA by receiving a Baronial level arts and sciences award, Order of the Russian Thistle, a Kingdom level arts and sciences award, Companion of the Argent Hart, and a Grant of Arms Award, the Desert Flower of the Outlands. In July of 2002 I created a Companion of the Order of the Laurel, the highest arts award in the SCA. Word-of-mouth business started me off on this endeavor and now the internet and advertising have helped sustain the business.
I learned the boot trade from Sir Richard of Wolfswood. I very much appreciate the opportunity he gave me when he shared his knowledge.
In 2002, I purchased shoe shop equipment. Up to this point I did most or all of the sewing by hand (no machines!) However, my shoulder has given out and so modern equipment is a must. It reduces time and wear and tear on my body. In many cases machine sewing is equivalent quality to hand sewn, however, in other cases machine sewing is much superior. For example, the sole sewing machines actually pull the tread through a glue pot before stitching tremendously improving the longevity and durability. I continue to hand sew where it is the superior technique or necessary.
This has allowed for me to start producing machine made off the shelf footwear! I still make custom footwear. Now I can offer immediate shipping on several in stock styles. Available in standard sizes, I hope to expand styles twice a year. Everyone has responded so positively to the new off the shelf items that I am sure to expand them with great vigor in the future.
My fun side job with Raymond is making Anglo Saxon Drinking Horns from Sutton Hoo and Taplow as well as experimenting with Viking Drinking Horns. Sir Raymond has taught me a lot about crafting since we started hanging out and making things together. The drinking horn and armor projects are a team effort with Sir Raymond the Quiet. At Estrella War 2002 Sir Raymond, Pope, and I won the Arts and Sciences category war point with a reproduction Sutton Hoo drinking horn.
The Company of St. Martin.
Photo taken at our 2003 charitable tournament and some members were not present.
Top row from left to right, Duke Aaron Graves, Sir Elric Kyrri, Sir Bohemond le Sinistre, Sir Raymond the Quiet, Master Juan Balthazar Tigerro , Duke Artan MacAilin, Duke Martino Michel Veneri, Master Iric Blackelk. Bottom Row left to right, Sir Lavan Longwalker, Mistress Sara de Montgomerie, Sir Kragon of Land's End, Duke Hrothger Monomakh.
Our first child arrived! So no more travel for a few years as a Merchant. If I am attending an event for pleasure, you can always stop by my camp to order boots. When I am merchanting, please stop by our booth and say hi, we would be glad to see you and visit.
The best way to get a pair of boots from me is to print out an order form, have a friend help you take measurements, and send them to me in the regular US Postal Service mail. Just follow the instructions on the order form.
Historical and SCA Helms
Although in the past Raymond and I have made several styles of helms and taking custom helm orders, I have decided not to pursue armor with any vigor. No more custom orders, sorry. We will be posting helms often to our in-stock helm page on Raymond's web site. Occasionally we will be making one of our elaborate Sutton Hoo, Coppergate, Vendel, Uppland, and Norman helms to the site or take them with us to events. Raymond or I may make a helm here and there, when we do it will show up at some event and on the in stock helm page.
"Find Your Fun, Bohemond!"
So I have been playing for some years and started to burn out... It happens to just about everyone at some time. My friends started telling me "find your fun." After some deep introspection, I decided my fun was making fighting armor or "rigs." I had been so busy making things for others, I never made stuff for me. So here are some photos of some of my latest personal projects:
If you are reading this then thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little. I posted this page to for those who don't get to meet me face to face at an event. Below are my SCA awards, not to brag, just to let you know you I am involved in the well being of our game.
I wish you happiness,