In a Cornish Hamlet

In the last post I shared a human-interest story which, predictably given we are German Shepherd Place, included animals! Today, we’ll continue in a similar vein. If you read the June article you’ll recall we followed a vet’s journey from South Africa to the US, with stops along the way. Today we’re going to parachute into the county of Cornwall in rural South West England.

Bolventor is a hamlet on Bodmin Moor (a moor is a tract of open, uncultivated upland), located near the adjoining county of Devon to the east, and centered on the 25 mile stretch between Cornwall’s north and south coasts. Here Jane and her husband, Michael Talbot-Smith – the subjects of our narrative – have carved out a vibrant life which they share with two horses, two dogs, a cat, ducks, hens and Jane’s home-grown saddlery business.

DSC_8617Photo: Jane rides her trap, pulled by home-bred horse Izarra. Her dog Leanyka, an Hungarian Visla, with red-brown coat illuminated with shafts of sunlight, rides in her favorite spot, nestled behind Jane’s feet.

Jane is my first cousin – one of three girls born to my mother’s sister/my aunt, Ruth. Growing up, we’d get together during holidays; Jane and her sisters were a good complement to the all-male gang of me and my three brothers! And we’d love those times – doing stuff with the extended family, and the horses, dogs, the rolling green countryside of Cornwall. And then there was the drama and romance that, for me, went with my cousins’ proximity to the seacoast.

A Fitting Craft

Jane's Logo, smallMotivated by her love for horses, and an aptitude for working with her hands, Jane’s first job had her working for a company making horse-drawn vehicles, where she focused on leather work.

This led to a college course in Rural Saddlery, followed by employment with Bridleways of Guildford. But Jane really got into her stride after establishing Blisland Harness Makers. Creating by hand a broadening range of goods from saddle leather, each piece seems the perfect balance of beauty and durability.

Included in the work are an array of styles in dog leashes (leads), and collars. I asked Jane for sample photos to share with our visitors:Composite of Jane's Work for Blog Post

The examples shown are just a few amongst many possibilities, for each item is made to order, custom designed for size, style and color.

Working With Jane on Your Project

If you’d like to look into getting something special for the dog or dogs in your life, or as a one-of-a-kind gift, the following guidelines will help you get things in motion::

  1. Send us an email, at the address below, describing what you are looking for. The more information you can provide relating to your specific interest, the better. Please include a phone number where you can be reached, and your country if other than the US.
  2. If necessary you’ll be contacted for clarification on your items of interest
  3. We’ll give you a price estimate, a production schedule and deposit requirements.
  4. You’ll place the deposit on your order. An email confirmation will be sent to you.
  5. U.K residents will be contacted by Jane or her staff to discuss design details.
  6. US and all other nation residents will be contacted by us at GermanShepherdPlace to discuss design details.

Email us at the following address, writing “Leather Work” on the subject line: contact@germanshepherdplace.com.

As always, we’d enjoy hearing from you – perhaps you have something you’d like to share about your German Shepherds, or some recent photos.

You can write me at: Mark@germanshepherdplace.com or leave a comment below.


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