One thing I love about Australian country towns is that they are full of stuff that the rest of the world has forgotten about. Products you would think that nobody makes any more, you will find these at the last knick knack store on the end of a quaint set of timber board shops where the only noise you can hear is a dog barking out back somewhere and the rustle of leaves through the trees. Nestled into the Kangaroo Valley I once found the best chopping boards that weighed a tonne from natural Australian hardwood such as grey ironbark or spotted gum. I've found leather workers in the Hunter Valley which can do almost any leather work you require if it's related to horses.
This weekend, the first of the winter series, I came across a chap who was selling bees wax from a local bee keeper. Bees wax is one of the key ingredients used by upmarket shoe care companies such as La Cordonnerie Anglais and Saphir. They mix it in their own special formula to provide nourishment and finish to leather. Some say that the other ingredients are such things as carnauba wax (nourishing the leather and hardening the beeswax) , tea tree oil and essential citrus oils (to prevent moulding and to protect stitching). Other things suggested are human urine, coconut oil, turpentine and flaxseed oil. These are just things I have stumbled across, so you will need to do your own research. As to what proportions these things go in, that's where shoe care companies spend a great deal of time perfecting a formula. The only thing I can note is that if you want to make a basic polish you will definitely need to dissolve the beeswax in turpentine and add a small amount of carnauba wax in to stiffen it up.
To be continued....
|Sleepy country towns pay off, Australian beeswax from the Hunter Valley - to be used in some trial leather polish.|
|A bonfire, Hunter Valley, Australia|
|Sunset over Wollombi, lower Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia|