Now I know that where I live there is not a great need for a pair of snow shoes, even in the worst that Winter will throw at me here. But I have had a desire to make a pair of snow shoes myself. I have no experience of snowshoes making. I have on the other hand a deep appreciation of the skills required to achieve a good pair of snow shoes, even half as good as Bill's.
I have the wood prepared for that first pair. I want to use rawhide, babiche, to make my pair. I need to collect enough rawhide to start making enough babiche.
In the meanwhile, I came across the site of a craftman who make, among other superb things, some superb snow shoes too.
His name is Bill Mackomski, and you can see his work on his site.
Just as a taster, here are a couple of pictures of some of his work. Please take note of how finely his work is done.
The snowshoes below are by another maker, but nowhere as finely made. Just to illustrate the drop in quality between Bill's reproductions of traditional, Native made, snowshoes, and subsequent loss of quality. This is not to be critical of the last pair or it's maker. I doubt mine will be anywhere near as good as the modern way of making them.
But simply to show the loss of ability and knowledge of the Old Timers, when those old timers die and there were no-one following in their foot steps. It is good that there are craftsmen out there that have the will and the knowledge to continue producing high quality articles such as Bill's work.