I’ll start off with the two fine implements we purchased from The London Tanners.
First off, we spent a fair amount of time over the party weekend getting to know Ian, the gentleman better known as The London Tanner. He was one of the first people I was introduced to at the party, though at first I didn’t make the connection since I was introduced to him by name. During the course of the weekend, we got to chat with him quite a bit and shared a couple of meals with him.
Ian is definitely an artisan. Making spanking implements (I hesitate to call them toys even though that’s the term I usually use) isn’t something he just decided to do because of his interest in the kink. Leatherwork is his calling, and he’s even written a book on the subject that’s been translated into several languages and used as a textbook for the field.
Needless to say, Ian’s work is very, very good. I’d heard his name mentioned many times in the past, but Shadow Lane was the first time we’d seen any of his implements first hand. Truth be told, neither Sparkle nor I have purchased any “good” implements for some time. We’re both somewhat picky about implements, and have been frustrated a few times in the past buying things sight unseen (and pictures on a website don’t count).
In any event, after getting to know Ian on Friday and hearing the rave reviews of his products by others, we were very interested in visiting his table at Saturday’s vendor fair and seeing them for ourselves.
Folks, I easily could have laid every dollar in my wallet on his table and taken everything I could get for that amount. As it was though, we forced ourselves to only pick two items, and as it turned out, we picked two of his newest items.
Sparkle is quite fond of leather paddles, so that’s the first thing we looked for. Although the majority of his items are straps and variations thereof, Ian does offer a couple of different types of paddles. We were intrigued by his newest one, the Nanny Paddle.
Essentially, the Nanny Paddle (which Ian also refers to as the Sassy Paddle) is patterned after a large hairbrush. Ian shared that he had scoured several thrift and antique stores until he found a brush that was the size and shape he liked, and then used that as a pattern for this paddle. The picture below shows the Nanny Paddle alongside Sparkle’s walnut hairbrush, which is a fairly typically-sized brush.
The Nanny Paddle is constructed of double thickness leather, with a leather stiffener (Ian doesn’t use any metal or plastic in the bodies of his implements) in the handle, and stitched around the edge. Its a very comfortable size to hold for either a man or a woman, and is just the right size to slip in a hip or jacket pocket and keep with you. In fact, I did keep it in my pants pocket for the rest of the afternoon in case the opportunity to use it arose, which, of course, it did.
I’ve used this paddle on Sparkle a couple of times in the week since the party, and I very much like it. Since it is constructed solely of leather, its more flexible than some of the other leather paddles I’ve used. This means that its well suited to spankings that employ a lot of wrist motion. Its is stiff enough, however, that it can also be effectively used with a fixed wrist and more of a full arm motion. Due to its small size, it can be applied everywhere across the buttocks and thighs, including the ever important “sit spot”.
The second item we purchased was his new longer-version of the Corporal Punishment Ruler Paddle. The original version, which is available under the Boudoir Section of his website, is 14 inches long. The long version, which we bought, is a hair over 17 inches long, with the handle accounting for 6 inches of that overall length. As with the original, it is 2 inches wide across the “working end”.
I was immediately attracted to this implement. One of the very first times I ever gave a spanking, my partner’s toy bag included a strap very similar to this one from the now-defunct Magick & Fetish Shop in Los Angeles. I’ve looked for a similar strap for some time, but have never been able to find anything that quite matched my memory of this implement…until visiting Ian’s table, that is. It may not be exactly the same, but it does embody the important features I was looking for (length, width, thickness and overall design).
Again, Sparkle has felt this implement a couple as times as well, both for fun and for the punishment she received for her sunburn. I’m still learning how to use this implement effectively (due to my relative inexperience with straps in general), but after a bit of experimentation, it appears that a full arm stroke is best to prevent the tip from “biting” the far side of Sparkle’s bottom. It is definitely best used when your target is lying down or bent over something appropriate, like the end of the bed.
Ian offers four stock colors for his implements: London Tan, Dark Havana Brown, Rich Burgundy Red and Solid Black. We originally wanted to get the Nanny Paddle in the burgundy, but he did not have one in that color, so we chose the tan instead, which is also the color used for the handle of our CP Ruler Paddle with black for the main strap. Ian shared with us the following picture which shows the Nanny Paddle in the burgundy, tan and black.