"Frankly, I think the blog is the best one devoted to shoemaking on the Internet."

D W Frommer II, Bootmaker

Friday, 2 October 2015

S/S16 Summer Shoes

As the saying goes whilst the cats away the mice will play...so whilst James has been having a well-earned holiday I've had a ball looking at fabrics for some new shoes.

Here's a quick snapshot....

We'll keep you posted on our progress....and don't worry, there will be plenty more shoe making news next week as our October Intensive gets under way. So until then, happy shoemaking!

Friday, 25 September 2015

New Evening Class Starting January 16

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After our trip to Linea Pelle, we have had the first of the samples from some of the tanneries we spoke to. We particularly looked at those which do veg tanning. There is an organisation of such tanneries called Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata al Vegetale. It's reflects the growing interest in sustainable tanning and we are very excited about using the skins. Some of them are very lovely indeed.

These are from Conceria Badalassi Carlo - yum!

This is the pamphlet that the association has put out and, with typical Italian flair, it is beautiful. The logo is the little hand at the top of the front page.

And so to some news about Carreducker. We are delighted to announce a second Evening Shoemaking Class starting in January 2016.

It will run on a Wednesday night from 6pm till 9pm and will follow the same programme as the Intensive Class, but in a longer format.

Students will be given a pair of lasts in their size along with a pair of uppers and, over three terms of ten weeks each, they will hand stitch a pair of welted shoes. Marvellous!

The pace of the class is relaxed and students work at their own rhythm. It is fun, sociable and remember - people who make shoes are generally really nice. So come on, get your aprons on!

We are taking bookings now, so if you are interested, get in touch on


Or call 02078130093

This is not on our website yet, but, in the VERY near future, our revamped website and NEW e-commerce site, The Tool Shed will be live.

And that's about your lot for this week. Until the next time, happy shoemaking!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Carreducker do Linea Pelle September 2015 - Part 2

Welcome back happy shoemakers and here is our second dispatch from Linea Pelle. We loved our trip to Milan and found some wonderful architecture, art and fashion to enjoy in the late afternoon before flying home.

Two paces behind....too embarrassing to be walking alongside when he's not in Carreducker's!

The sweeping structures of Linea Pelle 

Striding into the great halls of leather for Day 2
Helipad or lost UFO?
Great mixes of texture, material and colour
Great colour and retro styling
A fascinating shoe sculpture with the platform crafted from layers and layers of leather
Leather flask
Extreme brogueing...I think that they missed a bit

Lovely lifestyle showcases
mixing old and new
Enjoying the curvy metro seats
and the compartment-less trains
The Duomo has had a wonderful spring clean
Fresh and sparkling in the sunshine

A wonderful shopping environment

and inspiring mixes of luxurious materials

Interesting off-set paving in a narrow alley
Mr Ducker eyeing up some titfers (hats)

Glorious Dolce 

...glorious glass
And a wonderful centrepiece made from shoe lasts in a Milanese shop
Then the long walk back to the airport
That's all from us in Milan. Back to the workbench, designing, fabric, clients and shoes. Until next week happy shoemaking!

Friday, 11 September 2015

Carreducker do Linea Pelle September 2015 - Part 1

Over the alps
It's been a good few years since we last ventured into the world of temptation that is Linea Pelle, but venture we did earlier this week! We last went when the fair was in Bologna, Italy but it is now based in Milan alongside some rather wonderful pavilions that form Milan Expo 2015.

But it was no less of a marathon this time and we have the blisters to prove it. I challenge any pair of shoes not to twinge a little after 34,000 steps over two days...just ask my toes. (To give you a sense of scale each of the boxes below is the size of a large aeroplane hanger).

Anyway, although we came with a clear idea of what we wanted to see and who we wanted to meet, it was impossible not to walk the entire show...just out of curiosity..we didn't want to miss anything. Of course there were stands that weren't our cup of tea - too fashion focused, too synthetic or too large - but there were many many stands that caught our eye.

So here's a snapshot...the first part of two...sharing our highlights and some of the delights of Milan.

Mr Ducker & Mme Carre
Glossy stands
Laces galore...
Threads, threads and more threads
Fascinating innovations like this reversible studded tread. Easily adjustable with
studs out for snow or rain and studs in for indoors wear
Buckles and belts displayed in glass cases like a row of slumbering snakes
Familiar items...glue boys, leather pens...
wooden pegs, lasting pliers
and hammers and nails.
Ideas for shoe bags in every shade of colour
Almost limitless choice when it comes to rubber soles, sole sheeting and moulded soles....
actually they will create what you want as long as the volume is enough.
Moulding and embossing....
make for an interesting mix of rubberised typography and pimple patterns
instead of broguing
One of my favourites for hardware...how many types, sizes
and colours of ski hooks, eyelets, rivets etc. can there be>
Some stands had an element of mystery...

and other couldn't help but catch the eye
(This is taken standing in the middle of one of the halls looking across half its width). 
Soling technology was all about lightness and 
Insoling technology

Twist and woven thonging
Moulded soles
Wonderful webbing...
and wonderful elastics - felted, woollen, coloured, glitzy and herringbone
Comfort soles for running
...and walking. Could have done with these for the show!
Our favourite polishes...and polishing mitts

And lots and lots of luxurious veg. tan leathers

Some good tanning storytelling

Like a kid in a sweet shop!


And some of the best posters and displays for storytelling and styling 

Most fun was bumping into Rowan Edwards, shoe school alumni and now busy getting those all important first samples together for his own footwear brand. We love the aesthetic of his shoes and boots so can't wait to see what he comes up with in 2016!

And to top it all we bumped into the A&A Crack team on the plane on the way back! Whew! 

Anyway, I'm off to row the River Thames tomorrow - just 21 miles (but at least I can put my feet up)....so wish me luck and if you would like to sponsor me please do ....it's all in a good cause. 

Until next week, happy shoemaking!