Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 31 July 2009

Shoemakers' Studio

So here we are, nearly August and not much sign of a summer so far. Is that good or bad?
While I like the heat and feeling the sun on my body, I do not like it if I am working. Which I am for the next 3 weeks because the carréducker bespoke shoemaking course starts on Monday. And it would be a very uncomfortable experience if we get a heat wave. The studio is a lovely space, but we have south and west facing windows and a big skylight, so it bakes in the heat.

Direct sun from 11 till 6 and no air con - this is England after all. I am hoping the weather does not change - is that heretical?

The course was only half full for ages and then, as always, we got a last minute rush and it is full. As a result, we have had a mad, last minute dash to get the uppers made in time (thank you dear closers). A little stressful but it's all in hand, I think.

There is a trend within the handsewn shoemaking fraternity for the master shoemakers to be secretive and not share knowledge, or even exchange it. I always ask them things and am often met with evasions and embarrassed smiles. I do not like this attitude. I think we should share all our knowledge with as many people who care enough to ask. This trade needs support and dissemination far and wide or else it will die out. What do they have to lose? When they die, their knowledge dies, which is a tragedy.
This is why we run the course. To give people a taste of what it takes to make a shoe; to encourage them to take it up; to perpetuate the craft. Lofty ambitions perhaps but we feel passionately about what we do.

So, onwards and upwards for carréducker, self proclaimed guardians of the trade.

PS I apologise for the haphazard photos, but I still struggle with layout, doh!