Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Day 4 - shoemaking course


After yesterday's great lasting success we started the day with most shoes looking like these..lasted over and ready to welt.

It seems that this shoemaking malarkey brings on quite an appetite and the guys have had a steady supply of biscuits, sweets and coffee to get them through what is, in effect, quite a workout - especially for certain dormant muscles. I know I suggested a small 1" shoemakers tummy was a handy thing to have - to tuck your apron under and your shoe into as you work on it - but I think that they've taken getting one a bit too literally. Any partners reading this, I apologise for any unseemly weight gain!

Talking of weight, today we discussed the merits of the course as an alternative boot camp...it certainly tones the areas men's magazines are always banging on about. Just think if we measured triceps, biceps, six packs and forearms before and after the two weeks, I wonder what the impact would be?



But in fact today has not seen too much banter. The levels of concentration needed when you tackle welting for the first time cannot be underestimated; making sure that your welt sits on the edge of the last, your threads don't knot, the bristles go through smoothly, your last doesn't slip etc.


The results of such great concentration are very pleasing (see above) and two students have already welted both shoes! Unheard of in the many years we have been doing the course.


A couple of the guys found it a little more of a challenge and have taken their first shoe home to finish, but I expect that they will all be ready to fit shanks and cork before we start tackling the soles ready for Saturday.

Exciting times tomorrow. (Please note that other brands of chocolate are favoured by shoemakers and that inclusion of the above image should not be seen as an endorsement of any kind. I actually prefer Lindt 70% so there!)

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