Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Day 6 - shoemaking course

What a week it has been! I've loved teaching this summer's group and have been so impressed with the camaraderie (although I did have to get a little 'school marmy' today to calm them all down as a shoe debate heated up!)


Ian skiving his shank...


Alex smoothing his sole...


Matt straightening up sole edges...

Simon cutting his channel...

A couple of students have proven particularly adept and worked with speed AND accuracy. As they have shown their ability we have increased the challenge, with '11 to the inch' fudge wheels to stitch their soles.

But Alex has already finished his first shoe and Simon is well on his way (and that's despite some left vs right handed stitching technique confusion!)

But it's unfair to imply that it has been plain sailing or wrong to measure them against each other. They are all well on target and, as we say with every course, for some lasting is their forte, for others it's the skiving and for others the stitching. Yes, some do just have a practical aptitude but with anyone, a moment's lapse in concentration can lead to disaster in these later stages of the making process.


Some great, straight stitches!

So who is to say how next week goes? All I hope is that the energy levels stay high (Roberto's constant supplies of cherries, cookies and sweets is helping), they stay enthused, that we encourage their passion for handsewn shoemaking and that they come away feeling that James and I have taught them something new and wonderful...

I dearly hope that, under Mr Ducker's exacting eye, they put in the time and effort to create beautifully finished shoes they are proud to wear.

Sadly I won't be here for the final day as August is proving a very busy month. After three weeks of teaching (including two weeks lecturing in accessories design and marketing at University of the Arts) I am taking a shoemaking break, sneaking off on holiday and to move house!


3 comments:

jimmyshoe said...

Clearly some excellent work being done, so well done to the students and to Deborah for getting them there, jimmyshoe

Anonymous said...

It looks as though the heel seat has been cemented as well. no stitching or tacks for the student courses?

jimmyshoe said...

No, we use nails around the heel for a more secure heel. We clip them and then punch them with a nail punch. I will post a picture today. Most makers in England use nails rather than wooden pegs.
Hope that clears it up, jimmyshoe