Saturday, 16 April 2011

A Well Earned Break

Apologies fellow shoe afficionados for the late post. We shoemakers are busy folk, especially those of us who run a business as well as making beautuful hand crafted bespoke shoes. With this in mind,  I took a well earned day off yesterday to attend a very old friend's wedding in Manchester, which is where I find myself right now. It was a wonderful day, but it meant that I could not post my regular Friday entry.

So here we are a day late.

Last Sunday saw a great article in the Sunday Telegraph magazine about the re-launch of Gieves and Hawkes which gave carr├ęducker, The Other One and myself a direct namecheck. Fantastic. And this week will see the official opening of the revamped store, so watch out for us in the press as the story takes off.

I have a couple of recent client pairs to show you this week. The first is an interesting pair of pigskin derby shoes. Pigskin is not a common leather to use and it has a gentley grained surface. The client wanted an antiqued, multi-tonal finish, so we bought some light tan skin and experimented. First we deglazed it and then applied a mixture of brown, yellow, red and orange leather dyes in repeated layers. We applied a deep colour and then washed some of the dyes off with solvent by rubbing it across the surface of the leather. This had the effect of bringing out the original tan colour of the pigskin on the flat surface while the new, darker colours stayed in the pits of the natural grain. This had a really lovely result. The finish was very uneven tonally, but it was beautiful. We ended the process by giving the finished shoes a very high military shine. The result is great and the customer was very pleased.




The second pair is a black wholecut with a red glace kid lining. Very pointed toe shape, but the client is tall, so the proportions were excellent. To accentuate the shape, we did a spade welt, throwing the welt out at the joints and at the toe. The result is an elegant, striking shoe. Get yourself seen!










And that is that for this week. I wish all of you a great week and until next Friday, happy shoemaking!