Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Thursday, 17 May 2012

New York Shoemaking Course 2012 Day 9

Day 9 and it is a frenzy of heel building. But before we get to that, I wanted to say a little about the room where we do the course. It is a perfect one for shoemaking, large, airy and with plenty of natural light from 4 huge skylights. And the air con is a boon! And because it is a shoemaking studio, it has the odd gadget that makes life easier for us.







And so to heels, we spent the whole day building them. Heel building is a challenge and hugely important because you can injure someone's feet with poorly built heels. So, with lots of concentration and effort, we progressed. We build heels with nails and glue rather than wooden pegs.

 Here is a student trimming the second lift with a SHARP knife.




Once the lifts are on, we use the French shape hammer to peen the edges. This squashes the leather together and closes any gaps between the lifts, making the heel look like a solid entity.




Another important aspect is making the heels a pair. So before the top piece goes on, you have to make the comparisons and adjust accordingly.




Day 10 will see us finishing the heels and getting on to finishing - joy!

Until the next time, happy shoemaking

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