Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Day 6: True Grit

Why True Grit? Well, concentrating hard and using a knife close to your upper brings people out in a sweat at the best of times. Our students faced 30 degree heat (inside and outside the studio - that not even three fans on level three could diminish) and still managed a full day's work including....


preparing and sticking on soles...(when I say that the adhesive was gloopy I am not exaggerating - no amount of thinner could get it to work 'normally' today)...


trimming heels and straightening sole edges...

hammering in a horseshoe of nails to hold the heel in place...


more careful trimming...


 and then at last, stitching the sole.

There were many expletives today and a few accidents on the way - after all it has been a long week and, despite their determination everyone is tired, muscles are sore and brains must ache with all of the new information that has been rammed home in the last six days - but not one student gave up, went home early, let me do their work for them or broke down ...although it came close.

Glitches, misunderstandings, forgotten instructions and accidents were all resolved...the only real victim of the first six days was a nail punch. Not bad eh?
It was my last day with the group today, and as I hand over to Mr Ducker on Monday, all I can say is a huge 'well done' to every one of you and thank you for being such great students! Your perseverance and good humour kept me smiling on my walk home tonight...

 through the historic Petersham Meadows...


 Good luck next week, may your knives stay sharp and your heels go up straight and strong! Happy shoemaking and enjoy a well-earned rest tomorrow!

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