Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Intensive Shoemaking Course January 14 - Days 7, 8, 9 and 10

The time has flown and the students are nearing the end of their shoeathon.

Monday and Tuesday saw our intrepid shoemakers stitching soles on. First they made their threads. Just like the welting threads but thinner - 3 cords of hemp rather than 5.

Wednesday was the day for heel building, starting with the split lift or rand. On this particular one, the notches which help to bend it round the curve of the heel went a little too far. They should stop before the heel marks to avoid them being revealed when cutting the breast.

Two heel lifts went on using paste and nails. The heels were then shaped with the knife.

Today saw them cutting the seat and heel breast and finalising the shape of the heels.

Nicely cut seats

Cutting the heel breast

With the heels built, the students moved on to the last process which is finishing. They started with rasping the heels and edges.

The last two days will be taken up with making the shoes look beautiful - glassing,sanding, inking and waxing.

Until Saturday, happy shoemaking!


Paul D. Mitchell said...

Yes, me please, I want to do the online shoe making course specially on sports apprel. Think it best I start from the beginning as I know there are still basic steps I am missing. Your new collection is stunning! The affect you have created with the veg tan leather reminds me of something really ancient and interesting... almost like the folds found on some fossil shells. Beautiful.

RaffO said...

Hi once again Jimmyshoe!, >:), Thanks so much for your swift responses and advices I been reading your blog for quite awhile now, and it really helps me clear up the finer details. You really are the gaurdian of the craft... So on this post I had a question about the heel breast when you cut the heel breast is it always straight on bespoke shoes such as Lobb or perhaps foster and son, due to the way the heel is built? I been doing only straight heel breast thus far and while they look very nice I always keep wondering how much easier it is to do curved one's. I keep thinking the knife would have trouble bending and getting a same consistent cut, I suppose I could just test it out myself, but I thought I would ask your thoughts on it. Best wishes mate, RaffO

jimmyshoe said...

Raff0, thanks for the positive feedback. Generally we cut a curved heel breast. We only do a straight one (a jockey heel) if the customer asks for it. It is slightly harder to cut it curved, but not much more difficult. You should just give it a go. Best, jimmyshoe