Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 15 May 2015

New York Intensive Shoemaking Course May 15 - Days 4 and 5

And so the week speeds towards its end and Deborah is primed to take over next week. She arrives tomorrow and I leave Sunday morning. Our paths will cross like ships in the night

Yesterday saw us tackle welting with rather excellent results. After lasting over the forepart over the puffs and attaching bristles, our intrepid wouldbe shoemakers got stuck into hand welting.

The day started for some with thread making. Here they are twisting and waxing with the threads attached to hooks on the wall. We use hemp to make our threads.

They then lasted over the forepart over the toe puffs.

And started welting.


Hand welting in progress. Notice the mit they wear on the left hand so that they can tighten the stitch without hurting their hands.

We will finishe the welting today and move on to putting in the shanks and cork filler in readiness for attaching the soles which are mellowing (drying) as I write.

Deborah will fill you in on progress over the next few days.

Until then, happy shoemaking!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

New York Intensive Shoemaking Course May 15 - Days 1, 2 and 3

Welcome once again, dear readers, and thank you all for returning to the Carreducker blog and for those of you visiting for the first time, we hope you enjoy it.

I find myself in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on the third day of the Carreducker intensive shoemaking course. We have five eager students, four of whom did the pattern making course last week. This has set them up really well for doing the shoemaking course as they have a solid grounding in all things shoe.

We have had an intense first three days with a lot of aching hands and new knowledge acquired.

Each student starts with a pair of lasts in their size; a pair of derby uppers in a choice of three colours; a small tool kit to keep; and a pack of rough stuff leather (soles, insoles, heel lifts etc).

Day one started with sharpening our knives; blocking our insoles and skiving puffs/stiffs

This first image is the lovely shop space provided by Brooklyn Bespoke, New York's finest bespoke shoemaker.

Our lovely classroom

Blocking the insole
Skiving stiffeners

After a welcome rest, day two saw our intrepid students preparing their insoles which had been drying overnight.

They trimmed off the excess and started on the holdfast/feather. With sharp knives in hand the insole took shape.

Here the outside cut is made to start the feather off.

Preparing the feather/holdfast

Day three saw us lasting over the uppers onto the lasts. We did the heel first and ended the day with the toe puffs on and drying.

Lasting the toe puffs

Puffs drying in readiness for shaping tomorrow.

Preparing the welts.

So we have had an intense three days and it is only going to get more physical from now on with welting on the horizon. Roll on tomorrow! Until the next instalment, happy shoemaking!