Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 9 October 2015

Carreducker Autumn Intensive Shoemaking Course Week 1

And so it began, aprons on, heads down and the autumn intensive shoemaking course got under way. This October we have students from America, Belgium, Italy, Argentina and Taiwan - truly international!

Another selection of beautiful aprons are being given a workout from the daily leather dust, paste, steel burrs, tar, wax, talc, blood and sweat - and some are working better than others. The Codonnerie Anglaise apron sported by Alexandre (above) is a beauty, but sadly a little too slippery for shoemaking; better suited were Riccardo's suede apron which had surface grip and Gerardo's long line pinstripe denim (glimpsed below); and our Irish linen aprons are still a hard-wearing favourite. 

Insoles blocked


Holdfasts being prepared
Awl holes made
and knives constantly being sharpened on the strop 

Lasting in earnest

More lasting...

And a bit more...

Checking the toe puffs are a pair

Shaping the toe puffs

Tidying up the feather edge

Lasting the fore part over the puffs

Artistic portrait of a shoemaker at work...

And another - loving the new smart phone filters

Today is Friday and the boys (no women this time, most unusual!) will be finishing the welting and getting the shanks in. Soles on tomorrow and some more stitching. A good start by everyone. Well done, guys. And if this piques your interest, we are now booking for all our courses for next year, starting with the January intensive and the two evening classes in January. Please email us for details on dates and prices And look out for our new e-commerce site for tools and materials - it is almost ready to go live. Very exciting!!! Until next week, happy shoemaking!