Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 19 August 2016

August handsewn shoemaking students - impressive results and a host of different finishes!


Tired, but happy the handsewn shoemaking class of August 2016 in their shoes
Welcome back fellow shoemakers and shoemaking fans! Here's a glimpse of the beautiful shoes made by our summer course students. 


As you know, the majority of our students have no previous experience and that was the case this time. But even those who are used to working with their hands often find it a challenge. Even the very skilled leatherworker in our class, described the English hand lasted and hand welted techniques as the hardest thing they'd ever learned. 

The last day focused on finishing, when it really is a case of getting back what you put in. Here's their outstanding results!

Heel sitting flat and soles edges glassed
Sanding
sanding...
and more sanding.
A natural sole finish
Staining the sole dark brown prior to polishing and burnishing
Sanding the sole

A neutral polish buffed sole and edges marked with dividers ready to be painted
A decorative finish on the sole; natural polish in the middle and black edges
Finished!
A natural polish and unburnished for an unfinished look - set only with a warm iron
Natural sole and polished edges - the results of great finishing.
High shine soles in the making
with contrast natural polished edges
The high shine of a burnished and polished sole
Ardavan's shoes with a neutral polish sole and rugged, unfinished natural sole edges
Ardavan proud of his work
An exciting moment...Ollie pulling his lasts...note the high-shine dark brown sole.
Will deciding on lace colours
Forest green lace in dark brown derby shoes with a wide welt and 6 to the inch stitching.
Black soles and edges on the right; brown derby shoes with polished, burnished edges
Sean's corresponding brown lace /dark brown shoe combo - bespoke lasts
Parama's distinctive lasts with an elegant elongated toe and high-shine finish...smart!

Ollie, Sean and Ronan relaxing at last with their handsome handiwork
A melee of handsewn shoes - Will, Lena, Parama and Ardavan
Parama's sharp black edges and sole
Will's black sole finish
Lena's signature natural with black outline sole finish and Will's sharp black edges - lovely!
Very proud...Ollie, Sean, Ronan, Lena, Will, Parama and Ardavan.
We're taking bookings for the October Intensive course and will be announcing the dates for next year's courses with an exciting new addition so keep an eye out. Until then happy shoemaking!