Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Intensive Shoe Making Course, August 2017 - Part I

Hello again to all of our readers, we send you a big Carreducker welcome

We did the same on Monday to our seven intrepid students who started our summer intensive shoe making course. This time round, we have 3 Americans, a Nigerian, a Frenchman, and 2 Brits. So a wonderfully international group, as ever

Day 1 saw us sharpening knives; skiving toe puffs/stiffeners; and blocking insoles.

Everyone cutting out stiffs and puffs

Blocking the insole

Skiving a toe puff
Day 2 was filled with preparing the holdfast/feather; finishing the skiving; and lasting the heels.

Holdfasts and awl holes made

Day 3 was spent lasting heels and foreparts; shaping toe puffs and making threads.

Lasting the forepart

Initial lasting stage

Flattening the stiffener with the French hammer

Lasting the heel
Day 4, the welting started. This is a challenge which all of the students were looking forward to and which all of them tackled with great success.

Welting the left shoe - not sure about the thread on the floor though!

More welting

Welting the toe with bristles

 Day 5 saw us finishing welting and making more threads.

Making threads

 And so on to day 6, today, Saturday. We have spent this morning attaching shanks; filling the forepart with cork; and trimming our welts in preparation for stitching the soles on.

Beating the welt

Soles which have been soaked and are being left to mellow

And that is it for this week. Well done to all of oour students who have worked so hard. Next time we will share the second week of the course with you and show you some of the finished shoes

Until then, happy shoemaking!