Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 1 December 2017

Shoemakers Conference and Competition time

Welcome back fellow shoe fans of the world. Although there are still roses out in the garden, winter is finally upon us. Temperatures are closing in on zero (I know for some of you that's still balmy!), mornings are cold and crisp and the dark nights start at about 4pm. (Again, not as bad as for some of our friends even deeper in the northern hemisphere!) The positive is it's a great excuse for heading out to shoot the breeze with fellow shoemakers, stay cosy at the shoe making bench 

or to dream up new shoe designs! 

On the subject of socialising, the calendar already has 23rd - 25th February ear-marked for the 20th Independent Shoemakers’ Conference. The conference will be hosted on the south coast of England by Lastmakers House' founder Steve Lowe and bespoke shoe maker, Dominic Casey. 

No guarantee it will look like this in February!
If you've never been, go and if you haven't yet booked your tickets, get booking! There is a fantastic line up of shoemakers sharing their advice and experience including Daniel Wegan from Gaziano and GirlingTom and Fay Murphy of Chapter2Kids shoes and the eponymous Sebastian Tarek and Marsha HallYou can book your place here and we look forward to seeing you there!

Competitive edge
There must be something in the air at the moment because there are not one, but two, new shoe making competitions taking place next year. The first is for students and is being run during the Independent Shoemakers Conference. You are invited to submit a pair of shoes that you have made, for judging. Entries will be voted on during the day and the award will be announced and presented at the gala dinner in the evening.


The second competition is the World Championships in Shoe making. That's quite some title, but however you feel about competitions anything that offers a platform to promote handsewn shoe making and the craftsmanship and skill of the shoemaker is alright by us. It is being organised by Justin Fitzpatrick aka the Shoesnob and Shoegazing blogger Jesper Ingevaldsson in collaboration with Kirby Allison's Hanger Project. The challenge is to create that seemingly simplest of styles a black, cap toe Oxford. For the chosen pieces there is some serious prize money and great publicity to be had so get making! 

That's all from us for this week, so until next week, happy shoe making!