Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 9 November 2018

A Celebration of Craftsmanship - QEST


A Cordwainer's hands using an Axholme knife (Photography: Julian Calder)

Welcome back dear readers, here we are with autumn fully upon us, Christmas just around the corner and our plans already focused on 2019 to make sure we hit the ground running in the New Year (in beautiful leather brogues of course!) 

We're proud to have been included in a second book this year, A Celebration of British Craftsmanship, this one to celebrate QEST (the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust). The book features portraits and the stories of 100 of the 450+ craftsmen whose training and education QEST has helped to support. (QEST was founded in 1990 as the charitable arm of the Royal Warrant Holders Association). 

My own apprenticeship in handsewn shoe making was supported by QEST (many, many moons ago) and I am proud that we continue to share our skills and expertise with more recent QEST scolars and apprentices, including Frankey and Maud, currently training with us. 

A huge thank you to QEST and to Saddlers Hall for a wonderful launch party...




Nick Farrow former Chairman of QEST

Photographer Julian Calder, who travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles to capture the 100 craftsmen featured.

Spectacle maker apprentice Mila Chielman (working with Cubitts)




Nick Creame, Chairman of QEST and Karen Bennett, the book's author


A Celebration's production team

The Earl of Snowdon, Vice Patron of QEST and guests


A cordwainer, a thatcher and a bell maker

A Cordwainer and a coatmaker

Saddler and saddle stitch accessory designer, Mia Sabel

Peter Ting and Mark Henderson

A lovely family of craftsmen; QEST alumni, so proud to be amongst them


The Cordwainer - magician, conjourer and showman (Photograph by Julian Calder)
It really is a beautiful book with fascinating portraits of craftsmen at work and some extraordinary stories...if you would like to buy a copy it is available from QEST for £50. The net proceeds will help QEST to continue to fund aspiring and talented craftsmen, the next generation of professional craftsmen.

Until next week, happy shoe making!
(All photography courtsey QEST )

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