Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 17 April 2009

New Baby

Crumbs! Fatherhood and new baby. Makes concentrating on work a bit troublesome. But, being a dedicated bespoke shoemaker, I have struggled into work and got my hands dirty. Besides, we have a multitude of things to get ready for our upcoming trips. The Other One is leaving a week today; by next week's entry, she will be in the air. How exciting. And I follow on the 5th of May. Can't wait.

Sometimes, I marvel at the life of a shoemaker. Picture me, sat in the workshop; bathed in Spring sunshine; listening to Dusty being interviewed on the radio; tapping away on the computer; and thinking about what wonderful shoes I will be making later.

Now, all shoes made by me are wonderful, obviously, and I love them all deeply. But I must admit that some models are harder to love than others. I suppose it is much like children. You see some kids and you think aah, how gorgeous; then you see others and you think, wow, that is a face only a mother could love.

Right now, I am making a pair of the latter. A seemingly unremarkable pair of black Derby shoes, plain and simple.

But they have a special feature.The customer came in wearing a previous pair which he had altered (butchered was my first thought), saying that he wanted the new pair to be the same. He has a painful ankle bone, so the change makes perfect sense, but the result is startling to say the least. Odd would be more accurate.
The normal height at the inside quarter is between 2 and 2 1/2 inches, so this pair at 3/4 inch is exceptional.

The result takes some getting used to, but I have grown to like it. I think that big swept curve could work, particularly on a ladies' shoe. That part of the ankle is not often on show in a man, but ladies are more used to the exposure. So it may work. We are making some ladies samples, so you never know.

So there you are, the analogy is proved, a shoemaker grows to love the ugliest of ducklings, just like a parent does. See you next week.