Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 1 October 2010

Trouble With Elves

Every shoemaker (especially those of the old school who make beautiful handmade shoes) needs a couple of elves to help them in their old age to get the work done. You know the deal, I click the leather and in the morning the shoes are expertly hand stitched.
So, being a very wise and forward planning middle-aged shoemaker, I have just such a pair. The trouble is that they need a bit of care and attention to get them to the stage when they can get cracking with the old welting awl.

Well, today is just such a day. With mum called away suddenly, I have stepped into the breach to look after them. And that is why my normal blog pattern has been adjusted. Today it is not a making type blog (although it will be shanks next week, yee ha!). With one little elf at school and the other having a nap, I can jot a few words.

As guardians of the trade of bespoke shoemaking, we do everything we can to encourage new makers. With this in mind, let me tell you about a student at Cordwainers (LCF) who has undertaken a gargantuan task and who should act as a spur to all of you aspiring to make bespoke shoes.
She has to make 8 pairs of fully handmade shoes for a final show. We have seen the designs and the mock ups. She is using wonderful natural products and, to make life even more arduous, she is doing a lot of hand embroidery on the uppers. Yesterday we saw the mock ups which look great. So now all that is left to do between now and mid December is click, close and make the 8 pairs. That is about one pair a week with a bit of contingency time for unexpected hitches.
Absolutely admirable (and a little bit crazy), so from both of us Michelle, the best of luck! We will of course be on hand to help and advise because we are kindly old shoemakers. If you pursue shoemaking for ant length of time everyone, you will find that we are a bunch of generous, if a little nutty, people. Always ready to help.

So, sorry if you were expecting more, but sometimes the little elves need looking after.

Until next week, happy shoemaking!