Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Carreducker Intensive Shoe Making course; August 2014 Days 4 - 6

The students are a lovely bunch but gradually the task ahead is dawning on them. Energy levels are already suffering and so is concentration. Sometimes however many times you say something it just won't go in!

Lasting linings and toe puffs
Making threads ready for welting

Threads twisted and waxed ready for welting

The Zen of welting - calmly, quietly getting on with it


...and quiet.
But it's already Saturday and we are half way through the course. Welting is finally finished. Today was pushing pushing pushing to get the shanks and cork on and welts trimmed.

But still no soles on. They're cutting it fine, so fingers crossed for trouble-free soling on Monday.

And now it's time for a well-earned drink in the sunshine...for the group and me! 
Until next week, happy shoemaking!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Carréducker Intensive Shoemaking Course, August 2014, Days 1, 2, and 3

Welcome back, dear readers.

These courses are coming thick and fast. Hot on the heels of our very successful Pattern Making Course for bespoke shoemaking, comes our well established Intensive Shoemaking Course. Two weeks of blood (ocasionally), sweat (often) and tears (not in public, at least).

This year we have students from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Portugal, the USA and England. Unusually, we have only one woman. It is a lively and happy class.

We started on Monday with sharpening knives - a difficult but essential skill.

The students also cut out and skived the stiffeners and toe puffs - always popular!

They also cut out, soaked and blocked their insoles.

Day 2 saw them continue with the skiving and prepare the holdfast/feather with their (mostly)sharp knives.

More skiving of stiffeners and toe puffs was done at various intervals during the day ready for the lasting process on Day 3.

Lasting, where the upper finally goes onto the last and things begin to look like shoes. Today they lasted the siffener around the heel and started the process of lasting the lining on the fore part in readiness for the toe puffs tomorrow.

A great three days which saw our intrepid would be shoemakers take their first steps on a long and beautiful road. They are a bit tired though!

Until our report on the next three days which will see our students finish lasting; make threads; and hand welt their shoes, happy shoemaking!