Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 12 August 2016

August 2016 Intensive Shoemaking Course - Week 2

Hello again to one and all and welcome back to the Carreducker blog

We have been very busy in class in the second week of our Intensive Shoemaking Course

Having attached the soles last Saturday, our students stitched their soles to the welts on Monday and Tuesday.

Stitching the sole

With the soles firmly attached, we moved on to heel building, starting with the split lift. Once prepared, it is attached using paste and nails.

Making the split lift

Heel building in action

Heel building requires each lift to be added and skived flat so that when the top piece is attached, the heel sits flat on the ground giving support and stability to the wearer.
We use paste and nails and add the lifts one by one.

Nailing a heel lift

Skiving a heel lift


Attaching a split lift with paste and nails
Time is also spent shaping the heel so that the sides are straight and the back is slightly pitched to match the curve of the last at the heel.

Balancing the heel
The guys also had to cut the seat around the top of the heels and then the heel breast. This is an exciting moment as the shoes really start to look fantastic.

With the heels built and top pieces attached, our students moved on to the final stage of the shoemaking process - finishing

The shoes are functionally finished at this point and could be worn, but, to make them look beautiful, our students must spend 2 days finishing them, starting with a final shape with the knife and then some rasping.
This is a very important step and will give the shoes their final finish and shape. So they spend a lot of time getting this stage right.

Rasping the heel

Finishing en masse

This heel needs the seat to be cut to give it a clean look around the heel

They will finish tomorrow and next week we will post some images of our proud students wearing their shoes

So until then, happy shoemaking!