Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 23 March 2018

Northampton part 2: Adele Williamson and R.E.Tricker

Master and apprentice - proud craftswomen both
Welcome good shoe folk of the world. As promised here's the second part from our Northampton trip a couple of weeks ago when we met up with Adele Williamson, Trickers first female apprentice and a fellow QEST scholar.  

Breaking new ground is nothing unusual for Trickers. I personally owe them much. Not only did they generously sponsored my degree footwear collection - they allowed me to work alongside their then head pattern cutter, Barry Jones, to bring my designs to life. (Here's a snapshot of the footwear in question).
Atelier Carre Equus thigh boots

Atelier Carre Equus knee boots 

In Vogue Homme International

Vogue Homme

Most importantly, it was seeing their in-house shoe maker crafting these boots that made me fall in love with hand sewn shoe making...head and hands working together to create beautiful, three-dimensional sculptures.

So it was a joy to see Barry again and to meet Adele, who is one of three bespoke shoe making trainees at the factory...a good sign to see the traditional craft once again making its way back into mainstream manufacturing. 

Talking tools and techniques

The factory is much-improved since my day there; newly streamlined, reorganised and brightened up but without losing any sense of the building's charm and history and it was great to see the bespoke team so busy.

Carreducker Half-Cut uppers
We also revisited a Carreducker signature design - the Half-Cut...and met Scott, the man who now heads up the Bespoke team but who, back then, had the joy of getting our coloured lines straight!  We were delighted to see them on display...prompting the thought (much to Scott's dismay) that perhaps we should revisit the design.... 

Carreducker Half-Cut in Espresso and ice blue flash

Carreducker Half-Cut in Espresso and golden yellow flash

A well-used strop

Picking up some ideas for tools for the workshop - a toe laster - why not?

A busy work bench 

Ready for some Norwegian welt practise - since finished and looking very fine
That's all for this week, so until next week happy shoe making!