So in late September I traveled to Port Townsend and learned how to make shoes. This post has been a long time coming, and has backed up some other posts I want to make (like about the kitten!!!) so I have to get it done. Anyway, here are some photos of the process. It was amazing in many ways, and very stressful in others. I’m not used to being away from my daughter (who is 15 months), so this was the first time I really ventured out into the world. And I’m not used to following instructions – one of the pleasures of being self-taught – so there was a little bit of an adjustment there for me as well. I did learn some new tricks for my own work, made a pair of shoes, drank a lot of coffee, and made a new friend. It was, all in all, a good five days.
And here are some photos….
Beginning of day four, I think, with my shoe outsides all stitched together. And a big cup of coffee. Seriously – 24oz Mocha. INSANE!
“Heel Counters” on the backs of the lasts. Basically tooling leather molded to the back of the shoe last to keep form/structure in the shoe.
Alan, the instructor, on the left showing Mark how to last the liner on his shoes (pulling it tight, gluing in place, hammering down, to create a smooth upper on the shoe).
Shoe uppers waiting to be lasted. I think those are John’s in the front, and mine in the back.
Uppers lasted, heel counters on, waiting for the “toe puff” or toe cap.
Toe puff in the toaster oven, me waiting to see it. Coffee in the foreground. Lots of it.
Me smoothing out the toe puff.
THEY LOOK LIKE SHOES!!!! Toe puff in, uppers fully lasted, just waiting for some sole!
Shoes sitting on the sole.
John lasting his shoes.
Me breaking the shoe off the last.
LOOK! IT’S A SHOE!!!!
Lasts after having been broken off the shoes we made.
John modeling his new shoes.
All of us with our shoes. You’d think we would be happier about it!
My new shoes. Blucher Oxfords, with a little of my own style added in. Don’t they look fast?