Skip to content

Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

Monthly Archives: January 2009


This is how I make the patterns. Let the pictures talk instead of me.

dsc_0332

dsc_0333

dsc_0334

dsc_0336dsc035611


the ox. At least this is the official English translation, but originally the Chinese version only says: cattle or buffalo. So bull is also fine.. but anyway: nothing special with cox leather, but bull is something special. Here is a close up photo about it. You will see very soon what can we make  from it in Koronya workshop.

dsc03561

These colours are as you can see on the picture – beautiful, isn’t it?


I got an order, approx a year ago to reproduce an old Swedish boot. The job was interesting, not because I didn’t have any space for creativity (what is actually not what you call “interesting”), but concur with old masters – that is something. They were so precise. Sometimes when I take their work in my hand I just can’t imagine how they did so exact work, sharp lines without machines.

This is the original:

image0008xa0

 

Not what you can see in new style magazines, don’t you? 🙂

The technology wasn’t a question: with this thin welt, it can be only pegged. Actually – most probably there is no welt on it.. never mind. This is one detail, what I had to change – my customer wanted to have double sole and English stitch. I could understand it: he didn’t want to put int a showcase, but selling it. So we changed a few details. Finding out the what leather they used, was more interesting. I would say the darker was waxed one, to keep out the water, the upper part is reindeer. I had some waxed leather, but no reindeer. No problem, a similar will be perfect. The toe stitching is a bit more interesting – that is not just a folded edge on an other one. Pattern-making was also a challange, but finally we could solve it, here is the result:

 

boot1

 

I used traditional German-style nail decoration on the sole – who knows, maybe Swedish makers did the same? As far as I know, the German shoemaker’s school influence is strong there, so why not?

It wasn’t that easy, than make even a very sophisticated oxford. Respect to the old masters.

I made this boot cooperated with my great friend and collague: Janne Melkersson, Sweden.

http://www.melkershoes.com/

This is his website. Nice person and very good shoe (and boot-) maker


iconsmall1

I just get an order from a dear customer for the 3rd pair of ICON. As I decided to make only 12 pairs per year, most probably this quantity will be enough only for the first few month. Anyway I don’t change my mind. This shoe means real exclusivity, a belonging to a really small club. I don’t mean that I want to make an elite club, just give something special beside this shoe.

I am proud to see that style fans like my creation – so I will come up very soon with some new one.


I finshed a new ICON. As I promised to keep this beauty exclusivity, I only intend to make 12 pairs per year. This is the second one. It goes to Swiss to a real shoe fan. 

dsc03553

icon3

dsc035571


Well I could use this title a lot, but I didn’t until now. The explanation is simple: I didn’t intend to make step-by-step photos from the beginning to the end about any of my creation. Now I have an order for a pair of a very simple shoe – 5 eyelets brown open laced shoe.

dsc03540

Simplicity is something to express your creativity, without any redundant decoration, any nice details wich can draw away attention from the pure form and professional work. In this cases just a few millimeter can make huge differences. No one can really explain why – one is ugly – or: old fashioned – the other, very simple is just beautiful.

So, now let’s see how the bespoke shoemaker work’s starts!

We have to make a pattern first. I would love to say that I ever made a perfect pattern first, but this isn’t tha case – I always have to change a bit here and there, or totally redone from the beginning.

dsc03539

 The cut the pattern from cheap leathers to check what I was talking about – looks good, or not? Fits well the last? The shapes are nice or just look average?

dsc03542

Pullover – this is the name for this half pair we make to check these thing, don’t have to be so nice, just exact. I don’t let my upper maker do pullovers (I like to make uppers too 🙂 ), and I can see the problems, can change, etc. inetersting and important job.

dsc03545

Then it goes to the last. This piece has been made from crust, so I could try a new material for an idea.

dsc03548

dsc03551

Yes – painting the lasted upper. This is only one colour, but it can be made with even two,making nice shades.

dsc03552

I can see a lot of things to change. :)(not the open laces – my customer wanted to have like this). Anyway – this is normal. I guess I will make some pullover until the ready made product.


I win a bid in ebay recently. It wasn’t so easy, because there are some people who doesn’t want to give any chance to you for winning. They licit in the very last moment, so you practically get two mails in the same time: you have been outbid… the you lost. Sh*t. I don’t understand why ebay doesn’t extend the licit with a few minutes in this case like any other licit site? I don’t feel it fair.

This time I take my maximum bid for the first time. I was calm: no one else bidded on those items… then in the last 2 minutes one of these “Ilicitinthelastminute” guy started. 20 euro – 50.. still didn’t win… 70 euro… I am still in winner position (if you don’t take the fact that I lost 30 euro for nothing)… but he didn’t give up.. 70 euro…. then finally 72. Licit end. My licit was 80 – I bid this amount, because I really needed something from those tools.

Today I got the item, and I was very happy. Beautiful old tools came, and as I have just seen a few on the ebay photos, I was surprised how many thing I have. 

dsc_0310

dsc_0319

dsc_0327

This last beauty maybe worth a word. It is for measuring the foot. In the 40’s stores sold handmade shoes, so they didn’t want customers to try on so many, because of sensitive leather soles. They used this stuff to measuring customers’ foot to give him the right one. This tool is produced today also, but better not to talk about it. This one is perfect. Without 3D CAD design program.

 

dsc_0312