Skip to content

Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

Monthly Archives: March 2009


I believe I shared many times this information: I am tool-addicted. If I can buy a bunch of old shoemaker tools – that is a Xmas for me. And stays for weeks, until I clean them try to find out some of them what they are good for. They sources start to disappear for it, so I decided to search for a good maker and ask him to make some.  

Here is the nice collection. The steel he made really exceeds my expectations: 56 rockwell. If you don’t know what it means: very hard, so keeps the edge for a long time. You can skive, cut or whatever you want to do with this knives, if you would work with melted butter. The shapes are the exact copies of some old knives, made in 1939, Sweden. Perfect form, very well shaped and ergonomical edge. I used the Hungarian style straight edge before these, but when I got the first knife like this from ebay, I changed immediately. Skiving (I don’t like that before them) is just fun.

 

The signed ones are the new, the others are the old stuff.

dsc03696

 

Channel knives and feather knives. The ones with the light handles are the new. 

dsc036921

dsc03691

 

Complete price list comes soon.


.. but happy!  We extended with my great  collague from Seattle who arrived to refine his knowledge about welted shoes.  Now we are 4 + 1 upper maker sometimes, so we have to make 1-2 litre of coffee/day. We have a huge war about which is the better one: Brasilian or the US roasted from Peru? Kieran is an expert, Ana is from Brasil… and I have fun teasing them and drink better and better coffee – sometimes too much I believe.

dsc036901

 

Accidentaly they took a red uniform. 


A shoemaker friend asked me: Are you crazy? You educate your competitors?

Yes, I do. 🙂 First: Shoemaking is not just about competitions. It is an art, which deserve to survive.. and: I enjoy it. I don’t think that the market is not big enough to provide orders for many more makers. And finally: if there is no “education” to the customer, how the hell they will know what the handmade shoe is, and how it should be appreciated? 

Ana from Brasil. Hates my coffee, destroy all of her fingers, but precise and draws nice. I assume you will hear from her because of the beautiful creations for women. 

dsc03679

Kieran from the States. Entusiastic, writes his own blog, replacing my head with Photoshop, and eager to learn ancient techniques.

dsc03663


When I started making shoes, I never realised that one day someone will consider to learn from me. I am also a student, learning everyday something new about shoes, still curious like a child about leathers, chemicals, techniques… On the other hand, I am one of the last “mohicans”. One of the very less people, who still know how to make REAL* shoes by hand – teaching is a duty for me. I heard from a western shoemaker that he knows something like 2-3 technologies for making bespoke shoes – thanks to the Hungarian traditions, I know more than 10. I shouldn’t keep this knowledge for myself.

So I accepted some student into my workshop to get deep into this craft and to pu fire under their ass, if they don’t go deep enough :). Kieran and Ana arrived from America – the States and Brasil – to learn shoemaking. Kieran had some experience before, Ana nothing, but both of them are eager to learn and I must say talented. They are more and more over the basics stuff – using the tools, making the first “something-like-a-shoe” projects, practising how to last, how to using the pegging awl, some stitching, skiving. Now we focus on the more accurate work (and wearing the protective eqipments 🙂 ).

Here they are.

dsc03659

 

 

 

* I checked some shoemaking school around the world yesterday. I must say som of them just separates the student from money – for nothing, teaching on-sense, non-practical techniques, what we – shoesmakers never used and will never use. Those are not good for practice, not good for anything, just mislead students about this craft. Not every object is shoe, what you can wear on your foot…