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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

Please note: I will be away for 2-3 weeks and figured I should get a 2nd post in before I vanished. I am not trying to inundate everyone with my ramblings… 

In my prior post I forgot to add the most important part! MM gave me “three rules of blogging” on his blog. As you read these “rules” remember the person (i.e. MM) said this to me with a straight face, stern voice and was sharpening a rather large knife at that very moment. The rules are:

1. “Do not destroy my reputation.”

2. “Do not destroy my reputation.”

3. “Do not destroy my reputation.”

Pretty simple, right? I hope to honor these rules to the best of my ability… Now let’s get started…

At the end of the week, here is the tally:

1. Skiving: My heel counters may or may not still resemble a dog’s chew toy. When MM offered to skive for me, I refused and told him “I need to experience my own failures!” He reluctantly agreed. Then, some shoe elf secretly came into the workshop after hours and skived my heel counters. The elf also added a note with my trusty labeler. I have taken the elves’ hint that I should continue skiving at home as to no longer torture MM with my “unapproved skiving techniques.”

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Shoe elves’ skiving & labeling…

2. Pattern-making: My patterns may resemble shoe uppers or urban planning manuals. I haven’t decided which. Either way, I need to remind myself to add allowance or suffer the fury of MM speaking in tongues I do not understand…

3. Finger(s): I have decided I only need seven. My left thumb decided to see if I was using enough force with the hammer (I definitely was using enough force). My right thumb decided to see if the lip knife was sharp enough (The knife was most certainly sharp enough). And, my right index finger may need a few stitches from an accident involving one inch wire clinch nails and lasting. Who needs ten fingers anyways? Not I. Clearly….

4. Shoes: I completed a pair of cemented construction ballet flats. MM may have helped more than I would like (let’s say 55%, give or take 15%).  However, I do appreciate that the shoes look more like shoes then if I completed them myself. I think this is MM’s way of staying sane through my learning curve and preventing my frustration to mount to unforeseen levels and/or give up entirely. We have coined the term “Mickey Mouse” to represent all work that does not constitute passable work by (1) students, (2) teachers or (3) live stock. I think if I completed the shoes without MM’s help they would fall under the third Mickey Mouse category.

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Don’t be too harsh on the photo angle! I have never attempted to take photos of my feet in shoes before…

5. Sewing Machine: I have decided that there is a fierce war between me and Juki. Currently, Juki is winning. No doubt. But, sometimes we are tied. Then, there are rare moments where I feel a victory (i.e rounding a corner with no waves or making double lines with equal spacing).  At those moments when I feel confident of my victory I quickly lose another battle and have to call for reinforcement calvary (MM). Eventually I hope to win the Juki battle and move on to one of the other machines… Until that day comes, Juki and I are not exactly BFFs. Rather, I like to think of Juki and I as frenemies.

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Meet Juki. My frenemy…

6. Knife Sharpening: Here’s the thing… I know you need to keep your knives sharp BUT MAYBE I don’t want to keep my knives sharp OR MAYBE I don’t want to break another sander OR MAYBE I don’t want to start another accidentally fire with some sparks OR MAYBE I don’t want to nearly gut myself with a knife… MM trusted that I could sharpen my knives on my own. BIG MISTAKE. I don’t think he will be trusting me with anything beyond a ceramic knife sharpening wand for a while. And you know what? That is perfectly fine with me. 

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How do you tell someone you broke their sander? By text. Of course.

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R.I.P Sand Belt

7. Memory: MM says I need to “grow a memory” because my brain seems to “work like a fish net that does not catch anything smaller than a whale.” There are so many steps! MM has denied my use of pen and paper. In fact, on my first day my notebook was given two options : (1) recycle bin or (2) scratch paper for gluing. I chose the latter. MM says people “learn through repetition not a reading.” I tried to explain my brain likes memory joggers or cheat sheets. He made some comment in Hungarian that alluded me.  I have decided I will add a Magnesium supplement to my daily regime. Fingers crossed this helps.

8. Terminology: My lack of terminology is causing MM stress. Like more than I should admit. I may have called a “die-cut machine” a “cookie-cutter machine.” Then, I could not remember what a heel counter was to save my life. MM must have repeated the word ten times. I just starred blankly. I really wanted to google the word, but my phone was not nearby and he became increasingly incensed each time he said the word. I was afraid to move so I just sat there. So horrible. It was one of those moments that makes your skin crawl. Then, while making a d’orsay upper I kept referring to “piping” as “trim.” He refused to talk to me until I called “piping” by the correct name. I blame all these issues on my self-diagnosed Magnesium deficiency, which should be remedied soon… BTW how long does it take for supplements to work?

 

Words to live by...

D’orsay heel counter with words to live by…

9. Lasting: MM has said several times the nails should be “straight like a set of teeth ready to go on a first date.” I am guessing this is some Hungarian metaphor lost on the English language. After several lasting attempts that looked slightly less mangled than the prior attempt and MM repeating his saying, I finally said I had no idea what he meant by “teeth” and “first date.” After a good five minute delay of MM expressly saying that I should ask for clarification when I do not understand rather than waste his time, MM explained the “teeth (i.e. nails) should be the best they ever look when you go on a first date, not a jagged mess that looks like a proper whore.” Good news is I think my “teeth” may not be ready for a “first date” but they are not a “proper whore” either.

My teeth... Not perfect but vastly improved.

My “teeth”… Not perfect, but an improvement.

10. Photos: I am going to really try and post more stuff. However the problem is someone keeps taking my phone. Let’s call this someone a shoe elf. I don’t want to name names… The weird thing is I keep getting photos like this:

Shoe elf?

Shoe elf?

Why do I keep getting photos like this you ask? I don’t know. Boredom? Possible. Annoyance? Possible. Hazing? Most likely. All the same, it is difficult to take photos of relevant shoe stuff when someone walks off with your phone. And mom, if you are reading: I am sorry for multiple prank calls. It wasn’t me. A shoe elf felt the need to call and not talk. To be on the safe side, I suggest only answering calls after 6pm Monday through Friday. XOXO.

Until Next Time!   – E

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