It was now time to sand the bottoms of the heels flat, getting rid of any unwanted and bulky material. We also made sure that they were ‘roughed up’ so that the glue would actually stick when applied. The whole heel now needed to be sanded into a gradual slope, as well as hollowing out in accordance to the bottom of the shoe, the softer part of the heel, so that two would sit comfortably together when combined. This allows the shoe to sit slightly within the heel giving it a close fit. During this stage it was necessary to keep checking the heel height; a few seconds too long on the sander and the shoes could easily be dramatically changed in comfort and look.
Now it was time for the heel to be added to the shoe. Using two coats of glue, the top piece was stuck on and the whole shoe was put into the sole press, ultimately enclosing any gaps that may have been apparent.
Wednesday last week was the day I finally got to finish my Red court shoes. The first of the last steps in this process was the creation of the heel, or ‘top piece’ as shoemakers call it. Using the pattern I’d created a few weeks earlier, I set about tracing the shape onto two relatively strong and sturdy materials that would be long lasting and flexible at the same time. Next it was time to actually cut them out, and this was a lot harder than one might first realise. Heidi showed and directed me with tips on bending and weaning the materials until finally we were left with the basic shape of them. However, the edges were still extremely raw so I set about sanding the top piece as close to the drawn line as possible. The two were then glued together with two coats of contact glue and I sanded the edges once again so that they were the same.
I have to say, upon sharpening I wasn’t entirely sure whether they were better off or not, however I did enjoy the practicing process!
Although I wasn’t able to head down to Heidi’s place last wednesday like I usually do, I decided that it was good spare time to do a few things I have been planning on, but haven’t had the time. The first one was thinking, organising and planning what I will be concentrating on this term for my project, however this was easier said than done! My biggest issue is finding the time to complete the ideas that I’d like to see come to life, however I am beginning to realise that this is not always possible.With my mum’s help i managed to achieve a relatively definite outline.
The second thing I concentrated on last wednesday was practicing skiving with my beautifully sharp knife! The last time I visited Heidi she took me through the steps of how to sharpen your knives well and to keep them sharp, as this noticeably making any kind of leatherwork job easier. In my last session I also acquired a Paris curve knife which is essentially used to ‘click’ leather. I attempted to use it, but again it was easier said than done, as it is essentially curved and therefore requires a different kind of technique.
So in order to practice skiving, I set out my piece of safety glass that my dad got for me and found some scraps of leather. Again I was amazed at the sharpness of my knife, and luckily managed to escape with only one little cut! Although the skiving isn’t even close to perfect, I did feel slightly satisfied with a hint of improvement!
As the title of the video in the above link suggests, these are the oddest shoes I’ve ever seen. From a collaboration between artist Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg, a young women is shown walking in the oddly shaped shoes that create a punishing routine of bodily movements, unnatural and unusual for the body. These remind me of those sky high stilettos you see people tip toeing around in during a night out or at the office. The balancing act of making sure that your feet are positioned correctly before you put your foot on the ground, making a conscious decision to hold your arms in a position to support your fall, your weight. Why do we do it to ourselves? Why do we wear shoes that punish us in every way? The worst part is the fact that half the time the shoes aren’t even attractive, aren’t well made, don’t even have the option of being able to be walked properly in, don’t do us justice. The saddest thing is the fact that many people wear these sky high stilettos to make them feel confident, tall, happy, but they end up doing the opposite. They end up with you either tottering along at the end of the night with aches and pains throughout your body, hanging on your hand while your feet try avoiding the grot all over the ground, or you with a broken ankle, arm, or back, and the heel snapped to top it all off, ruining your night, your day, and momentarily your life…
-And a picture of the Sole on the shoe..
Next week the heel will be built and added, and lastly the sock, which is the piece of leather that sits inside the shoe, will be placed inside, finishing it. I’m excited to complete these courts, as I feel like it’s time to move on and create a new pair, taking with me the things I’ve learnt, which will hopefully help to create a shoe that’s thats up a step…
The next step at this point was to add the Cork filler to the space which was left just above the shank and below underneath the toe area. If left, the space would be very feel-able when worn. I left it to dry while Heidi showed me how to create a sole pattern, which in turn was cut out of the sole material that has grip underneath. The sole was then sanded and checked, and sanded and checked until the edges were matching to what we wanted. Because of the heel that would be added to the shoe, the sole was not the length of the hole and ended just after the heel begins avoiding unnecessary thickness. But in order for it to be a smooth transition, the sole was kind of ‘skived’ in a way to a gradual, thinning slope. Now it was time to glue the soles on. After two coats of glue, the soles were heated and pressed in position onto the bottom of the shoes. For a closer fit, the shoe was placed into the sole press, which brings the sole up close and tight to the shoe.