Another pair of shoes from the shoe profiles ‘Vox Popping’…This woman told me she spends up to $600 on a pair of shoes, while others barely went over the $50 mark.. How much would you spend on a pair of shoes? Would you prefer to spend lots on one pair that lasts you 15 years, or little amounts on cheap shoes that last you a few months at a time?
A couple of months ago I went down to Rundle Mall in Adelaide with a boy from my class who is doing photography for his year twelve project. I’d come up with the idea a few months earlier of interviewing people about their shoes and taking pictures of them. This turned out to be a very interesting and rewarding exercise that really made me start thinking about the connection between people and their shoes and whether shoes are something they factor into their lives as important. Although my project started off as purely shoemaking, I’ve come to appreciate the human side of shoes as well, and try to work out whether it is possible to tell something about someone by their shoes. This picture is just a glimpse of the vast range of people we interviewed over the day.
After cutting out the upper and other pieces, Heidi sent me home to my beautifully sharp skiving knife to skive the edges where the leather would be folded. I was sightly nervous because although my knife was lovely and sharp, I could still easily slip and cut off either my finger or half of the piece of leather. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the progress I realised I’d made since my first attempt at skiving. That first time, and many of the other times in between had ended with blisters and cuts as well as chunks out of the parts of the leather. This time, on the other hand, was much better, and I found my self enjoying it. Before I knew it, all the pieces that needed skiving were skived. It had taken me a lot less time than I’d originally thought it would, and it was such a relief to see that I’d improved with both time and skill.
Deciding on a colour for my third pair shoes was something that initially freaked me out a little. Colour is incredibly important to me, however I often tend to lean towards the same ones, most often dark colours, such as deep reds and dark blues. At first I planned on using a bright colour to step out of my comfort zone and be slightly ‘wacky’ however, upon consideration I realised that I wanted these shoes to be wearable both at night and during the day, but I also wanted them to be individual. So, after making the patterns, it was time to actually decide on a colour for the shoes. As I’ve said in earlier posts, Heidi has a myriad of leathers in any colour you can possibly imagine, and this usually makes the task of deciding very hard! However, this once, I was lucky and found myself being able to make an easy decision on a kind of pastel-like, greeny colour (I find it hard to explain!), using the suede side of the leather. The lining was also easily decided on and this was caramel coloured. After making my decision, I traced the patterns onto the leather and cut them out.
This picture is the edited idea of what I originally wanted to the shoes to be like. If you’re not used to looking at patterns and trying to envision them in a 3D shoe-like shape (something I tend to have trouble with!), you’ll have to wait and see them properly made!
It’s most definitely been way too long since I’ve written on here, however, as I’ve got slightly more time on my hands over the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to update you all on my ongoing journey in the shoemaking world. This picture is a display of the dodgy drawing that I first drew as a representation to show Heidi the kind of shoe I wanted to create. I had these ideas of a peeped toe, platform wedge with a thick ankle strap, and although the pattern is slightly different to what I originally envisioned, I’m actually really happy with the final plan results.
After finally finishing my red court shoes, and having a few weeks of other shoe related journeys, last week I went back to Heidi’s place and started work on my next pair of shoes. I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to make a wedge at some point in my shoemaking journey, and thought I knew what I wanted, however now that it was time to actually make them, I had to make critical decisions about last shape and heel height. Firstly, we needed to measure my feet again after I forgot my measurements at home. But eventually, after re-measuring, and Heidi and I evaluating my dodgy shoe design drawings, we worked out what last I would use. I was very in love with the shape of the ‘Lure’ last, and we worked out that this would actually be a good option for the style of the shoe. So it was time to work out where build ups needed to be added for the shoes to actually fit my feet, and once glued on, they were sanded to shape.