It may be odd, but ever since I’ve been a little girl, I’ve peered down in supermarket aisles, in clothes stores, at family gatherings, at weddings, funerals, in just about any situation, and observed peoples shoes. Yep, shoes and feet. It sounds odd, but I find it interesting, fascinating-it’s like it tells me a story. I love sitting on a bench in a busy place and just gazing at the ground, listening to the repetitive sounds that the shoes make, the trodding, the clicking, the shuffling, the squeaking,watching each foot take it’s next step, how the foot sits in the shoe, is the wearer in pain? Are they more comfortable than they look? I love analysing why someone chose to put on a particular pair of shoes that morning- was it because they’re comfortable? Because they’re what’s ‘in’? Because they have no others? because they honestly don’t care or it never crossed their mind?
This year, I’ve chosen for my year 12 project to focus on shoes, inparticular shoemaking. Why? Because I love them, I really do. Some may swoon over sky high stilettos, shiny, dazzling sandals, supportive sneakers, rubbery crocs, but I swoon over handmade, hand crafted, beautiful, comfortable leather shoes, and because of that, I’ve taken on the task to design and create various pairs over this year, with the invaluable guidance of Adelaide Shoemaker, Heidi Louise Cozens. I am incredibly privileged to have such help and support from someone so talented, and look forward to the many more mistakes and accomplishments that will come with it.
‘The Journey of an Amateur Shoemaker’ throughout this year, will be like a journal to me. I’m not going to hide, I’m not going to lie; If I found something hard, you’ll probably hear about it. I want to be honest, just like what I want to do with my shoes; to create raw and honest footwear that doesn’t torture the feet, or the eyes.
Before this year, yes I had owned a well made pair of shoes, but I hadn’t actually seen a pair being made, I had no idea what needed to go into such a creation, how much work it really is! But over the last couple of months, I’ve already grasped an idea of just how skilled and dedicated you must to be a shoemaker. There have been some surprises, some shocks, some wonders, but it has finally clicked something within my brain-shoes are more than just what we just put on our feet.
So if you’ve got a fetish for beautiful handcrafted shoes like me, want to read about the steps of my learning process, the silly mistakes, the odd looking end product, or the insights and questions of what really is behind our shoe choices, stay tuned to ‘The Journey of an Amateur Shoemaker.