Blue Black Oxford

all the pieces blue black oxford

The upper is hand dyed top finished vegetable tanned Italian leather. Blue quarters and tongue, black toe caps, vamps, and backstraps. This pair was built using cement construction. These shoes are unlined with sewn in heel counters and toe boxes. Leather sole and heels, Virbram rubber heel cap.

All the pieces

wehrli_cover_0I received a copy Kunst, Aufräumen, or “The Art of Cleanup” for my birthday some time ago. Check it out if you haven’t already. It featured all sorts of things “cleaned up” or deconstructed from their otherwise “messy” natural state. For example, organizing from a bowl of alphabet soup a an alphabetized and sorted grid of all the letters and carrot pieces. I really enjoyed the book and all of Ursus Wehrli’s clever images. When I made this pair of oxfords, I wanted to try something similar.

all the pieces 3

It wasn’t until I tried to make an organized image that I understood how much systematic thinking it takes to be as organized as Wehrli. I’ve got a long way to go. The image I made includes all all the parts that went into these shoes. There are at least two of everything. This pair was built using cement construction. These shoes are unlined, so they do not include the quarter, tongue and vamp liners. If they were welted, there would be a few more parts still. The upper is hand dyed top finished vegetable tanned Italian leather. Here’s the parts list from left to right:

  • Wooden pegs (10)
  • Thread
  • Tongue (2)
  • Laces (2)
  • Spring steel shank (2)
  • Vamp (2)
  • Toe cap (2), Toe box (2)
  • Inside Quarter (2), Outside Quarter (2)
  • Backstrap (2), Heel counters (2)
  • Vibram rubber heel cap (2)
  • Heel lifts (4, 2 per shoe)
  • Leather Insole (2), Leather Sole (2)

Clicking and Closing

It takes nice uppers to make nice shoes. Learn how to cut, trim, finish, assemble and sew uppers. This has traditionally been referred to as “clicking and closing.” Come learn how on May 23-24. Details on the Workshops page.

Italian Style Redux

The Portland Art Museum has invited me back for two more presentations as part of their “Italian Style” exhibit. These are special Member’s Night events. Look for me downstairs in the “Crafting Fashion” area from 5pm to 8pm.

Italian Style

I will be giving a presentation on Italian leather and teaching a free introduction to shoe design on February 7, the opening day of the Portland Art Museum’s new exhibit “Italian Style.” Look for me downstairs in the “Crafting Fashion” area from 1pm to 5pm.

Red Derby

Red Derby (womens)These shoes were for a female client who wanted a woman’s shoe without compromises. She likes knitting and needlepoint so I tried to put something special into the design for her. This derby design with English quarters features an ornamental stitch similar to a wheat ear embroidery stitch on the wing tip toe cap and bottom quarter lines. Welted construction, Italian vegetable tanned dark red leather upper and vegetable tanned leather liner. Vegetable tanned leather insole and outsole. Natural finish leather heels. Braided outsole stitch.

Blue and Brown Derby

Blue Brown DerbyDerby design with French quarters. Welted construction, Italian vegetable tanned brown leather vamp and blue quarters. Leather insole and midsole. Vibram Gumlite outsole for a little extra cushion. Casual or formal? I think it’s right on the edge. The rubber sole and the more rounded curve of the toe suggests it’s more casual than formal.

The Art and Science of Shoemaking

18-Leonardo-da-Vinci-Measured-Study-of-Foot-ca-1490-92 Date: Sunday, March 30
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Location: Halo Shoes – 938 NW Everett St., Portland, Oregon

Learn about the interdisciplinary pursuit that is making shoes by hand. I will show how measurements lead to a last which gives rise to a pattern that can be made into a shoe. Along the way we’ll visit the diverse world of shoemaking including design, drawing, sewing, sculpture, biology, chemistry, physics and math.

Please feel free to drop in and stay for a while or stay for the whole presentation. I will make time for questions and answers so bring your burning shoe questions!

Brown Derby

Brown Derby Side View, Click for Top View

Classic Derby design with English quarters. Welted construction, brown Italian vegetable tanned leather upper, leather insole and Rendenbach leather outsole. Check out the natural color braided hand stitching on the welt. (Thanks for our friends at A&E for the hand sewing thread) Top line is extra high to allow for orthotic insert.