The client who requested this design also designs fabric herself. The footbed liner is covered with a fabric that she designed. The design itself came from a model she chose from a book I have called “Womenâ€™s Shoes in America, 1795-1930.”Â Women’s Shoes in America is really an outstanding resource. I have found it very useful. From the publisher:
In an engaging narrative history, the beautifully illustrated Womenâ€™s Shoes in America investigates an aspect of American material culture not previously examined and provides a detailed reference for dating womenâ€™s footwear.
In style from 1923-25, the design she chose was a T-Strap from autumn 1923. She was unable to wear a heel as high as the original design featured, so I made this low heel version just for her. The closure uses a button post. There was no hole in the strap yet when I took this picture because punching the hole is really a one shot deal. Using a button, there is no adjustment like you have with laces, or a buckle. To make a prefect fit, it needs to be marked while she is wearing them. With the strap on the post, it looks like this.
Last year while I was studying last making, orthopedic shoemaking and pattern techniques at the DHTA, I also had the good fortune to learn RenÃ© van den Berg’s new shoemaking technique for the shoes he calls Makerszoon.
At first glance these shoes might seem kind of rough. After 30 years of precision work, however, there’s nothing rough about the design and workmanship of Rene van den Berg. The upper is very precisely drawn, punched and aligned. The embossing on the toe must be done to his exacting standards. The only thing rough about it is the cavalier cutting of the turned upper and sole edge with a knife by hand to give it a “hand finished” look.
The upper is hand sewn and the leather is all vegetable tanned. There is very little waste and hardly any trimmings. The lining is all one piece and the extra is left both for visual appeal and to soften the feel of the shoe around the ankles.
Please see RenÃ©’s site for details on this fantastic new approach to making shoes.
Part of my travel to study in the Netherlands was made possible by a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission.
This derby shoe was made for instructional purposes. Plain old black upper leather with a pebble grain, basic lines with English quarters. The construction is welted and hand sewn to a vegetable tanned leather outsole. Natural finish leather heels. Straight outsole stitch on the welt. Depending on what you wear it with and your mood, I think it could be considered casual or formal.
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. I used this pair for my “All the Pieces” infographic.
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.
Derby 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.
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.
This is part of a series of shoemaking workshops. Take all the workshops and learn how to make shoes from start to finish, or just the one(s) that interest you.
There are many different types of shoe construction, the most common of which is using adhesives, also known in the trade as “cement construction.” You will learn how to form a shoe upper around a last (lasting), how to make and last the supporting components like heel counters and toe puffs, how to attach it all to the insole, and finally attach unit soles with integrated heel.
Date: Friday, Saturday & Sunday TBA
Time: 9am – 5pm
Space is limited, please register.
Upper is green and brown vegetable tanned leather with an iridescent finish. Classic Gibson boot design. Welted construction, leather insole and Rendenbach leather outsole. The making of these boots was featured in Tim Becker’s Life at Large segment for KOIN TV.
Upper is blue and brown vegetable tanned leather with an iridescent finish. Welted construction, leather midsole and Vibram Gumlite sole. My client wanted a design reminiscent of the Eurasian Kingfisher, a bird with dominant blue coloring and accents of orange brown on the chest and tail. In addition to the kingfisher colors, this design features a sweeping wing of blue as the vamp approaches the back strap.