Monday, June 12, 2017

A Shoe Is Born #otisshoeworkshop

I MADE MY OWN SHOES!!!!!!! (In case you hadn't heard).
The right shoe is still on the last. The left one is more or less finished. 
I took an amazing week-long shoemaking workshop with Chris Francis at Otis, through the auspices of the Continuing Ed department. [Thank you CE, for underwriting my participation].
Seven of us worked 9-5, Mon-Fri, and 8-11 Sat and all made at least one shoe.
I'll post more about some of the amazing women that participated in subsequent posts --
this one is all about the process!

I'll show you some highlights -- get comfortable, kick your feet up, shoemaking has a lot of steps (harhar).
[I'll keep the images small, for easier scrolling. You can click on an image to see it bigger].


Day One: measuring

the last is first
foot tracing and measuring
comparing the tracing to the last, marking areas to extend

Day 2: Midsole

creating midsoles from scratch
leather is sandwiched between layers of a paper product called redboard
phase 1 of midsole nailed to last
adding steel shanks
adding more redboard to bottom of midsole

 Day Three: uppers - designing, patterns, painting

last covered with masking tape, design worked out
masking tape carefully peeled off last
truing up paper pattern
cutting the uppers from raw vegetan cowhide
folding the topline
stitched dart shapes back of heel
paint it RED!
adding leopard pattern
cutting pigskin liner

Day Four: sewing upper, lasting

attaching upper to liner at topline

covering the edges of midsole with vintage Thai silk

ready to begin lasting
first nails
oops, heel dart not in center. oh well.
prep for gluing in toe box
the pair is lasted

Day Five: heels, soles

prep for gluing upper to midsole and adding cork
next the nails will be replaced with tacks, which stay in the shoe
bottom is smoothed with sander and dremmel
we used plastic heels
plastic covered with pigskin, then dyed black
heel glued, it stands!
[Chris didn't want us sharing his method of making the soles.]
here, I'm waiting for glue to dry to stick the sole to the heel
I wrote a secret message inside the right sole

Day Six: delasting, insole, done

lining trimmed from topline
ready to delast!
tada!
after sinking screws into the heel and nailing in tap, the insole pattern is refined
I didn't catch what kind of leather we cut the insole from
I painted mine purple
it's a shoe!
Did you have any idea that all this went into the making of a shoe?

Linking up with
Patti's Visible Monday
Shelbee's On the Edge of the Week
Catherine's #SaturdayShareLinkup