Wednesday, July 9, 2008

On My Desk

Aprons and hammers indeed. This week has been rather action packed, lots of different projects, including the lasting of the patent floral sneeks. Lasting is where you take the upper and wrap it over the last, which is a stylised form of a foot. Between the lining and upper you put stiffeners in, to hold the toe and heel shapes, the only way I can really describe it is to say that it's like wrapping a very three dimensional present, and there are to be no visible creases.

I have lasted hundreds, maybe even thousands of pairs of shoes, but I still get nervous before each one. It's a very physical process involving lots of blood, sweat, and tears, swearing, wrestling, glues and lots of tiny metal tacks. The tools of the trade are in the above pic; old-school pliers, lasting pincers, a tack lifter, and of course a good old shoemakers hammer.

You can see the tacks in this photo, the leather is pleated on the underside of the last, but no creases come up over the edge. Patent can be quite tricky, as there is a layer of PVC coating the leather which sometimes inhibits the natural ability of leather to stretch and compress.

Today I was onto some very fiddly stuff, glueing Swarovski crystals onto brooches that are on their way to Craft Vic. I have organised a good method of doing this, but there is a lot of squinting and cursing involved. The girls at the Bead Company exhibit the same behaviours as they count the crystals out for me, bless them!

On My Desk kindly hosted by Kootoyoo.

Listening to Johnny Topper on RRR


boobook said...

emma those shoes are AMAZING!!
I LOVE them!!
talk to you soon.

Maureen Reynolds said...

I somehow cannot believe that a person makes shoes...but I see you do! My world is expanded.

pen said...

grand work!

Anonymous said...

I have started using the hot glue swarovski crystals and taken me a bit to get used to. when will yr stuff be at craft vic....will pop in and see.