Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Just keep making

I was showing this book to a friend the other day, and I realised that a number of the makers profiled in Handmade in Melbourne Volume 2 aren't making any more. This book was published in 2009, but already so many of the creatives have had a career change, sold all their tools and equipment, or put things on hold, for whatever reason.

It made me feel sad that these makers had gone to the lengths of presenting their work for inclusion in this book, had written profiles about their passion for their chosen craft, the desire to keep their skills up, to grow their practice or their business, but now only 4 years later they are no longer pursuing that dream.

There are also a few inclusions in this book who have gone on to great things, their business has expanded, product range is new and exciting, they have gone from little local markets to massive stockist lists, and huge fancy markets, Angus and Celeste I'm looking at you!

Over the years I've had some ups and downs grappling with what it means to be a maker, and recently had some fantastic conversations/peptalks with Esteemed People Who Know Important Things, who assured me that I just need to keep making, but to be honest there's no way I could stop tinkering.

So in between Christmas and New Years' festivities, endless bickering of my children, an Instagram feed full of peeps on holidays, and both of my neighbours renovating, I have somehow found the time to begin a new pair of shoes.

It took me a while to decide on which leather to use

It has been far too long since I made a pair of sneaks, I mean a proper adult sized, fully lasted and constructed pair of custom kicks. It feels amazing to flex these muscles again.

Coco helped me cut the pieces while I listened to Ashes cricket - clean sweep!

They are almost stitched up and ready to be lasted, more pics coming soon.


Anonymous said...

Emma, you are an inspiration! At the NGV there's a shoemaker on show and I told my kids about you as we watched the artist create the boots for a"puss in boots" on a video link. I kept thinking that should be Emma in that video and maybe it will be another time :) what an amazing skill you have and your dedication and determination is amazing! I love that advice not to give up - today I'm sewing and I have a bag full off items to be finished off/ altered. It takes courage to hack into something, experiment and have a go in order to make something just how you want it :) time to get back to my own creations! Bianca :)

Unknown said...

Bianca! So great to hear from you and to hear that you're busy making, it's important to keep flexing those creative muscles x

Evie said...

So sad to know a lot of these makers are no longer at it. I have this book and remember reading it thinking how lucky all of these guys were, living their dream. It's hard to keep pursing a dream when you feel they aren't moving as you hope and wish or money limits the choices to do so. I agree with you about keeping on making. Sometimes full dreams are let go of for whatever circumstances. I hope no matter what I'll still have the time to tinker too. Love the colour combo for your new kicks and cant wait to see them finished!! x Evie