Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day Twenty-Two: Cutting Custom Shoes Part 1

         Alright, we're finishing up all the custom shoes, if you remember last week we displayed all the custom lasts, this week we are using those lasts to help high schoolers put together their first pair of shoes. Today, tomorrow, and Saturday we are posting up putting the shoes together and then the finished shoes each young man or woman designed for themselves. I really had a lot of fun doing this, it's wonderful to see what other people can create using a little math and some leather and fabric.
        I originally meant to do this 3 part series starting Tues, but the rain has slowed me down a little bit. So after you design the last to the general type of shoe you want to make (boot, dress shoe, heel), you start cutting out the pieces. There's 6-40 pieces in the average shoe (ones with shoe laces have more).
        The upper is generally cut of various layers of fabrics, buckram, cording, and anything specific for your shoe. This is often trim like buckles, laces, metal findings, loops, etc. I monogrammed all the insoles with the students names so that each pair was their own. These were the first pairs they'd ever designed.  Then I went to the lower. Nash traced all the soles with an allowance. Then he cut them out on the band saw, wet, and hammered them into shape. You can see him here in the forge working away. I used to cut my soles out by hand, but that just takes way too long. Being a designer is about working smarter not harder. Have a great day everyone, see you tomorrow when we go over sewing the shoes together and you'll get a preview of some of the finished pairs for the final part 3.

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