Lesson 12: 1550s Spanish Chopines and Shoes (Cork)

October 19th, 2017

Let me start this off by saying that I’ve wanted to make a pair of these chopines for a long time. However, the construction (and the outsole in particular) has daunted me so, not to mention that I’ve never had a request, so they remained on the list to tackle at some point. Leave it to Amanda L.P. to give me one heck of a challenge. The shoes are just a simple pair of turn-shoes, although sewing such lightweight leather proved more of a challenge than expected. The chopines are bulk cork, surrounded with velvet and with silk ribbons for laces.

This pair took longer than expected, through trials and tribulations, through sewing and re-sewing (none of which you will see here, of course!), and with some helpful hand-holding by Dr. Volken. In the end, I can say that I’m reasonably pleased with these, though if you squint your eyes, they do look a bit like a pair of shoes that a bad movie rendition of Frankenstein’s monster might have worn, all dolled up with velvet and silk, of course…perhaps his bride. 😉

You simply have to see how these things were created. Grab some coffee, tea, or a cocktail, and follow along with me, as I give you the whole story.
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16th C. Pumps and Viking Thong Shoes – Swedish Leftovers

October 10th, 2017

These particular pairs are actually leftovers from my shoemaking class in Sweden, which I finally finished up. It does happen sometimes that a student may not finish completely for one reason or another, and I had the extra bandwidth to be able to finish them up and send them to the students.




Mid-Late 16th C. Shoes from Hosdent

June 21st, 2017

This particular pair, for the incomparable Susan W., is representative of a style of shoe that was found in multiple different locations. At first, when I was requested to make this style of shoe, I thought it a bit lackluster and uninteresting. As I started to near completion, I started to more fully appreciate this simple but elegant style of shoe. The strap over the tongue and buckle on the lateral side really does give a nice element of visual interest to the shoes. Plus, they look cozy and have that “Mary-Jane-esque” element to them yet maintain their individuality as a shoe.

There are several findings of this shoe style, in Hosdent, Middleburg, Dokum, and Dordrecht, to name a few places. They all have a similar construction in that the vamp extends to form a tongue, and a strap is set in at the medial (inside) of the shoe and goes out to the lateral (outside) of the shoe where it buckles in.
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FĂȘtes Galantes 2017 in Versailles!

June 9th, 2017

Although a group of us went last year, since I happened to be in Sweden for Double Wars,, it seemed to make all the sense in the world to attend the FĂȘtes Galantes 2017 in Versailles, held the Monday directly after the event ended! The below is courtesy of Milet, of me and Olympe hanging out in the main courtyard.

It was, as last year, a marvelous and amazing experience. Fireworks, amazing outfits, champagne, macarons, and all manner of pleasurable conversation and company were to be had. Here is just a snapshot of the best of it.
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