Archive for the ‘Learned’ Category

Double Wars – Shoemaking and More!

Monday, June 5th, 2017

I was recently honored to have been invited to Sweden, to teach shoemaking at a yearly event called Double Wars. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful and fantastic an experience this was, meeting so many new people, enjoying the time in the wilderness with absolutely marvelous weather, and getting to share the time with people who were so interested in shoemaking. And, as it turns out, the Fêtes Galantes 2017 in Versailles was being held the Monday directly after the event ended! I had no choice but to make plans to attend the gala as well (you’ll see more in the next post). I could not answer for you how delightful the trip was in ten thousand words, let alone one thousand, but the thousand will have to do:

At Double Wars (hereafter referred as DW), the primary point of the war was to decide upon which side the knäckebröd should be buttered, the hole-y side or the flat side. As a staunch holey-side-butterer, I was dismayed that the flat siders won the war (again), but there will be other years! Now, onto shoemaking discussions and details.
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Europe Part I: London, Oxford, Northampton

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

I’m a bit behind on posting about my recent travels to Europe, but I hope that the scope and content of this do end up making up for it. My original plan was to visit four museums, both the V&A and Museum of London, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the Northampton Museum. Unfortunately, the MoL was unable to accommodate my visit due to a last minute project, but I still was able to get in quite a bit of work. Unfortunately, I’m unable to post/publish my photos of the work specifically, as I had promised that I would not publish them in any real way, but I don’t think that the Ashmolean will object to me posting a selfie of myself with a shoe that I’d been lusting to see for many years. =) This is the 1600s shoe after which the “Stratfords” were designed.

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Fabric Shopping in Tokyo – Nippori Fabric Town

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

So, I’ve been taking a bit of a break from shoes to work on other projects (repairing house stuff, sewing, etc.) and in case you were not aware, I actually have to work for a living, more is the pity. It does have a few perks, though, other than keeping a roof over my head and the cat fed. This time, it’s a trip to Japan, and I’m fortunate enough to spend the weekend in Japan for a bit of sight-seeing and tourist-y stuff. This post focuses primarily on my trip to Nippori Fabric Town. Now, there are a lot of blogs out there that talk about their trip to Nippori Fabric Town with stunning amazement at the wide selection and the number of stores. If you’re interested in scarves, jeans, quilting, or anything that is remotely modern, then I suppose this is a fair assessment. The moment you start looking for materials suitable for the 18th century and before…well, aside from the restaurants with really good noodles, I’m afraid that I’ll have to disappoint you.

It started off favorably – a very easy trip to Nippori station from Shinagawa, and pretty much right out of the station, I saw a sign!

Well, it was a specific sign telling me I was on the right track. Now…where did the signs lead me?
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15th C. Poulaines Redux, with period lasts!

Monday, July 20th, 2015

I earlier made a pair of Poulaines on a set of modern lasts, and the results were not bad – in fact, I thought they were rather pretty. Of course, we all know that the fit has to be perfect, otherwise they can be as pretty as they like, and they won’t be suitable. As a result, I decided to carve a last based on historical reproductions. First, the finished results, and I apologize for the fuzzy image.

The lasts that I received were appropriate for a mid 15th century shoe, so my task was to scale the last up to suit a larger foot.
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