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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Elske Project

Elske, Lille Elske is a project. Theaim of which is to demonstrate an elegant system of production that bears beautiful shoes for men and women of remarkable quality. From the shaping of the last, to the stitching of the soles, to the burnish of the leather our hands use about eighteen tools (none of which are mechanized) to produce shoes. We are proud of what we make. We love what we do.

People are valuable. Yet, very often society demonstrates a lack of willingness to value individuals. The many things we love and need to own are produced by people, somewhere. Though industry can place a fixed price on material and machinery it has always sought to vary the price of labor to be a smaller and smaller percentage of cost. Devaluing humans creates a desperate and depressed class of people. That class of people is becoming the largest component of our population

I have devoted thought to this for most of my adult life. And, through trial and error, analysis, and practice, I have designed a system of production that demonstrates the reality that high quality goods can be produced in a way that is not cost prohibitive. The work that I do in my shop is not overly taxing in expansion of time, energy, or resources. Designing the system while devoting thought to the needs of individuals, consumers, and manufacturers to create a balanced system that actually works has led me to adopt a combination of traditional techniques with modern ones. The result is a high quality, beautiful shoe that is produced by artisans in surprisingly short amount of time.

Analysis of costs reveal that profit can be achieved while providing a living wage to laborers, and still bringing to market a competitive product. I am not in a position to start a business now. But, I believe it is of great importance to demonstrate that this system can work in the U.S. Thus, Elske project will produce a fully documented demonstration over the next few months. The project will design and produce ten pair of shoes from scratch to perfection using our elegant system of production. The shoes are important, but the point of this project is to show in detail the process and its feasibility to work as an efficient mode of production.

You may ask, if this system is so efficient, then why will it take months to demonstrate the production of ten pair of shoes? The answer is that it does not take more than two days to produce a hand-made pair of shoes. And, when the system is in full swing, many shoes can be produced daily. But, it is in our effort to document the process and raise the funds to publish, exhibit, and otherwise record the effort that we are projecting a multi-month timeline. To help in the effort please look us up on withe link below. Check back here for photographs, posts, and updates.

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