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Sunday, July 29, 2012

New design




Here's a sketch of the female oxford with greater toe exposure and no grommets. All shoes will have the same Color options: White, Pale Gray, Black, Chestnut Brown, and Natural Leather tinted slightly with Linseed oil.


Here are my personal oxfords. This is the same design I am making in the Kickstarter video. These are quite old and abused. I am offering this style for both men and women. Color options: White, Pale Gray, Black, Chestnut Brown, and Natural Leather tinted slightly with Linseed oil.


There is also a version of these offered without grommets. In that model, the holes are punched and slightly closer together. I will continue to post sketches and proto types as they are built. Color options: White, Pale Gray, Black, Chestnut Brown, and Natural Leather tinted slightly with Linseed oil.


 The heel on these and all of the designs is minimal.


 This is a sketch of the Futbol Boot. Ankle high with a pull tab. There is a slight angle both in the heel line and the back of the angle. Subtle, but necessary. Color options: White, Pale Gray, Black, Chestnut Brown, and Natural Leather tinted slightly with Linseed oil.



 This is a sketch of the Mule. Color options: White, Pale Gray, Black, Chestnut Brown, and Natural Leather tinted slightly with Linseed oil.


Sketch of the Oxford line version of the ankle boot. For men and women. Color options: White, Pale Gray, Black, Chestnut Brown, and Natural Leather tinted slightly with Linseed oil.


Detail of line variations.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Talking and talking about aesthetics

video
Here I am talking about design and the sort of goals I have with the shoes that will come out of the project.

Some old work


video
Here's a montage of shoes I've made in the past. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Making


video
I made this video over a two day period to show some of the process of shoe making in my shop. Normally, I make shoes in pairs. I threw this together as a way to attach a visual sense of what I do and where I do it. As the project moves forward I will expand and clarify the stages of the process. While, this is a representation of some of my work, when I talk about the elegant process that I want to show with this project, I am talking about laying out an entire process that is formed of small steps and stations. Last shaping, pattern making, pattern cutting, dying, stitching, installing hardware, lasting, glueing, burnishing, insole scheme, et al. Despite being the result of numerous processes, a pair of shoes can be made in a total of two hours of physical labor, with each pair requiring twenty four hours to dry and rest. This efficiency is achieved without sacrificing quality. There are no corners cut. An average Oxford that I produce contains 240 stitches in the upper. Soles are stitched to uppers. Renia cement is used to glue the rubber outsole that will protect the sole stitches from the rigors of walking. This step greatly extends the life of the shoe and will prevent costly sole replacement. (It's much cheaper to have a cobbler glue a new piece of rubber outsole on the original leather sole than to have one stitch a new leather sole to your upper.) Uppers and liners are conditioned throughout the process to maintain their strength as well as their pliability. The result is a beautiful finish and comfort. I make shoes for my family, friends, and for people who see my shoes and make inquiries. My shoes are made with love.

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 Kickstarter.com withe link below. Check back here for photographs, posts, and updates.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/572917813/proof-that-high-quality-goods-can-be-produced-by-h