Monday, November 28, 2016

Shoe Making $$$ 🎓🎓 💪

Shoe Making is expensive and time consuming, but not that hard to do.

You start by making a plaster mold of your foot (and leg if you want anything boot like).  Around the plaster mold exterior, you wrap masking tape (two layers, criss-crossing).  Then you draw your design on the masking tape, cut the tape and remove it.   Trace the tape designs on paper, cut the paper out, and once again trace the paper on to leather leaving some extra space for seams.

Then cutting the leather out, you assemble it, with a piece of foam and plastic added to the sole, all held together by a combination of glue and sewing.

The main equipment you need is a good post sewing machine (you need one that can easily work around the shape of the shoe, hence the 'post' version).   Most of the rest is fairly standard - exacto knives, hammers, sanders, something strong enough to cut the sole leather.   You may also need a metal shoe anvil for use with the hammer.  All of it the equipment should be in the class, if you take it.

If you have a good eye and a steady hand, you can make something very pretty and useful.    Sandals are much easier than full shoes - they don't have a full heel or full toe, both of which involve multidimensional curves which require a 'last' and some serious stretching/hammering of the leather.   Note, I do not consider boots to be worth paying more for a special class - the extra material is also the simplest part of the shoe - only one dimensional curve, no sole.  Yes it takes more time and material cost, but you don't really need extra instruction on how to do it.  But heels and lasts on the other hand, are both much more complicated and if you want to learn to make them, it's well worth the extra money.

This class is expensive, but you get a nice custom made to order pair of shoes out of it.  It is not easy to get something perfect, but what you do make is high quality and lasts a long time.  It doesn't take a lot of muscle or stamina - aside from lugging all the gear to and from the workshop.   That can become a lot, as my teacher did not have the storage space to let all the students store.

The classes are fairly even when it comes to gender, perhaps a few more men then women.  It has a good mix of older and younger students.   There is no reason a 10 year old child or a 90 year old can't do this, except for the money.

I took classes from Olivier Rabbath, here:

Olivier is a nice french man that's been doing it for quite some time.  He's a bit of a character and really knows his stuff.

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