I believe in continuing to challenge myself within life and especially my art. I’ve always had an interest in footwear, even before I began working with leather. Fortunately, I was able to attend a shoemaking class at the end of 2015. Over the following year and a half I kept interest in the process but never had time enough to devote to making another pair.
Finally, in August I was able to finish my first pair completely self directed. These were designed for my wife, and inspired by the mermaids so often found around our home state of Florida. Plenty of mistakes were made, but it felt good to see that after such a long time I was still able to get the basics down to complete a pair of shoes.
After that pair I had to get back to work on the other various orders and requests I had in my queue. Come November I had another window. I had been wanting to make a pair of Chukka boots for myself. I have a pair from Clark’s that I wear fairly consistently and thought that the next pair I made for myself should be in that style. There was a big difference though, the manner of construction is quite different than the style I initially made. For these the leather from the upper is spread out and stitched to a midsole instead of being stretched under and adhered to the bottom of the insole. With the wealth of the internet I was able to find a video that showed the process in more depth.
I always try to impart my own style when I can. For this pair I decided to add a decorative stitch to it so it look like there are little leaves on the sides of each. At the time it was fall, not that it felt like it in Florida, and I thought it would be a nice nod heading into Thanksgiving. With this, I decided to go for broke and make my wife another pair using a complimenting motif. She said she wanted a pair of slip-ons next. I replicated the stitched leaves on the toe of her pair hoping that it would be enough to tie them together visually since I didn’t think the stitchdown style would do as well for a simple slip-on.
I did get delayed in finishing the soles on these until after Christmas. I used the extra days off around New Years to put the final touches on them. There are still places I notice I can be better at. Consistency will come with practice. That’s part of my 2018 plan.
I already have a couple ideas on some different styles I'd like to try making. What other styles are you interested seeing me make?