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Hand lasted vs machine lasted - Page 7

post #91 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
Machines aren't necessarily used to dumb down or simplify an operation, nor are they necessarily used to replace manual labour, sometimes, they are used because it is extremely difficult or at times impossible for a human to do it. I could give many examples, one is a simple fly press and at the opposite extreme would be silicon chip manufacture
In the case of the silicon chip, there is no pre-industrial antecedent for comparison. Its own standards of quality are of a different order by virtue of when and where it arose than that of traditional Trades. I don't know what a fly press is...but again, I try very hard not to opine in too great a depth on subjects that I know next to nothing about. That said, and in line with my earlier remarks about machines being tools, some jobs only became possible as technology invented a tool to do it. However, if lifting a great weight or moving a huge amount of earth isn't by definition "dumbed down" I don't know what is. And in the context of a shoe factory, there is no machine that takes as much skill to operate as it takes to do the same job by hand. Period. Those who have never made shoes don't get a voice in this...neither do those who have only casually toured a workshop or factory. Somewhere in here the whole idea of human nature and economics has to enter into it. If human beings can do a job skillfully, quickly, and cheaply enough to generate not just their own upkeep but a proportionally higher income for a manager or owner...someone who doesn't do any real work...then a machine is not needed. If a human being cannot do that then he/she will be replaced. And since most jobs in pre-industrial societies were comprised of many tasks...often making a shoe, for instance, from beginning to end...the replacements for those human beings must wither have the same skill set and experience or the job must be broken down into smaller, less complicated bits--ie. it is dumbed down." More importantly, especially as it applies to the shoemaker and the whole notion of quality...there must be a human connection. The results must resonate with something inside of us to earn our respect and be termed quality. When there is little or no human involvement a machine becomes less a tool and more a stand-in for a human being. Because it is not, in fact, a human being with a brain and emotions and a sense of aesthetics...because it is mindless...what is produced is ticky-tacky, pure and simple. No highs no lows no failures, no excellence...no responsibility. And everything and everyone who comes into contact with that production loses a little bit of what makes them human trying to make it compatible with the reality of human existence.
Quote:
Do you think so? I'm not so sure myself. Lets look at an extreme. Say we replaced a modern soldiers combat boots which are mass produced using modern techniques, for a pair made using 19th century artisanal methods. Which do you think would perform better? You could develop this argument to encompass many more items that are discussed in this forum. For example a watch. A modern day $100 watch is far superior from a purely functional perspective than a $100 watch from c1900. I could give many more examples.
I simply don't agree with that. I think it is a bit arid for my tastes. As Bengal Strip and others have pointed out quality is more than functionality...or symmetry or efficiency or price. It is about the jewels in the movement, the materials used, and the way they are used. And yes it is about the way the product speaks to us both functionally and metaphysically. I have watches from several centuries. The modern ones seem to run fine until they don't. The old ones aren't as reliable at this point in their lives although they do still run. I'll take the antiques over the techno-glitz any day.
post #92 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by sully View Post
Are you sure the considerations for making a western cowboy boot are the same as for a mens dress shoe ? Sure they are both made of leather but are quite different products.
I am quite sure.
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I have read that in times gone by in the top ranks of bespoke work, makers would specialize in a certain type of footwear such as riding boots or ladies court shoes and not make all types of work.
Not so much...there were men's makers and women's makers. But the difference was that men work often consisted of working with leather that was heavily pigmented with lamp black. Women's work was comprised of tapestry materials and silks and fine fabrics. A man who had lamp black under his nails could not work on a bone silk shoe.
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Can a maker switch from making boots to shoes with ease ?
Aside from patterning what do you think is missing? Why is it that Lobbs of London (and many other makers of top shelf men's shoes characterize themselves as Bootmakers or Bottiers?
post #93 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJman View Post
I see furo went to the Mafoofan School of Debate.

+1

might be the haglund
post #94 of 294
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Originally Posted by fritzl View Post
+1

might be the haglund

+2

It was indeed
post #95 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
Those who have never made shoes don't get a voice in this...neither do those who have only casually toured a workshop or factory.

post #96 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
Yet here you are saying you don't believe that it's harder to master a pottery wheel than hand building a coiled pot.
No...again...I didn't say that. And it seems to me you're missing the point altogether. The degree of effort it takes to operate a machine or handle a tool is not the same as how much skill it takes to produce a given outcome. I have thrown pots on a potters wheel. I have made pottery by the coiled method. But I would never pose as an expert on the subject, never claim to be a potter or speak for potters nor would I try to pass off hearsay and speculation as credible argument. But all that's beside the point. Just as this bit of the thread is off topic. It's a red herring, not only because it doesn't deal with shoes or shoemaking, but just as importantly because it was introduced it to avoid confronting a lack of knowledge and experience with regard to shoemaking. The issue was always framed in the context of shoe factories and shoemaking simply because I try not to speculate about subjects I know little about. In that context, potter's wheels are necessarily a non sequitur.
post #97 of 294
DWFII, what kind of clothes do you wear? Aside from your nativist Celtic garb.


- B
post #98 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
Is this you in the mirror? It has nothing to do with arrogance and everything to do with ignorance. You know nothing about shoes or shoemaking. Nothing. Even touring a workshop didn't raise your awareness or level of understanding appreciably. Yet you prattle on so incautiously...never realizing that it's like speaking in tongues--your ignorance precludes any common ground for understanding or communication. My old dad said "opinions are like arseholes...everybody has one but they're not all worth sniffing."
post #99 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
Is this you in the mirror? It has nothing to do with arrogance and everything to do with ignorance.

You know nothing about shoes or shoemaking. Nothing. Even touring a workshop didn't raise your awareness or level of understanding appreciably. Yet you prattle on so incautiously...never realizing that it's like speaking in tongues--your ignorance precludes any common ground for understanding or communication.

My old dad said "opinions are like arseholes...everybody has one but they're not all worth sniffing."

Are any worth sniffing? Licking is another matter.
post #100 of 294
This is an interesting thread, thanks for the insights.

Regards.
post #101 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
DWFII, what kind of clothes do you wear? Aside from your nativist Celtic garb. - B
I don't wear a kilt all that often...it is part of my family heritage but I would hardly call it "nativist" as I understand the word....maybe. I suspect if you saw me dressed up in my Sunday-go-to-meeting best, you would snicker, or at best, dismiss me from further consideration. I have an old hand me down Harris Tweed jacket and just this last Christmas I acquired a pair of wool slacks that cost me nearly $200.00. Before that I always wore a "reserved-for-dresst" pair of black Wranglers. Day to day it's jeans and shirts. I like, respect and admire fine clothes...unfortunately hand shoemaking is a 19th century trade and gets paid like it was still the 19th century...if only because of the widely held but sadly mistaken notion that a gemmed shoe with a fiberboard insole and celastic toe and heel stiffeners is good enough.
post #102 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
It has nothing to do with arrogance and everything to do with ignorance...

You know nothing about shoes or shoemaking. Nothing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
Those who have never made shoes don't get a voice in this...neither do those who have only casually toured a workshop or factory.

/sigh
post #103 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
I like, respect and admire fine clothes...unfortunately hand shoemaking is a 19th century trade and gets paid like it was still the 19th century...if only because of the widely held but sadly mistaken notion that a gemmed shoe with a fiberboard insole and celastic toe and heel stiffeners is good enough.

Is it possible for you to see that what you settle for in your clothes appears to differ little from your critique of what most people settle for in RTW Goodyear welted shoes?


- B
post #104 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
In the case of the silicon chip, there is no pre-industrial antecedent for comparison. Its own standards of quality are of a different order by virtue of when and where it arose than that of traditional Trades.
I wasn't comparing it to any preceding manufacturing approach, I offered it as an example of something that could only be made by machine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
I don't know what a fly press is...but again, I try very hard not to opine in too great a depth on subjects that I know next to nothing about. That said, and in line with my earlier remarks about machines being tools, some jobs only became possible as technology invented a tool to do it. However, if lifting a great weight or moving a huge amount of earth isn't by definition "dumbed down" I don't know what is.
You've probably seen a fly press dozens of times. Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_press It's just a simple machine for increasing the force of the operator. Used for pressing in bearings, bushings etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
And in the context of a shoe factory, there is no machine that takes as much skill to operate as it takes to do the same job by hand. Period. Those who have never made shoes don't get a voice in this...neither do those who have only casually toured a workshop or factory.
I agree completely in the context of shoe making and certain other crafts. However, there are other crafts where the use of machine tools is highly skilled. In some crafts machine tools offer the craftsman even more opportunity to express his or her creativity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
Somewhere in here the whole idea of human nature and economics has to enter into it. If human beings can do a job skillfully, quickly, and cheaply enough to generate not just their own upkeep but a proportionally higher income for a manager or owner...someone who doesn't do any real work...then a machine is not needed. If a human being cannot do that then he/she will be replaced. And since most jobs in pre-industrial societies were comprised of many tasks...often making a shoe, for instance, from beginning to end...the replacements for those human beings must wither have the same skill set and experience or the job must be broken down into smaller, less complicated bits--ie. it is dumbed down."
See Malthus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthus
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
More importantly, especially as it applies to the shoemaker and the whole notion of quality...there must be a human connection. The results must resonate with something inside of us to earn our respect and be termed quality. When there is little or no human involvement a machine becomes less a tool and more a stand-in for a human being. Because it is not, in fact, a human being with a brain and emotions and a sense of aesthetics...because it is mindless...what is produced is ticky-tacky, pure and simple. No highs no lows no failures, no excellence...no responsibility. And everything and everyone who comes into contact with that production loses a little bit of what makes them human trying to make it compatible with the reality of human existence.
What makes you think that because something is made entirely by machine that it lacks a sense of aesthetic quality? They still have to be designed before they can be manufactured. Human intervention is never completely removed. There is design and there is manufacture.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
I simply don't agree with that. I think it is a bit arid for my tastes. As Bengal Strip and others have pointed out quality is more than functionality...or symmetry or efficiency or price. It is about the jewels in the movement, the materials used, and the way they are used. And yes it is about the way the product speaks to us both functionally and metaphysically.
I have no problem with this view. However, it can be a problem when you chase aesthetics at the expense of the functional requirements. A shoes primary requirement is functional, not artistic, a hand crafted shoe is useless, no matter how beautiful if, after a few wearings the heel falls off or it starts to leak.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
I have watches from several centuries. The modern ones seem to run fine until they don't. The old ones aren't as reliable at this point in their lives although they do still run. I'll take the antiques over the techno-glitz any day.
Well, watches are timepieces, that is, to tell the time and not the apsis of Mars. Watches with multiple complications are an abomination. To sum up. In many cases I don't think the argument that hand made is better than machine made stacks up in a purely performance terms. However, I do believe that bespoke rewards in other ways. Some being; creating something unique, a true one off; the opportunity for the customer to engage in the design process, helping to keep old crafts alive etc. Hand crafted objects have a strong emotional pull on people especially as we are finding ourselves living in a increasingly impersonal world.
post #105 of 294
Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
Well, watches are timepieces, that is, to tell the time and not the apsis of Mars. Watches with multiple complications are an abomination.

Thats a LIE!
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