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Are "handmade" shoes handmade? - Page 6

post #76 of 80
Great story, DWF. Thanks for sharing it.
post #77 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimslade View Post

Great story, DWF. Thanks for sharing it.

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post #78 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Kind of OT but when I was younger I attended a lot of "event"--shows, "Gatherin's" and the like, to promote my work. Most of the time these events focused on "Cowboy Poetry" --nothing real elevated but told around the campfire when men spent a lot of time on the trail. And sometimes approaching the level of a Robert Service or even a Rudyard Kipling.
In any case, I wrote several poems (doggerel, really) myself around that time, and actually got one of them published and got paid for it.
But my best, I think, was one I wrote about Frank Finch (the saddlemaker) called Handy. It's here for anyone that's interested.
Don't expect much...
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Every trail a man rides down is changed forever by his passing;
The twig is bent, the stone is turned--each adding, in a fashion,
To the markers that define the path and guide those who come after...
Who share the skill, the lore and even common laughter.


Thanks for those. Of course your old inspiration has a little of the great Aussie man himself RM (Reg) Williams.
http://www.southaustralianhistory.com.au/rmwilliams.htm


After his experience in the Adelaide Hills the young Williams family moved to the northern Flinders Ranges where they set up camp at Italowie Gorge. Once again he went sinking wells, this time in the Gammon Ranges and other places in the north. On one occasion he dug 4 wells up to 25 metres, 'all by hand and some with hammer and tap steel'. Then he found water at 3 metres in a good soakage well at Nepabunna. He most probably would have stayed in this line of business had it not been for getting to know Michael George Smith. After meeting Smith, better known as Dollar Mick, his life took a different direction.

Dollar Mick had married an Aboriginal woman and had a son who worked around the pastoral properties. Mick knew how to make pack saddles and with RM perfected the art of boot making with a single piece of leather. They worked from a pattern cut out from a kerosene tin. Later RM said that 'Mick was better at stitching than himself. For two years we entertained travellers with our products and our camp fire was a meeting place for people from far and near.


During the early 1930s RM returned to Adelaide for work. He had been employed for a short time at Sidney Kidman's Eringa Station. In 1934 he made his first of many pack saddles for Kidman and opened a workshop at 5 Percy Street Prospect, Adelaide. Now his remarkable skills of boot making and leatherwork in general could be developed even further. The business soon developed into a far bigger concern than he had expected. Apart from supplying the Australian marked it also exported its merchandise overseas. The first overseas order came from the King of Nepal. Since then boots and other articles have been sold to England, USA, Europe, Canada, Falklands Islands and Indonesia. Even President Clinton has been seen wearing RM boots in the White House. Since the opening of his factory millions of pairs of booth have been produced.

Eventually the business became a multi million dollar enterprise. This according to RM was mainly because 'the Australian stockmen recognised me as one of their own. My story was their story, a camel man, stockman, well sinker, workmate'.
post #79 of 80
After leaving university with a degree in psychology and little inclination to knuckle down, I decided on an adventure and went to live in Barcelona with the intention of learning Spanish and moving on to Argentina. I was an English teacher and discovered the Guild Of Shoemakers shoemaking school, so I did a pattern making course and a making course. From there, I found a father and son shoemaking team called Ponsa (now defunct) who let me make shoes with them in my spare time. They helped and encouraged me enormously. I made about 15 pairs of shoes with them.

Having decided I did not want to be a teacher for ever, I returned to London. I had a plan A, which was to apply to John Lobb to do an apprenticeship.

Luckily for me, they said yes and I started straight away. They sent me to one of their master shoemakers called Paul Wilson (who now works for John Lobb in New York). I spent nearly four years with him and then became a self employed shoemaker.

While I was an apprentice, I met my business partner Deborah Carré who was also training with Paul. She had a grant from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust to pay for her apprenticeship. She was also a career changer having worked in PR for years.

We both went our separate ways for a while but kept in touch. While making for John Lobb, I started teaching handsewn shoemaking at Cordwainers College in Hackney, London and at the London College of Fashion.

We decided to start our own company in 2004 and so carréducker was born. We have been working ever since, growing the business, struggling forward and staying alive. We have a workshop in Bloomsbury, London and in 2010 we opened a concession in Gieves and Hawkes on Savile Row which was a great move for us.

In 2006 we started our own shoemaking school and we do intensive courses 3 times a year in London and New York. These are very successful and were the catalyst for starting our blog which is basically our way of sharing our knowledge and promoting the trade (which we are very passionate about). This year we are starting a weekly 3 hour class for those who cannot find the time for an intensive course.

And that is about it.

If you want to be a shoemaker, you can do it. You need patience and tenacity and a sprinkle of good fortune.

Thanks, James
post #80 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyshoe View Post

After leaving university with a degree in psychology and little inclination to knuckle down, I decided on an adventure and went to live in Barcelona with the intention of learning Spanish and moving on to Argentina. I was an English teacher and discovered the Guild Of Shoemakers shoemaking school, so I did a pattern making course and a making course. From there, I found a father and son shoemaking team called Ponsa (now defunct) who let me make shoes with them in my spare time. They helped and encouraged me enormously. I made about 15 pairs of shoes with them.
Having decided I did not want to be a teacher for ever, I returned to London. I had a plan A, which was to apply to John Lobb to do an apprenticeship.
Luckily for me, they said yes and I started straight away. They sent me to one of their master shoemakers called Paul Wilson (who now works for John Lobb in New York). I spent nearly four years with him and then became a self employed shoemaker.
While I was an apprentice, I met my business partner Deborah Carré who was also training with Paul. She had a grant from the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust to pay for her apprenticeship. She was also a career changer having worked in PR for years.
We both went our separate ways for a while but kept in touch. While making for John Lobb, I started teaching handsewn shoemaking at Cordwainers College in Hackney, London and at the London College of Fashion.
We decided to start our own company in 2004 and so carréducker was born. We have been working ever since, growing the business, struggling forward and staying alive. We have a workshop in Bloomsbury, London and in 2010 we opened a concession in Gieves and Hawkes on Savile Row which was a great move for us.
In 2006 we started our own shoemaking school and we do intensive courses 3 times a year in London and New York. These are very successful and were the catalyst for starting our blog which is basically our way of sharing our knowledge and promoting the trade (which we are very passionate about). This year we are starting a weekly 3 hour class for those who cannot find the time for an intensive course.
And that is about it.
If you want to be a shoemaker, you can do it. You need patience and tenacity and a sprinkle of good fortune.
Thanks, James

Thank you for sharing.
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