Jon Gray the shoemaker came to Ontario and I got a pair of...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Asian Afro, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I do have a new pair of shoes that don't have trees yet. Seems I've bought up small-sized shoe trees around here. What kind of vintage shoe trees should I look for? I imagine they should fill out the heel as well as the toe, but should they be hinged or adjustable? Do vents matter? (I see vents on the toes of some modern trees as well.) Here are some pictures I found on eBay. Hinged [​IMG] [​IMG] Adjustable (and hinged) [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I don't care for the Gucci's...they're probably made for loafers anyway. But the other two are beautiful, I'd jump at either.
     
  2. Odd I/O

    Odd I/O Senior member

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    Just updated the original post to show that Jon Gray will be in Ottawa either on July 22nd or July 25th. He will meet prospective customers at E.R. Fisher.

    Will add other details of his itinerary in Ontario as I receive them.


    Have you received any more information on Jon's Ontario visit specifically in the Toronto area? He hasn't responded to my e-mail inquiry.
     
  3. Geoff Gander

    Geoff Gander Senior member

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    Thanks, Asian Afro, for co-ordinating all of this. What time slot for the day in question is he looking at?
     
  4. Asian Afro

    Asian Afro Senior member

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    Have you received any more information on Jon's Ontario visit specifically in the Toronto area? He hasn't responded to my e-mail inquiry.

    I haven't heard from him since he confirmed an Ottawa visit (but not in detail). He said he won't know his firm schedule until after he's reached Ontario. I'll try to contact him.
     
  5. Asian Afro

    Asian Afro Senior member

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    I just heard from Jon. He had been teaching for a week at a school in Ontario where it was difficult for him to get online. He said he would get a firm date for Ottawa in a day or two. I'm hoping to get more information on the rest of his itinerary as well.
     
  6. Asian Afro

    Asian Afro Senior member

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    Still no updates from Jon yet. No idea what's keeping him. I hope Odd has had better luck.

    To keep things going in the meantime...

    The shoes I have in mind are austerity brogues in dark brown with round toes. Are there stylistic choices that I should avoid, and things they must have?

    By round toes, I mean toes that aren't particularly pointy. I do want the shoes to be somewhat refined--sort of like EG's 202 last (which some members here think is blobby). I like the general look of G&G's Connaught, but not the shape of the toe.

    As for the colour, I'm leaning towards dark oak right now. Is there a shade of dark brown that SF members like in particular?
     
  7. Odd I/O

    Odd I/O Senior member

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    Still no updates from Jon yet. No idea what's keeping him. I hope Odd has had better luck.

    To keep things going in the meantime...

    The shoes I have in mind are austerity brogues in dark brown with round toes. Are there stylistic choices that I should avoid, and things they must have?

    By round toes, I mean toes that aren't particularly pointy. I do want the shoes to be somewhat refined--sort of like EG's 202 last (which some members here think is blobby). I like the general look of G&G's Connaught, but not the shape of the toe.

    As for the colour, I'm leaning towards dark oak right now. Is there a shade of dark brown that SF members like in particular?


    I did finally get a reply from Jon.

    He's planning to be in Toronto during the week of July 17. The uncertainty with dates is due to his waiting to hear back from the Bata Shoe Museum which will determine the date.

    He's teaching in Haliburton and the delay in responding was attributed to internet access being more difficult than anticipated.
     
  8. Asian Afro

    Asian Afro Senior member

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    Just reformatted the original post as the move to the new system completely messed it up. :angry:

    Anyway, I got a call from Jon Gray today and he confirmed that he will be in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 26th. He plans to hold a shoe clinic at E.R. Fisher at 5 p.m.
     
  9. Mimosa

    Mimosa Well-Known Member

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    Will there be more details on the Bata Museum visit? In other words, when will he be available? Do we need to schedule an appointment?

    Thanks,

    Mim
     
  10. Asian Afro

    Asian Afro Senior member

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    I'll ask, but you might get a quicker response asking Odd I/O. I think he arranged to meet with Jon Gray, so he would know better than I.

    As for the Ottawa, people can just drop by E.R. Fisher that day around 5 p.m. I'm the only one who's ordering a pair for sure, I think, but can't hurt to have a dozen people showing up.
     
  11. Odd I/O

    Odd I/O Senior member

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    He hasn't given me any more information than I had posted above unfortunately. I'm still waiting to hear back from him to confirm the date and location.
     
  12. Odd I/O

    Odd I/O Senior member

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    Okay, I got a reply from Jon that he'll be in Toronto this Wednesday (July 20). He'll be bringing with him samples of leather he uses as well as shoes he's made to give you an idea of his style/craftsmanship. You can e-mail him at [email protected] to make an appointment. He said that he should now be responding to e-mails much more quickly.

    He mentioned another day could be a possibility if this day didn't work for me but I did not pursue this as Wednesday is fine with me.
     
  13. Mimosa

    Mimosa Well-Known Member

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    Hi Odd I/O

    Any chance you could take some pictures and post your experience on Wed?

    Best,

    Mim
     
  14. Asian Afro

    Asian Afro Senior member

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    Can I expect you to show up on Tuesday, July 26th at five, Geoff? You and I might be the only ones to meet Jon. :)

    I believe Odd I/O met up with Jon on Wednesday and things worked out well.

    I don't plan on taking pictures next week, but I do plan to post pictures of the shoes as things progress.
     
  15. Asian Afro

    Asian Afro Senior member

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    Well, I wound up being the only customer to meet Jon. :( Was hoping for a better turnout.

    However, it did mean that the store's owners and I became the tiny audience of Jon's presentation. The show-and-tell and my own consultation took about two hours total. It was interesting and enjoyable.

    I wound up picking a dark brown, chrome-tanned smooth French calf leather for my austerity brogue. The linings will be English kip. The pattern itself will be the same as the austerity brogue shown on Jon's web site, but the toe will be rounder--what Jon called an "almond toe."

    I believe Jon gets some of his upper leathers through this supplier. The swatches have their label.

    Jon did confirm my suspicions about my feet being flatter than average, and that my left foot turned out to be half a size smaller than my right. He also noticed my funny gait, which I now suspect has to do with trying to keep my left foot from slipping out of a shoe over the years. Will try to correct.

    He also agreed to document the process of making my shoes. When I receive the pictures, I will post them here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

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