Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dieworkwear, May 26, 2015.
If anyone can do it, Nicholas...
Finally put my IT beret on and updated my USA travel plans for spring. Link in the sig, shouldn't be hard to find from there.
Nope, it wasn't too hard to find.
You have email.
Die, Workwear! met up with Nicholas Templeman on his recent visit state-side and commissioned a pair of shoes from him.
The blog jjust published a very interesting piece about the making of the bespoke last and the difference between a (truly) bespoke last and a fitted-up commercial last.
I presume, a trial pair will be ready for Nicholas' next visit to the USA in April.
I for one am looking forward to further detailed articles, showing the necessary processes until completion and final delivery of the commission.
With all due respect to Nicholas ad Die, Workwear, there is very little in the blog piece that actually details the differences between the way a bespoke last and a fitted up commercial last is made. A careful reading doesn't reveal anything that isn't immediately obvious to anyone who is truly knowledgeable about lasts and fitting.
What's more, there's is nothing that Nicholas is doing in creating a hand carved last, that cannot be done to a commercial last ...and usually is.
Even Nicholas admits that he often goes back to a bespoke last that he has rethought and adds a build up or takes more off. Nothing new here, nothing that isn't done...often....on a fitted-up commercial last.
To borrow one of your own strategies....if the fitter is good he will end up with a good fitting shoe no matter whether he carves from a block of hornbeam or fits up a standard size plastic last. If the the person doing the fitting is no good, carving isn't going to make a difference...except it may make a good fit even more problematic.
edited for punctuation and clarity
I'm not sure what you're trying to dispel or correct, because I don't think there were any claims made about certain practices being "better" than others - it's just a description of how I work, nothing more.
To continue your analogy, you're right in that it doesn't matter too much which process you use to get to the end result, much like a good tailor can made a good coat by adjusting a standard block pattern rather than going to the bother of creating a new one. In my experience though, people fitting up lasts rarely touch the wood/plastic itself to avoid damaging one of their "stock" and you end up with areas that aren't properly fitting - the sole is probably the most overlooked when I consider it to be the most important, personally.
I'm not saying you don't, of course, just generalising. There's pros and cons to every approach, this one is just mine and it works for me. Usually. It's also worth noting that when I go back to a last and adjust it, it's rarely for purposes of fit - 9/10 times its aesthetic; fine tuning a toe shape etc.
I very much doubt that Derek wrote the piece with people who are truly knowledgeable about lasts and fitting in mind. That would have been rather like taking coals to Newcastle.
Understood. But I was not quoting, nor commenting directly on, Die, WorkWear's piece. But rather the interpretation of it.
Again...I was not addressing the issue of how you work. I respect anyone who can take a block of wood and carve lasts that, though being left and right, have the exact same radii in the forepart and heel seat and the same degree in the heel, same same exact toe spring, etc..
And again that's why I quoted the issue and the individual I felt needed to be addressed.
As far as not touching the wood/plastic to avoid damaging stock...yes, that's common and maybe even one of the chief reasons people choose that approach. However, if you start with a last that is smaller (or spot on) than what you ultimately want to achieve, there's no more harm...and no less rationale...in doing that than starting with a rough cut that is several sizes too big.
That said, I have never been reluctant to cut a last if needed. But IMO, all build ups (or removals) are, on some level and at some point in the process, ultimately aesthetic.
Those look great!
Agreed! Very nice.
Forgot to plop these in here too, didn't I.
Separate names with a comma.