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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..."

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. FlyingHorker

    FlyingHorker Senior Member

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    Often enough to be a recurring issue.

    The answer on that depends on how big of an issue gemming failure is. I don't fully understand it, nor do I understand the implications, all I know is it's the weak point in GYW.
     


  2. FlyingHorker

    FlyingHorker Senior Member

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    Can you explain to me how the weak point is a weak point in the first place? I don't really get it. I've read that it can structurally destroy the shoe from the inside.

    Also, how is it corrected?
     


  3. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The "weak point" is that almost every component and virtually every technique that goes into GYW is inferior...simply on the face of it--strength, durability, longevity, suitability to purpose, etc....than the same respective techniques used in HW.

    The thread is inferior (in all those just mentioned aspects); the wax is inferior; the stitch itself is inferior; the insole is inferior; the connection between the components is inferior.

    No offense but this has been covered extensively on SF. There's even a thread entirely devoted to examining why.

    I don't want to go through the litany again--it fills up a page and, more importantly, if past is prelude, only those who are already convinced or who have real hands on experience with shoemaking can avoid the panic and be objective enough to comment. Unfortunately, most of the time, the ones who do comment are generally those with the least experience.

    That said, if you ask specific questions about specific aspects of GYW vs HW, I'll be glad to elaborate.
     


  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    As for "correcting" it--it can not be corrected outside of the factory, with the same last and the the same materials.

    It can be cobbled (love that word and all it implies) together--a kludge can be applied. But it will never be the same as it was originally.

    In my professional...decades of hands-on experience...opinion.
     


  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Says the "expert" who has never actually "corrected" one of these himself (or even tried)...never done any of this work himself.

    There's just no impulse to excellence here, is there? No acknowledgement of "good, better, best" much less a striving for perfection.

    That's what "cobbler" has come to mean--"good enough for government work." And no better than it needs to be. "Cobbled" together.
     


  6. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Distinguished Member

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    Nick.

    No offense meant, but I'd thought there was an implicit agreement of sorts, between you and DW, that you'd stick to the shoe REPAIR thread, that you started (which I am sure is a great, and useful, thread), and DW would stick to the shoeMAKING thread, that he started.

    As far as I can see, he's been as good as his word.

    While of course, we are all free to post wherever and whatever we want, I don't see how you have anything to contribute to this thread, any more than DW has anything to contribute to that thread.

    And based on your latest, rather inflammatory comment towards DW, I really think another drawn out argument between you guys would just be counterproductive towards any productive discussion on the thread.

    So, let's keep things civil and positive.

    And again, respectfully, no offense meant, to either of you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018


  7. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    @ThunderMarch

    What is on display here is a difference of perspective--that of an...only remotely involved...businessman and "boss" going head to head with a lifelong, dedicated craftsman and actual shoemaker.

    The contrast in standards, and definitions, and expectations, couldn't be more stark.

    It is mediocrity demanding a seat at the same table as the extraordinary--out of a sense of entitlement and resentment. And I'm not speaking about me or Nick or anyone in particular--I'm speaking about attitudes.

    But it is a false and arrogantly assumed entitlement. Because the extraordinary is always a result of uncommon effort--of questions and questing; of striving and engagement; of building and learning; of trying and failing.

    The mediocre is always a result of indifference and insouciance and self-satisfaction. And dependencies and convenient assumptions. All, all too common.

    As far as others contributing to this thread...I don't care one way or the other...whether an agreement is being honoured or not (although I appreciate your perspective on it). My old Da used to say "give a fool (I'm quoting now) enough rope and he'll hang himself."

    So it is...people who are so arrogant that they do not hesitate to criticize or dismiss the very real, objective experience and hard earned knowledge of others...without having any themselves...only draw attention to their own ignorance and their own lack of authenticity. And I'm happy to help...
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018


  8. FlyingHorker

    FlyingHorker Senior Member

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    None taken. Don't have any specific questions about HW vs. GYW.

    I'd like to see that thread though.
     


  9. EnglishShoes

    EnglishShoes Senior Member

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    @DWFII I'm not sure if this is the right thread, but I would really like to see some more examples of the shoes and boots you have made. I would be interested to see any unusual examples showing where you have experimented with exotic skins or different designs which showboat particular skills. You showed a nice seemless heel (I presume was yours) and you mentioned a completely seemless wholecut. Do you have any photos of that, even if the shoe isn't finished? I didn't know that such a beast was possible and I would like to see it.

    Thanks in advance
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 4:10 AM


  10. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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    I second the request of English Shoes.
    Maybe DWF might add to the pics some explicative notes to point out the technical aspects of the work involved.
    ... I begin to think we are really exploiting this man.
     


  11. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Check my Instagram feed (link in my sig) The seamless whole cut is there fairly near the top. Or just search here for posts by me. The jodhpurs above with the one piece, seamless quarters are mine.
     


  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    No worries. Helping people understand shoes and the Traditions and techniques of traditional shoemaking is a lifelong crusade/quest for me.

    BTW...and apropos of the post above (#1944), I can see how some would mis-read (or skim read, or fail to read, or read for openings to argue) and misinterpret what I posted. But consider the beginnings of this strand of discussion--it began with a question and a somewhat truncated consideration of the merits of GYW vs. HW.

    It is in that context that the contrasts between mediocrity and extraordinary are most evident (although just for the sake of the poetry, it is sometimes intriguing to personify such attributes).

    But I've spent my whole life striving to make shoes according to the highest standards and to the greatest degree of "perfection" that I can achieve. In the search for excellence, and quality, and the "extraordinary," there is no "good enough"...zero. "Correct" means correct...and often, unfortunately for some, according to standards outside of ourselves. I don't invent definitions for words or suggest that techniques that are clearly destructive of the original make-up or the intent of the original maker are 'correct"...or even "OK," for that matter.

    Those who do, miss the point and forfeit the perspective to fully appreciate the Trade or the relative value of what is, and has been, accomplished. It is a dumbing down to the lowest common denominator to equate GYW with HW. And foolish, if nothing else, to try to democratize mediocrity to make ourselves feel good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 6:08 AM


  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    PS...just to clarify: I did indeed suggest such an agreement to Nick, and in all fairness he did not explicitly agree.

    I suggested that agreement to curtail (at the source--before it begins, IOW) the nasty and pointless conflicts that inevitably arise when someone who is objectively (and perhaps even woefully) inexperienced feels compelled to argue and contradict someone who is experienced.

    I don't post in the shoe repair thread because I know as sure as the sun rises that it will cause resentment and defensiveness and belligerent argument. And I'm not really interested in debating the standards (such as they...perforce...are) which prevail in that context.

    I can only speak for myself in this regard. Why others feel compelled...or entitled...to do otherwise, is not for me to say. Although it is aggravating.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018 at 7:44 AM


  14. geeboo

    geeboo Well-Known Member

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    DWFII - can i ask which shoe shape or profile that please you [I mean for yourself] most ? possibly assisted with a photo - for this page I think dress shoes is more appropriate , but at your discretion.
     


  15. Luigi_M

    Luigi_M Senior Member

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    DWF, if that's what makes you sick, for the sake of your life stay away from Italian Public Administration!
    With great respect, Luigi.
     


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