Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 2 December 2016

Shoe Making School Success

Welcome back fellow shoe fans and shoe folk. There's been a flurry of activity amongst our evening and one-to-one students with a raft of them finishing their shoes all at once.

Jon finished last week, Charlie the week before and this week it was Maurizio and Derrek's turn. Vincent is not far behind.

Charlie thread making in the sunshine

Perfecting her one-legged, 'flamingo pose' for twisting the threads

The finished shoes

Admiring her handy work.

Charlie is a sculptor and so she was fascinated about the materials we work with and their various properties as much as the construction. She left inspired to bring leather and particularly oak bark tanned leather into her work. We can't wait to see how her ideas evolve.

Maurizio's beautifully fitting Derby's
Maurizio is a very skilled leather worker and bag and shoe repairer. His foray into handsewn shoemaking included much that he already knew and much that he didn't. He is still a lover of machinery, which is fine, but we hope he's developed a place in his heart for the handsewn craft too.

...made in just two terms
Denim blue laces and conker brown shoes - a lovely colour combination

Fanni is on her third pair of shoes and her confidence and skills are growing considerably with each pair. Building stacked leather heels is a challenging task, but as her current pair prove she  has taken it like a duck to water!

Fanni working on her turquoise low boots. (Foot size and boot envy going on)...
a great colour and fantastic heel building!

Luke stitching away on his second shoe
Vincent concentrating hard painting his heels soles -
the forepart will be covered with a rubber sticker sole

Vincent settled at the workbench working on his square, sharp sole and heels edges.
Not a cuban heel in sight...great finishing!

Derrek setting his edges - seriously shiny!

Derrek's finished shoes with red laces

Socked and fitting fine. 

And so with those great results, congratulations to everyone who has trained with us this year and we look forward to seeing many more of you next year - old friends and new alike! Places are already booking up for all of our courses next year, so if you would like to join us please send us your forms as soon as possible. 

And don't forget, we are offering the full set in New York in May - clicking, closing, pattern making and shoemaking - so don't miss out.

Until next week, happy shoemaking!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Carreducker opens at the Design Museum London

Welcome back shoe folk...and what an exciting week it has been. We finally made it to the Design Museum on Tuesday night and partied with the design great and glamorous....

...Madame Shoe wearing Ute Decker jewellery for a 'wow' factor 

The roof - a hyperbolic paraboloid 

Extra large signage in case we forgot...

Lots and lots of party people...


Sir Terence Conran and  Museum Director, Deyan Sudjic OBE

Jarvis Cocker manning the decks...


Cocktails anyone?

We eyed the crowd for exciting footwear, but truth be told and immediate company excepting, there was a dearth of great men's shoes or boots. The ladies however, were rocking some significant are a few favourites.


Crystal heels, sparkly buckles and a pointy toe...

Clergerie clogs...

Silver stilettos...

Coloured platforms

Sporting vintage Robert Clergerie

Testing out some William Lennon boots ahead of our next Kickstarter

And here it is....our display in the museum! 3000 people visited yesterday alone, so handsewn shoe making is getting seen!

That's me, watching me sketching a design on the big screen!

Boots, lasts, patterns, tools, materials...the boot making story
and Camilla Corr's wonderful film capturing the process

Wow! Now we're enjoying a very festive Open Studios then back to normal and the workbench. Until next week, happy shoemaking! 

Friday, 18 November 2016

Carreducker and the English Handsewn Shoemaking Craft at the new DESIGN MUSEUM

And so, with great fanfare and after much anticipation, the new Design Museum opens in London. Well, nearly...
There are a few tweaks left to do before the grand opening on the 24th

But yesterday saw the Press Day where the world's press was invited to view the museum and interview its leading players - Sir Terence Conran (founder), Deyan Sudjic (director), and John Pawson (architect)

Photograph by Gravity Road

Built between 1959 and 1961 this is a unique building formed by a hyberbolic parabola upon which the rest of the building, the roof, walls etc is hung. It is spectacular, especially on the inside

Costing £83m, the building structure was renovated by OMA architects and once stabilised, architect John Pawson redesigned the interior.

The interior is beautiful, full of natural oak and Italian terrazzo with a huge cathedral like atrium as you enter where you can see the whole of the structure, including the parabolic concrete roof which soars above

Beautiful floating bence

Pres conference with the bigwigs 

Sir Terence Conran
The third floor is dedicated to a permanent exhibition called Designer Maker User which is the bit we are part of. Principally formed of the Museum's permanent collection, a select group of other companies have been invited to illustrate certain aspects of the Maker section.


A huge video wall with clips from all aspects of the exhibition included some from our films so we waited for the whole thing to loop through to get the best ones


There is a crowd sourced wall with iconic products voted by the public.

Natural cork tiles echo the triangles in the roof
The Maker section explores the evolution of manufacturing from shoes (us! First as you go in if you go) to the Model T Ford; from bentwood Thonet chairs to robotic arms and 3D printers. This section needs some last minute tweaks so we will show it's full glory in next week's post

Discussing the last minute tweaks before the opening on the 24th November 2017

The User section examines our relationship with the designed world.

Awesome Olivetti graphic design from the 70s and 80s

Any ideas what this is? Pinned up by chair frames...

This is scary - average sea temperatures whci have stayed constant for millenia. Until now

Beautiful family tree of small electronics

Of course we rocked up in fine footwear.

There are also 2 floors of temporary exhibitions which will change through the year, so with over 10,000 square metres of exhibition space and an expected 650,000 annual visitors , the Design Museum is the foremost centre dedicated to design in the world. 
So for a bespoke shoemakers like Carreducker to be included is a big deal, both for us and for the craft in general. For all of us who learn and train and make and work to keep this amazing trade alive. It's payback for the whole industry - congratulations to all of us. We feel extremely proud and excited to be a part of it

Wish us luck for Tuesday and, until next week, happy shoemaking!