Ok, I’m a week behind in posting this, but I typed it up last week when we had no internet access, so I’m just going to cut+paste it in. No new news for this week, I’ve been working on some uber high-end 3D animations for the Venice Architecture Biennale at my day job – which means working weekends.  For the nerds out there, we’re doing 10 minutes + of Full HD (1920) Stereoscopic (double frames) photoreal 3d animation. It is taking a bazillion hours to do, and 3 bazillion hours to render. FYI I’ve been a 3D dude at Floodslicer for 4 years now, eek!

Tuesday started off pretty crapola (special thanks to Dani for being patient with me sooking up all morning when nothing was going right) but somehow the cloud over my head cleared in the afternoon and I managed to start and finish a new shoe that is probably my favourite one to date. Strange how these things come about.

my new, one of a kind, left foot only, finally-i’m-making-heels, Chloe inspired shoe…

I bought a few second hand heels from the Salvos on the weekend (yep, they probably assumed I’m a drag queen) and pulled them apart in the quest for knowledge.
I’ve found it’s MUCH easier to see what’s inside a shoe that way than to read books telling me what SHOULD be in there.
Armed with a new set of measurements and the motivation to get started on some heels rather than another desert boot, I constructed a sole assembly as per the one I pulled apart :

forming veg tanned insole leather to the last…

adding a second layer of insole, with a shank imbedded / cutout…

final inner sole assembly with heel height…

The only problem with ‘research’ shoe making is that I often get stuck wondering what pattern, style and colour to use… do I go cheap and ugly (like my poo brown ankle boot) or make something that might look nicer in the end and deal with the extra time and cost it takes?
The answer this time was to make it nice… ugly shoes aren’t motivational (or good for blog posts).

so, on with a nice coloured wrap + some felt / wool stuff for padding.

Rather than spend the day trying to design something awesome, I got to work on loosely copying a gnarly pair of Chloe wedges I have on my wall, using whatever I had that was similar enough in colour, and changing the wedge to a heel because I need practice using screws and nails to attach wearable heels….


…these rule. (images from www.net-a-porter.com) … and make mine look less cool now yes?

I chose some soft buttery suede, and my usual lining…

i’m a total sucker for nice straight stitching photos…

little notched out areas = flush fitting uppers and and a more slimline shoe.

…it’s alive!

research says one wood-screw + 4 nails will do… but I might add more screws for production models

some vinyl offcuts for padding (I will use neoprene or leather in real ones)

and its all systems go! some careful cutting and scavenged buckles = straps.

So from 10am > 9pm this is the result… not bad for 8 or so hours work considering that included pattern making, about 10 new techniques and making mini belts / buckles / straps.

I only have one though… which is a bit bogus. I might make the other one, or maybe I’ll make a whole new pair in Dani’s size (this one’s an eight) so she can give them a test wear.

Now all I need to do is design my own shoes instead of copying the classics and I’ll be much much closer to launching a range – and designing is what I went to all those years of university for, so that part comes easily.
This one gives you a pretty good idea of what style I’m looking to make, nicely matched neutrals with some sly bursts of colour here and there.

* Considering I’m not making these for me, that description actually sounds like my own wardrobe, 90% black with a few colourful hats and sneakers, so maybe the 90/10 neutral/colour split is the little bit of ‘me’ that can go in to the range?

Anyhoot, enjoy the pics, leave me some comments if you want to know anything about the heel-making process, if want to chew me out for making knock-off imitation Chloe shoes – or if you want to order a fake Louis Vuitton handbag…

Listening to : Fu Manchu – The Action is Go