Boot up


Another week of not much crafty stuff to show… I know, what’s the point of a craft blog with no craft?

Dani is nearing the firing stage of her bowls order (which is a mammoth achievement in itself, making 100 of something she normally makes one or two of is pretty bananas) so we’ll be dropping them off at Northcote Pottery this week to use their mega kilns instead of 12 separate firings in Dani’s little battler.

a still image from the video footage I’ve been shooting of the entire process…

I managed to get out to the shed yesterday for the first time in a fortnight and finished off a the test fit boot mentioned in a previous post. It’s always SUPER satisfying to hold a real shoe in your hand that looks about 90% the same as the drawing you started from, so although the completed shoes are a bit scarce these days it’s nice to know I’ve still got the knack.

There were some lessons learned from this one, on a technical level it was my first attempt at a zip, and the first skived edges in a long time (I was still a bit lazy on my skiving it seems as there is still some bulging around the seams where it should be dead flat)

and on a design level I am getting to appreciate how ‘unusual’ design features sometimes translate to less-than-ideal results. Namely the abrupt right angled detail in the topline of these = two flaps that dont know where to go… lesson learned, either reinforce them or attach them to something if I don’t want little “shirt collars” hanging in the breeze.

please ignore the heel, its raw laser cut MDF, no time for making a stacked leather one just for a fitting.

Thanks for stopping by… seems our visitor count is still climbing so that is always encouraging to keep typing and conversing with my ol’ pal WordPress dashboard and knowing it’s not just us two that are seeing this.

On that note, the countdown to the proper, real, official, actual launch of Dead + Buried (the workshop/retail store/online emporium) is now being measured in months, so we’re getting a little crazy here with lists, plans and dinner conversations but it IS VERY GOD DAMN EXCITING!

As Dani would point out though, I do, um, need, like, shoes to sell, not just ideas.
So here comes a few months of hard work and some hardcore shoemaking! Buckle up folks.

Listening to : Mastodon – Leviathan

Time Flies!

Goddammit… 10 days since I was on here last?
That’s crazy… and worse still I don’t have anything new to show off this week. boooo.

The last week has been filled with Birthdays (the karaoke hour with the Craft Vic Krew was awesome), an anniversary (our 5th), a weekend away, a visit from our #1 pal Tom who has jetted in to town on business from London because he is a big-shot, home made pizzas,  work, work, work and almost 5 solid hours of me clicking through every Australian “street style” blog I can find to get my head properly around what it is that you ladies wear day to day. Seems looking at runway photos is not really the same as looking at jeans, jackets and scarves that the people of Australia actually wear.
That said, my god there are some cool dressers out there!
I have been printing out photos and absorbing the ‘look’ of now.

narrowing down what Miss Sydney, Miss Melbourne and Miss Wellington look like on weekday
… for those rare days where you need something OTHER than towering yellow 5″ heels

On a cool side note, I’m going to meet a textiles student this week to talk about helping her out with her end-of-year project… she wants shoes made, I need help with sourcing amazing coloured Tweed… hellooooo coincidence. Sometimes things just line up like that.

colour schemes that are running through my head at the moment for fabric weaving.

Anyhoot, I have work to do, drawings to draw and scotch to drink.

Oh, we also checked out the DI$COUNT exhibition and it was good stuff, those girls are on the rise for sure, I’m sure we’ll give each other knowing nods one day as we pass each other in the streets of Paris during fashion week. Or at Cherry on a weeknight, one or the other.

Listening to : Wu Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck people (the coolest song ever written about sunscreen)


Oh yeah, I may as well use this time to publicly wish my wonderful wifey of (almost) 5 years a Happy Birthday!

She is working at Pieces of Eight today, but plans are afoot for a night of cocktails and karaoke with the Craft Victoria heart-breakers.
There will be no blogging or crafting tomorrow. Only hangovers.

Back to the Future again.

Quick note to let you all know that my robot is sort of back on track… I’m currently back to where I was a week or more ago, with it merrily ‘printing’ away – although no actual plastic is being extruded.

Seems there is some sort of issue with my extruder part, as it gets MEGA hot, and then everything shuts down. This is bad, but in a way it’s good… a symptom is better as I have something to diagnose… when it “just wont work” is when all hope is lost as I dont even know where to begin explaining to people who know how to fix these things.

AND……….. we have purchased our first retail shop fittings! Wooo! Unfortunately a Melbourne store called Mac Pelican are closing down (due to the need for a well earned rest and some baby raising time) but from it’s ashes will rise Dead and Buried V1.0. We still dont have a shop, logo, plans, money… um, anything really, but now we have racks and glass boxes! Very. Very. Exciting.

Sneaky Preview

Hey kids, no time for a proper post tonight, we’ve had a very tiring weekend (too old to be partying on both Friday AND Saturday nights anymore) so an early night is the only thing to fix that.
But in case it’s a few more days before I get back on the blog-o-tron, here’s some photos from last week’s work to keep you interested and clicking back for more!

First up, Dani has been elbow deep in porcelain, getting to work on the 120+ bowls she is making for the NGV.

… these aren’t the most glamorous photos, but the sun really loves those facets so I thought I’d put them up.

These ones are fresh out of the molds, still soft and easily damaged, so they have their own shelves now.

I’ve been filming her as she makes them, so keep an eye out for another nice floaty musical video when she is done.

Secondly, I also managed to start another pair of prototype shoes last week. I was aiming to have them done by tonight (haha, as if) but so far all I’ve done is the sketch > pattern > test fit process.

initial sketch

taped up last + heel roughed in

patterns on some leather… with skiving allowance for the first time in ages.

…first pullover, with rolled edges. Only making one for a test fit.

With heel and an indication of the rand i’m thinking of attaching. Not sure yet if there’ll be buckles or any other detailing. You can’t see from the photos, but there is a zip on the inside ankle area.

Thats all for now, I’ll be back later in the week with some more detail shots of (hopefully) a completed pair of booooooots. It’s Dani’s birthday next weekend, so we’ll be offline a little whilst we ditch the computers for a few days. We’ll be at the DI$COUNT exhibition on Friday though, so if you see us, say hi!

Ups and Downs

Well, my RepRap is still being a pain in ass, but I think if I leave it for a day or two and come back to it with a fresh perspective I’ll be much better at problem solving than if it’s 11pm and I’m shitted off at it. The guys from the RepRap forums have been helpful so it’s good to know that everyone else has just as much trouble getting these things up and running.

If you are considering getting one, my advice, honestly, go check out the site. They cost twice as much, but they work out of the box -  my pal Chris is now a distrubutor of them and i’m sure he will help you at as much as he can. If I wasn’t $900 into this one I’d be saving my pennies and going the ‘almost ready made’ route.

So that’s the downs covered, what about the ups you say?

My skiver works! That’s an ‘up’ … and the sun is out, so it’s been a good day.

Today I plugged in the new beast, put on safety goggles, turned it on and stood back. It whirred to life – despite having what look like 50 year old LEATHER straps as belts – and seems to run like a dream.

The only time-waster was that someone in the recent past has decided to have a ‘let’s just dial all these adjusters to the other end of their useful position’ party on it, so it didnt work at all at first, but after watching some YouTube vids and getting my head around the geometries of it all, I adjusted everything to the right-ish spots, sharpened the bell knife and she cuts like a razor now.

There are a few fine adjustments to be made, but for now I know it skives, so rolled edges and thinned here I come!

There’s something particularly awesome about vintage equipment, look at these knobs and dials, priceless.

Anyhoot, off to make dinner now, Dani has started firing the first of her bowls for the NGV shop collection so she is off manning the kiln. I think i’ll lash out and have a pie.

Listening to : Steel Panther today, hair metal = instant motivation.

Robots WERE Us

Robot Construction Journal, Entry 47 :

Things were working, then they weren’t, then they were, then they weren’t, then the smell of burning electronic circuits, then things weren’t working.
I turned things off and went to look at Facebook. That is all for tonight.

Seems something has gone a little wrong in Derek land. He sort of works, but there is a burning smell around and I think it means bad news.

Will keep you updated when/if someone from the Mendel Users Group comes to my aid.

Robots R Us

ta-daaaaa…. Derek the 3D printer is now a functioning robotic device!
Granted it still doesn’t actually print anything as I’m yet to completely nut out the plastic extruding part, but as of Thursday night I can send a 3D file from my computer to Derek and he comes to life, whirring and buzzing and moving around (bless his heart) thinking that he is dutifully printing me out something useful.

This afternoon will entail some more ‘hot end’ construction – rowwrr – and hopefully by Sunday night I’ll have some plastic melted all over my desk that I can claim is a ‘rapidly prototyped object’.

Here’s a video. woooo.

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Listening to : Lento – Icon
“The second album of the Italian monsters of slowness”

Words of Wisdom

I just checked out model Tiah Eckhardt’s blog (because i’m obsessed with redheads at the moment and will need to do a photoshoot in the near future) and whattayaknow, the first post just HAD to be reposted on here.

Follow this list and you’ll be a-ok.

Well, maybe just the last line… “hang out with Steve”.
Never a truer word has been written.

Listening to : psychrock… ?

Good Fortuna

Hey people, 9 days and no posts? tsk tsk.

Apologies again for the lack of exciting news, but after the last big deadline I retreated in to the house to get some admin and freelance nerd work done – to replenish the always empty bank account!

The only real shoe news for this week is that I managed to bid on and win an old Fortuna Skiver at a Lockwood auction in Ballarat last week. The Parker Leather workshop there was closing / moving to Thomastown so they had a variety of sewing machines and general workshop fitting for sale. So after a few practice bids on some lower priced items to get my poker face on I managed to lock down the skiver, pay in cash and have it (awkwardly and single handedly) loaded in to the Camry within an hour.

(Janine, if you’re reading this I ended up paying exactly the same as you did when gst etc was included.)

Here it is. Hopefully nothing on there that can’t be restored with some WD40 and black paint.
Laminex is a bit stuffed though, so I might need to get something sexier there.

I then had to reconfigure the shed AGAIN to fit in another big bit of machinery, but i’m sure I’ll be much better off for it… and those of you with keen eyes out there can rest easy that my edges will now be rolled and smoothed instead of ‘intentionally’ ragged and lumpy.

So, no news other than that.
I have lots on my plate as usual so as soon as the leather starts to fly out there I’ll be snapping photos and keeping you informed.

Listening to : Wu Tang albums and Shellac’s “1000 Hurts” a lot lately for some reason.

ps. It seems I need to make more gifs to keep up with the visual insanity that goes on over at DI$COUNT.
ahhh! my eyes! Those girls are bananas.