Special Delivery! (or, How to make a robot in 2,347 easy steps)

Hey kids, my Rapid-Prototyping-robot-printer-of-plastic-parts arrived today!!!!

So far I have :

1. Received the package.

2. Rearranged our spare room to fit in a new desk.

3. Opened and (in true OCD style) photographed the contents of the package.

4. Stared at the overwhelming amount of wood, electronics and indescribable parts that were in the package.

5. Had a break.

6. Looked online, then back at the parts, then looked online, then back at the parts.

7. Got a headache. Had a drink of water.

8. Uploaded Photos to my computer.

9. Started a blog post about it…

… which leads me to here. I am currently making confused/ squinty eyed faces at the desk full of parts, as if that will somehow make it allllll make sense.  No luck so far.

So, bear with me over the next few weeks as I attempt to apply my limited knowledge of engineering, electronics, hardware and software assembly to a thing that I have never seen complete with my own eyes. It should be fun!

Below are some pics of what I unwrapped today, so you too can get an idea of how daunting this is.


Listening to : nothing today, sometimes silence is golden.

Monthly Musings

Hey kids, seeing as my RepRapper hasn’t arrived yet (long story, but it IS coming… at least I hope it is) I don’t have too much to show off at the moment… but I do have some news, I have given notice at my computer nerd job and in two more weeks I’ll be starting a new casual/freelance job the whole shoe making machine will rattle in to gear again! Fuck yeah.

I guess the best I can offer is some social news, some photos of things and some images from my ever-increasing folder of inspiration shoe images, so grab a cold drink and sit down for a read.

First up, we hosted a second-time-around grand final bbq (for those of you not from Australia, our equivalent of the Superbowl was a draw, so they… wait for it… played it again the following week??? who understands these sport people?) and it was a glorious sunny day. We got to fire up the bbq and officially welcome the onset of sunny weather!


suburban backyard BBQ crew…

Prize winner #1 Lauren was at the party, so I managed to measure her (very well manicured) feet and suss out a little on what sort of shoes she’d like.
Lucky for her I have a high-heeled last in her size, so the current plan is to make a nice pair of Mary Janes, something like this:

.. I’ll work out the colour/details/finish etc once I’m back at the bench, but at the moment I’m liking the metallic heel + dark upper.

We also managed to plant our vegie garden, so here are some shots of it… this is the biggest amount of land we’ve had to utilise so far, but decided against planting 10 of everything as we usually find we end up with lots of undernourished vegies, this time we’re gunning for quality over quantity.

In true Yarraville (aka stuff white people like ) style, we have planted ‘heirloom’ tomatoes and a whole lot of basil for summer salads in alllll the colours of the rainbow (well, red and green and yellow). Dani has a bunch of cucumber plants in there now too with plans to make pickles New York / Katz Deli style. Yum.

For those of you who are interested and non-vegetarians, here’s how our home made salami turned out.

They’re too small, my fault for buying the wrong sausage skins, but they taste AWESOME, sweet, a little bit salty, a little bit spicy…. mmmmmm
You will also notice our attempt at Pancetta on the board. It kind of worked, but the recipe I was following suggested a week in salt… the Italian family members suggest a DAY, so of course it is so salty it makes your face hurt when you eat it. We’ll be saving that one for cooking…..

We bid farewell to Paulius last week, and he should by now be a week or so in to his big trip.
I am planning on getting in touch with him today to offer to update his blog for him as I think Internet Cafe’s are going to be a bit thin on the ground as he crossed the NULLABOR… my goodness.

In music news, I went to see the Boredoms play their Boredrum 10 at the Forum last week……. 10 drummers on stage letting rip = a spectacle, astounding, loud…and then very tiring. I stuck it out, but my poor ears were yearning for some riffs! We also went to see Dead Meadow last night and unfortunately had to leave after 3 songs. The mixer was possibly listening to something else, as what I was hearing SUCKED BALLS and was so dissapointing we left. They may have fixed it later on, but my mojo was ruined.


The Boredoms + an army of drummers = a glorious headache.

So, thats the social update, now on to some shoooooes.

These aren’t in any particular order, just a dump of what I think kicks ass at the moment, which should give you a decent idea of the direction I’m hoping to take my first range / first designs :


some Versace madness from earlier this year…


Balenciaga, I dig these, but I’m thinking the tech-y stacked up platform look will date pretty quickly…


I reeeeeally love strong coloured suede, so expect some in my range for sure.


I’m a fan of the small-amount-of-colour idea too… especially with neutrals and perforations.
These ones are from “Ports 1916″


These are siiiiick. I forget who they’re made by… sorry!

… I think these are by, like, Ruthie Davis or someone?


Chanel, and Cerruti… I’m a fan of the warm yellow-y red cowgirl / Deadwood colour palette(s).


This picture makes me want to throw in some matching socks with each pair of my shoes….

LEFT : I’m still hoping to design something ‘fierce’ like these for my sister in the next month or so.

RIGHT : How awesome is that rubbed back yellow toe?? The rest of them I could take or leave, but that detail is GOLD.


Big fat Alexander Wang boots. I’m not a big boot fan, but the suede + raw leather here is niiiice.

… and next up is my pick for Steve’s-favourite-shoes-of-the-year-so-far… Dior Fall 2010!

I just looked online and they come in white / beige too? Faaark, they are killer.

…and to finish, Mr Galliano himself.
That man knows no boundaries when it comes to pirate-y fancy-man runway posing, but dammit he designs some nice stuff.

I have a lot of respect for someone who can rock that man/lady look with such conviction!

So that’s it.. it’s late… I need sleep. Adios.

Listening to : Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

An excuse to day trip

Sunday Steve and I went to get some country air in our fav town- Daylesford.  Fellow ceramicist Bridget Bodenham was having an open studio, and since I have not met her before, thought this would be a good time to introduce myself…and pick hers brains about living and working in the Hepburn area.

So, she was lovely!  And lives in a bunch of cleverly arranged shipping containers!  It was truly awesome.  She welcomed us into her studio container where the pot belly fire was cracking (it was cold in Melbourne, but you need to prepare for a few degrees less-when will i ever learn), and we were indeed inspired.

Bridget is clearly happy making her home wares and jewellery as the walls were lined with delicious looking goodies.  We exchanged a few tips (she even lent me a book!) and I left feeling inspired and a little more confident in our idea of moving there.  I was also relieved to find out that two ceramicists that make jewellery can get along.  Sharing is hard for me- and that comes down to my insecurities…is there enough room/ideas to explore?  Although our work may cross over in areas, we both have our schtick.  Bridget does amazing things with form and texture and experiments with many clay bodies.  I’m a little more focused on the form and colour and exclusively (not sure why) use Southern Ice porcelain.

Anyway, Bridget is opening her studio again this weekend 23rd and 24th of October and stuff is for sale!

90 Ajax Rd Hepburn Springs 0434 030 931

RepRappin’

Aloha!
Finally, some real news, but still no pictures from the ol’ workbench. Those will have to wait until the weekend.

First up, the Fundraiser party was nuts, the bar was packed all night long and we managed to raise over $700 that evening in raffle tickets alone! Dani deserves a special thankyou for being a trooper and hassling pretty much everyone there for their spare change.
The raffle was drawn on the night and the ever lovely Lauren Murphy was the winner of a yet-to-be-made pair of shoes from me, and Dani’s jewels went to Martha… thanks to you both for chipping in!

< <   FREE SHOES! FREE SHOES!! WOO.

I will do a thorough job documenting Lauren’s shoes, so keep an eye out for that in the next month.

On a nerdier note I have just purchased my RepRap rapid prototyping ‘robot’ – or 3D printer for those who like less wordy descriptions – and it is currently being packed and shipping in a million little pieces to me from the USA.


This is what I (hope) I’ll end up with. Laser Cut wood = the budget starting point, and I will then be able to print a full set of parts in colourful and hardwearing plastic to rebuild him into version 2.0.


…with a quick coat of some white paint I assume it will look something like this?

I will also take lots of photos of the build process for anyone out there who is interested… and hopefully in a month or so I will be able to start printing out parts to make more machines! Self replicating! Genius!

I’ve been trawling around the internet for shoe+3D+prototyping sort of searches and have found a few pics to show (in lieu of some real photos of my own)


… 3D surface modelling + rapid prototype output = full plastic 2 part shoes.
These ones are by Sjors Bergmans.


… these ones are also fully rapid prototyped, showing the range of (ugly?) styles people have come up with so far.

… and finally these rockers by Pauline VanDongen are showing some style + nerdiness, as I hope to achieve.

Note that i’m not planning on making complete shoes, but there isnt much internet chatter about rapid prototyped heels and buckles as yet!

Anyhoot, that’s enough for now, thanks for coming back if you dropped off the reader list after the last month of silence, and if this is your first time reading my rambling, welcome! We like new people.

Listening to :  Om – Meditation is the Practice of Death
Perfect sitting-up-late-at-night-making-robots music…

New jewels, new stockists

Hi dudes and dudettes.  A few exciting things happening in dani m land.

I have a bunch of stock down at your local Fat store- but those cool ladies picked the fattest looking bits and pieces so don’t be disappointed if you can’t find what you’re looking for.   Alice Euphemia still has the biggest range for you.  But don’t forget Craft Victoria for the one-offs and the experimental.

Exciting!  Peeps in North Carlton, listen up.  Dani m now stocking Monk House!  Yippy!  They are lovely lovely ladies down there and have a great selection of Aussie designers.

Hawthorn crew, Maiike Store is a new shop just opened by sisters-in-law Aly and Feride Peel.  Check them out- Maiike has been making cute toys, blankets and scarves from lovely colourful knit fabrics for ages.

New slash not so new stock below….

crystals now on silver chain.

facet balls on chain.

…and facet rings.  best served stacked.

Spring is here!

Well,  for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere it is… to all you northerners, we’re sending winter your way, it’s our turn to soak up that sun, fire up the bbq and complain about the heat.

I would truly love to have something exciting, or crafty, or just interesting to offer to the slowly increasing number of you who check in here but unfortunately I am now in week 3, or maybe 4, of my 6-day-a-week workload at my other “part time” job. We delivered the Venice Biennale project on time, and received some great reviews, but the workload hasn’t let up and I’m still holding down the fort while one of our key workers is overseas.

So, no shoe news… lots of ideas bouncing around in my head… but nothing being made at the moment.

Next week is Paulius’ (and Luke’s) big fundraiser party,  so come on down if you can and hassle me relentlessly to make you some shoes. That might be all it takes for me to get back out there in the shed!

Oh, one bit of potentially interesting news – I have just found out that an old friend of mine has/uses one of the rapid prototyping robots I’ve been banging on about making! Excellent. Someone to talk to, borrow stuff from, and pester… I’d better buy some beer and reignite the friendship before I wear out my welcome!

I’ll ask Dani to put something up here asap, she has been super busy making things, and has new stockists etc. so there has to be a story and some photos in that?

Thanks for stopping by and pleeeease rest assured that this is a temporary interruption.
If all goes to plan next year there will be PLENTY of time to type blog entries (wink wink).

Listening to : Akufen – Deck the Halls

** go on. listen to it.. and trust me.. zipping across the dial on your radio will never sound the same. **

Putting the FUN in Fundraising…

Hey hey!
Dani and I have decided to pitch in and help a good friend of ours raise some money for the Bicycles for Humanity project by donating some goods to his fundraising raffle / party night!

He (has possibly lost his mind and) is currently in training to ride a SINGLE SPEED BIKE from PERTH to MELBOURNE.. with our other pal Luke planning to meet him half way and keep him company for the rest of the trip. For those of you not good with geography, the trek is 4500km and will take SIX WEEKS non stop. Bananas.


man and machine, getting aquainted before the long haul.

You read it here first, you could WIN the first pair EVER of not-just-for-my-family-members-now Steven Phillips shoes by buying a raffle ticket for $2.00! Whammo!
Dani has also coughed up a top of the line gold necklace set for the raffle, and for those you who aren’t jewels or shoe crazy, there is a maaaassssive meat tray on offer. Heaven.

So, here’s the flyer, and the web address is

http://onespeedryder.wordpress.com/

Check it out, donate, and then come to the party for a helluva good time.

The raffle tickets are being printed as you read this, so you want in on the raffle but can’t get to us in person, or they’re not up on the website yet (or you cant track Paulius down) the tickets are being  sold in books of 10,  for $20.
Just email Dani and I here and we’ll get you as many as you want – you can even pay via credit card, just ask nicely.

Go for it! We would love for the prize(s) to go to someone who reads this blog, so get donating and i’ll get my measuring tape warmed up.

Steve + Dani

Listening to : Bicycle Race – Queen

It starts…

Just a heads up, I’ve registered a domain name, so this whole ‘me as a shoemaker’ thing is starting to gain momentum.
This here blog will be the #1 place to go for in-the-making information, and eventually it will act as an online storefront for our wares, but it seemed better to lock down a proper web address for when the calls start flooding in from Vogue and Harpers…


Screen grab and a link, but the link just shows you the screen grabbed website, you know what I mean?

We’ll be back in a few days with some more photos and updates (and a special showcase of  our now cured and EDIBLE salami!)

Back in the saddle.

12 Days?! My oh my, that really goes against all the “yeah, like, I’ll be posting 2 or 3 times a day from now on” talk that I was throwing around when we moved house, but never fear! I have new shoes to show! … and some cute kid photos to calm everyone down and get their “awww” face on.

So, when we last spoke I had finished my first only-one-shoe Chloe sandal rip-off, and although it was lovely, I couldn’t get any walking/wearing feedback when I didn’t have a matching partner.
I got my shoe-tryer-on-er-er sister Jen to come over and give it a whirl, and we found that some of the measurements and fit details were a bit off, most likely due to my making it up by eye, and also a trap that I have now learned not to fall in to – making the shoe / straps / buckles so they work at right angles with the sole, not heading straight up the direction of the leg / ankle.

First up, failed attempt #1:



See what I mean? The ankle straps need to point UP the leg, not across it, so the buckles stay level.

The leather looks all nice and even when it’s standing on it’s own, but with a foot in there it was all in the wrong places. The front bit was too short and was pulling the buckles downwards = ugly.

Step 2 = make another pair, correct the mistakes, reduce the disgruntled mumbling about how I got it wrong the first time. (I expect a lot of myself, and screw ups dont go un-noticed)

Back to the workbench I went and here are the usual progress shots that I hope you all like to see:


Inner soles + Shanks


Cutouts for cork inlays, as per the pair of fancy, comfortable Bally shoes I deconstructed.


cork and tape…


some more veg tan and we’re getting there…


neoprene foam inserts…
about 20mm too far forward, Jen thinks they should be further back where the pressure ends up.


wrapped (badly) … measure TWICE cut once. sigh.


stitched up suede…


Heel attachment. Countersunk screw + 5 long nails + bad hammering technique.


Neoprene foam padding…


Cooper decided to ‘assist’ me for the afternoon… aka soaking up sunlight.
Heels that I got that I couldn’t find matching (2 hole) Supertaps for (why sell one item and not the matching part?) so these ones got an additional hole drilled ever so carefully in the middle.


Logo action. Haven’t decided on an official business name or font yet, but this stamp works well I think with my Phillips surname.


4 x straps and buckles… I’m thinking i’ll make Jen a mathching belt?


Final pair done, about 8 – 10 hours later (spread over 3 days) and ready to be worn.


Soft and suede-y…


Done! The last one I made had an assymetrical toe area, these ones are more squared off. Not sure which is better, one looks better on the shelf, one looks better on the foot… hmmmm…

The following shots are of Jen trying them on and striking some ‘foot model’ poses… and me using a crap camera with no flash in what appears to be a subtle earthquake.

She has promised me she will hit the streets and give them a good wearing so that I can get some pointers on strength, comfort, wear and tear etc.
The sole has been Topy’d so I am expecting that to hold up fine, but probably  a broken buckle or something. Heels should be tough enough, as they’re now no different to the Mollini ones I pulled apart for reference.

My other job has been super hectic for the last week, as we have an unfathomable amount of work to do. Even with me doing a hollywood-esque ‘using two computers at the same time with one hand on each keyboard’ workout, we’re still behind schedule. I smell a weekend of work coming up, and a double amount of coffee consumption.

Now, just to lighten the mood again, and let you all know that in the Even Steven world I live in, everything, um, evens out.
Today Dani and I are doing our first all-day babysitting job for our heart-warmingly beautiful niece Tahlia!
Not much work getting done, but when I get to dance with her to some Paul Simon and then sit down to an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, its all worth it.

Check out her squished up ‘cheeky’ face… classic. (click it to see it full size)

And this one (these are video thumbnail things) where she eats the camera, films me, then eats the camera some more. Ahhhh, Unkie Steve is a big softie for sure.

Next up on the cards is a pair of moccasin / loafer type shoes (to learn a new construction technique) and some f*ck-off-tough-as-nails Alexander McQueen style black ankle boots with studs on them (for a journey to the dark side of shoe making) as inspired by our pals over at DI$COUNT.

See you soon!

Listening to : Paul Simon – Graceland

Waiting…

Not much news so far this week, my animation job has been keeping me super busy (and a trip to the snow last weekend ruled out any weekend shoemaking)… but I have been keeping on the ball by reading other shoemaker’s blogs.

I just found this quote on Bespoke Shoes Unlaced, and thought it was pretty apt for this week’s post:

“How many shoemakers does it take to change a light bulb? Only 1, but it takes 6 months.”

Ha.
I’ll be back next with with something more informative.

Listening to : Black Rebel Motorcycle Club