Finally NEWS!

Hey people,

Dani and I are soon to be Yarravillians, we have just signed on to a new lease on a house in Yarraville with 3 bedroom AND a garage.

Dani will be working from the 3rd bedroom (the first is for sleepin’ and the second is for my collection of awkwardly large bits musical gear and for me to sleep in when I’m in the bad books) … and I will be setting up the garage to be shoe making central. I assume there is some sort of man’s man rule against setting up a garage workshop and then filling it with pictures of high heeled shoes, but if I don’t tell any manly men, no one will know.

It has been about a 3 week turnaround from deciding to look for a new place and getting the keys, so it’s all a bit frantic at the moment around here.

We’re packing up things already, and looking forward to our first stroll to Ballarat St for a coffee and Smoked Cod pie at Hausfrau… mmmm…

On a nerdier note, I have also discovered that there is a little handful of people out there putting their years of practice making Lego and jigsaw puzzles to good use and creating something that was – until recently – completely out of the hands of the home craftsman… RAPID PROTOTYPING!

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http://reprap.org/wiki/Mendel

For those of you who aren’t industrial designers, Rapid Prototyping = 3D printing = a machine that can create ANY form from plastic that you can imagine once you model it in a computer.
Luckily for me I am:

a. A nerd – with nerdy friends
b. Good at Lego and building model cars
c. Employed as and therefor quite good at being a 3D animator / modeller
d. About to move to a house with a garage
e. An Industrial Designer

… so with those powers combined I hope to make one of these bad boys before the end of the year, and then I’ll be able to manufacture my own heels and shoe parts at home in ANY shape, size or crazy assed construction that I want. Ahhh… that makes me happy, as I hate having my designs dictated by what I can find laying on the shelf at Lefflers.

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this is the sort of stuff I’m talking about.. all printed in 3D from plastic… AWESOME.

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Throw some hand-dyed leather into the mix and I’ll be equipped to make 100% custom shoes that wont be the same as everyone else’s.
So things like this will be possible, rather than “oh yeah, like that’s gonna work”…

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Oh, and one last thing… Sydney ladies, I applaud you.
My god, we were there on the weekend and the ratio of jaw-dropping beautiful shoes to ‘crushed to death ballet flats with my foot hanging out the side’ was the opposite to what I’m seeing around Melbourne.
Granted, there are some very snappy dressers in Melbourne, but Sydney was killing it last weekend with the “I’m popping out for coffee in my Chloe’s” stakes.
Lucky for me Dani knows that my roaming eyes are locked groundward, so I don’t get a slap in the head for checking out the ladies when it’s ‘business related’ hahaha.

Anyhoot, back to packing for me….
Listening to : Beck – Bottle O’ Blues (not intentionally, it came on the iPod just now)

Still no news

Sigh, this whole blogging thing is no fun when you pack up the tools and head off to work for a few weeks! No making stuff means no photos, which means no content… boo.

Dani and I have just finished a month of full-time working for ‘the man’ (an attempt to clear up a few getting-a-bit-stupid credit card debts) and now we’re walking head on into a month of moving studio, and most probably our house too.

We’re thinking of combining home and studio space again, so we’ll need to move a little further out to the ‘burbs to get something with more space than we can find in inner city Melbourne at the moment.
So, if you are one of the few souls who checks here for shoe making news and gossip, sorry! Give me a few weeks and I’ll have a studio attached to my house which will DEFINITELY mean at least 2 or 3 shoe making posts a week… I’ll have my computer and my shoe stuff in the same room = blog central.

For now, check out the link below… this is what I’m talking about when I say nice shoes.

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Raphael Young’s new range – Image from Refinery 29.

Listening to : Earth¬† – The bees made honey in the lion’s skull

Music for listening to in an office when the days drrraaaggg onnnn….

I apologise Jean-Michel…

On behalf of the shoe community, I apologise for the following blight on your legacy, ‘cos I’m pretty sure Reebok aren’t going to.

Yours Sincerely,

Steve

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Image and Text from www.theshoebuff.com

"Reebok has released a collection in collaboration with designer Jean-Michel Basquiat;
 a line most notable inspired by parts of his Suite of Fourteen Drawings.
 The addition of text on the shoes lends to its classic DIY pump-meets-punk aesthetic."

fuck offfff….

1. how can you ‘collaborate’ with someone who is dead?
you can’t – but you can license their work and plaster it all over your product.
2. Basquiat wasn’t a designer, with business cards, and a desk… he was an artist.
3. I really doubt enough ‘punks’ do (or did) D.I.Y jobs on their Reebok pumps to declare it an aesthetic.
4. I could go on all day about this…

The stupid thing is they’re not terrible looking shoes, but are completely pointless.

And embroidered logo on a pair of white shoes is not a collaboration, its a misappropriation of a piece of art that had a meaning and purpose all of it’s own, and I’m guessing that probably didn’t include selling overpriced footwear to the general public.

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… and don’t get me started on the irony involved in using his text – something vaguely about the inequities of modern life and ‘big money’ and the rat race etc, on a pair of shoes – made in china, and sold for what is no doubt a 2000% markup on the price paid to the worker who made them.

This stuff reeeeeeally shits me off, not just because I hand make shoes, not because I’m a Basquiat fan, but mainly because I used to collect ‘collectable’ sneakers until the big brands clearly ran out of ideas, and have resorted to crap like this and ‘Iron Maiden’ collaborations and ‘lets take the sole of one Nike and glue it to the upper of a different one and call it a ‘hybrid’.

Grrrrrrr. There, how I have vented my anger somewhat.

Listening to: The sound of the sneaker industry punching the art community in the face.

Hot Damn

Seeing as a whole lot of nothing is still going on in Dead and Buried land – mainly due to Dani and I both getting asked to do some full time work for our respective part-time jobs – here’s a link to someone out there in the big wide world who is doing exactly what I plan to do, and that’s pretty inspiring.

(I’m not one to see similar work as cause to rethink my ideas, I see it as healthy for the industry and healthy for me… it gives me something to benchmark against / compete against = motivation!)

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Raphael Young – Tsuka 1 (S/S 10)

So, if you like your shoes intense, shapely and hand made, check out Raphael Young

http://www.raphaelyoung.com/

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Raphael Young – 300-03 (S/S 10)

I’m not 100% sure of his whole story yet, but it seems he is a 30-something year old shoemaker, with an uncle who designed for YSL, and has a varied background (physics and engineering before fashion design) that helps him come up with some pretty impressive towering heels.

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Raphael Young – 301-04 (S/S 10)

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Raphael Young – 90203-01 (S/S 10)

So, have a look, buy some if you get a chance, and then if you do, bring ‘em by my studio so I can get all research-y and break out my magnifying glass to see what he does and what he uses!

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Raphael Young – Eagle One A (F/W 09)

The wooden soles on these older ones are great, maybe I can get my dad in on the game whittling me up some soles when he retires… or if I know him it’d be more like ‘buying a massive lathe from Bunnings and going into full production mode’.

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Raphael Young – Shira (S/S 09)

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Raphael Young – Bizen (S/S 09)

Getting back to the problem of the lack of creative work lately from Dani and I, it’s also because we’re STILL officially banned from our studio space by the Melbourne Shitty* Council because some douche-bag has declared not-for-profit arts and craft a no-no in his part of town. There is a permit application in the works, and fines are being issue for anyone using the building. Wonderful.

* see what i did there, with the humour?

[insert political rant here]
So from what we can gather, officially its fine to open a shop, as a business, with no customers, and make no money (like i’m sure lots of failing businesses do) but if you make art and don’t intend to make money from the outset, therefor denying the government and council their taxes… vrooomp…getthehellouttahere.
sigh.
[end rant]

Now that we know money is definitely the grease that keeps the wheels of the city in motion, we’ll be sure to set up our new studio as a “shop”, selling outrageously overpriced cans of coke, so we can make craft in our ‘downtime’ when no customers are there to buy our one-of-a-kind super-cokes.

Listening to : Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction
…on the way in to work today, in my car, at full volume. Rock on.

No news is not good news, it’s boring.

Hey Deadfans, both Dani and I have been in holiday-from-the-studio mode over the last week (Easter weekend), so that should explain the lack of posts.

We did manage to revamp the garden, get hayfever, rest, continue with the garden, drink beers, have a family lunch AND make a long overdue visit to my Grandma… but none of that is particularly interesting to the dozens of people who check this site (yearly).

readers
Images sourced from a super special plugin that captures our readers in action via their webcams

One bit of news to note though (just for bragging’s sake) is that our dear pals Tom and Jess are moving to the UK for keeps, and as sad as that is, we take some solace in knowing that the 50 or so pints of Tom’s delicious home brew he left with us will numb the pain nightly for a good few weeks!
Ha ha, hellloooo gout, I’ll be seeing you soon.

So, in lieu of any crafty pictures I am going to put up some more ‘inspiration list’ images that I have here on my computer… No real reason, other than it might get you inspired, or simply let you know a little more about the complicated and conflicting set of tastes and interests I have.

I’m pretty sure I’m the only vintage-amp-and-art-and-cooking-and-ladies-shoes-and-psyche-rock obsessed shoemaker-slash-3d-animator in town…

Rowwrr.

Finished assembling this one today, and for some reason it looks a bit more stripper-ish than I intended.
I think its the detached / not very well integrated platform at the front… as I mentioned in the last post it seems like there is just as much that can go wrong in a ‘simple’ shoe and every mistake is out there on display, no ridges, laces, perforations and bows to hide things under!

They do look OK though overall – I just need to get educated on the attachment of heels, glue alone just doesn’t cut it.
Note the sneaky magenta mid sole that didn’t show up very well in the photo.

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Oh, and the second half of the afternoon was spent knocking together a quick soft light photo booth for Dani’s jewellery shots, so that explains the test white-out image above instead of the usual messy desk shots.

Listening to : The Shadows – Foot Tapper

Finally! Progress!

Hey Hey, after 2 days of solid work in the studio I’m back on track.
The desert boots are ready for a few hours of hand- stitching (at home in front of the TV), my workspace is now shoe reference image central (thanks to a new printer) and I managed to get most of two “first-attempt” prototype¬† shoes made… they’re more for the novelty of seeing a drawing come to life than they are for final details, but they make for great pictures!

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So rather than fill the front page up with loads of new images, I’m going to try my first “read more” divider… click through for lots of new photos.

Boots and Tools

Finally got a photo of the half-way-finished luxury lined desert boots.

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Nothing too exciting to say about them (in fact this whole post seems a little dry, I must have lost my jolly mojo tonight) – but I do have a picture to post of another hand-made tool that Dani and I knocked up the other day!

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I needed an oversized one of those stitch spacing wheel things that dressmakers use, and seeing as how we both have Industrial (product) Design degrees I like to make things instead of wasting time heading out looking around shops trying to find something perfect.

So, with a bit of maths, Dani on the mini hacksaw blade and me on drill and gaffa taping duty… BAM… new tool.

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In case you’re not quite understanding what I’m talking about, I need to make evenly spaced holes around the edge of my sole leather so that I can sew it by hand and not end up with crazy uneven stitches.
With this roller thingo I can trace around the edge of the shoe and get a nice set of even dots to punch holes through, to sew throught later on.

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A little complicated sounding when I try to type it, but in short it saves me lots of time and makes my sewing better. Win/Win.
Seems there are a whole lot of single use, wierd, antiquated shoemaker tools that this job needs, so I’ll post any other impromptu ones I come up with.

Anyhoot, I’m off to do something creative… not in the mood for a night of internet nerding tonight.

Got a wedding tomorrow, congrats to Chris and Sarah, so in their honour :

Listening to : Skyhooks – All my friends are getting married

oh no! zombies!

driving in the burbs the other day- we came across this sign that someone hacked.

zombies

iPhotos

Hey hey!

* I managed to charge up the camera and then leave it at home yesterday, so this week we’ll have to make do with iPhone photos (and no photo of the finished product).

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In an attempt to assess what sort of money this whole shoemaking biz can make for me I have been making another pair of desert boots with stopwatch running. So far I’m at about 4 or 5 hours solid work, and there is still a whole lot of stitching and sole attaching to go yet… so it’s beginning to make sense why proper, traditional, all the bells-and-whistles shoes cost 1000′s of dollars and take days and days of work.

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I’ve tried something different with these ones in that I’m lining them instead of making them with raw suede, it should make them more sturdy and a little more ‘luxurious’ than the other ones without adding much more time to the construction. Value adding! No use making half-assed and double-priced shoes…

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looking totally high fashion in a ‘deconstructed’ inside out way…

So this took me the afternoon to do, and I managed to get the maroon/burgundy upper stretched down and ready to sew the edges by 5pm… then I broke 2 needles trying to stitch through the fat sole material, and officially cracked the sh*ts for the day. Forgot to take one last photo before I trod off home a defeated man.

… then at about 1am I was lying in bed and realised I used thinner leather last time, hence the broken needles, but unfortunately is was too late to do anything about it.

Good news is I can get back on track next time I’m in there! Bad news is that I might not be back in for a week :(

Oh, and check this rocket out… we took a photo of it on a lonely East Village street in NYC last year.
(Just found it again when I downloaded the phone pics.)

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Double chained up, getting no love, and with my name on it!
If only I was a little more evil I could have liberated it back here in my luggage, but I’m no theif.

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… maybe it will still be there when I go back… again…… one day…. dani? Ha ha.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you at the Pixies on Saturday if you’re an old fart fan like us.
I’ll be the guy in the crowd who looks like I came as a Frank Black lookalike. No costume required.

Listening to : Dead Meadow – Sleepy Silver Door