Insider secrets #1


…that old saying of ‘work smarter, not harder’ applies to design too. Can’t draw a perfect shoe shape every time? Make a stencil, trace it, sketch over it. Perfectly proportioned sketches EVERY time, on any bit of paper you want to use.
You can even use colored paper and save time spent coloring things in.

I’ll post more secrets as I think of them.

Shopping spree!

…hands up if you just spent more on leather than the car you drove it back in is worth? Serious times now. Cheers credit card! Cheers Nsw leather co!


Design time…


Knee deep in research and ideas… And testing out iPhone blog updating.

0% |||||||||||||:: 100%

We’re back and we’re recharged!  … Well, almost ^ I’d say we’re at about 90% recharged at the moment, after a long weekend in Sydney on what is possibly the first “holiday” Dani and I have taken since we drove to Adelaide last December. 10 months of 7 day weeks? No wonder we were getting a bit snappy last month.

The longer story is that I was planning to do a one day up-and-back reconnaissance mission a few weeks ago to check out a few Leather suppliers up there, but a ‘computer error’ left me standing at the boarding gate in Melbourne with no tickets. So Dani and I decided to make the most of a bad situation and changed it up to a long weekend holiday… which was MUCH better.

We also had some luck finding that good friends of ours had to fly to Melbourne at the same time = free accomodation in Darlinghurst! bam.

That proved to be the extent of our good luck, cos it freakin rained the whole weekend…

We did get to head to Bondi beach on the Friday, so it wasnt all bad weather, but any plans to wander in the sun were shelved on Saturday and Sunday, and we  had to do the Art Gallery / Retail wander instead.

So, as a quick review of what we found, what we saw and what we bought :

- We visited Gaffa… and it totally rules. An artist run gallery / studio / meeting space in the CBD. Housed in a beautiful building, full of lovely people and great craft / art. Dani will probably post something more about them later on when she starts stocking her work there.

- We visited Birdsall Leather and NSW Leather and found them both to be run by nice, friendly and enthusiastic people (once we got past the digs about being from Melbourne).
I ordered a bunch of leather to get shipped down here soon. Woo.

- We stumbled upon Kinokuniya – an insane Japanese bookstore in the CBD. We bought 10 books, and had to post them home to ourselves because they blew out our carry on luggage weight allowance. More on the books when they arrive (i’ll take some photos), but for now here’s a pic of the ‘visual reference’ section… hundreds of books of just images, patterns and vintage sketches etc. Perfect for creating a library of inspiration! We bought quite a few.

- I dragged Dani around the wanky luxury fashion boutiques, then realised i’ve seen almost everything on the internet, and we left underwhelmed. I did manage to snap a shitty photo of the new Miu Miu shoes in the window display… out of focus I know, I was dashing in from the rain, but you get the idea.

- Dani found a Marimekko store and was in love with EVERYTHING in the shop. I had to nudge her out before we spent money we dont have. Perhaps we’ll try to stock their stuff at D+B sometime.

- We also found a World NZ store, and spent a fair bit of time in there talking to the staff. Cool people, nice vibes and we ended up buying 2 bottles of room perfume that smell like dirt and leather. Crazy stuff.

- We spent one evening by the harbour having beers and seafood, but it was cold, the seafood was fried and it got dark fast, so you know, not exactly what we hoped for.

- We ate at lots of nice places, drank good coffee and generally got over any “Sydney is too ____ and Melbourne has better ____” preconceptions… turns out it’s nice, and we like it. Dani even mused that she could live there if needs be, so we’ll see how the Melbourne market takes to our luxury goods… if they wont buy then I’m damn sure those leggy Sydney gals will!

Thanks for reading, and look out for lots of stuff this week… I’ve taken some extended time off from my other work to put in a few solid weeks of shoe planning, drawing and prototyping. Very ex-fuckin-citing.


Listening to : Odd Future mixtapes

Surfin’ the interweb

We FINALLY have the internet and a phone line connected at the new workshop! Nothing much new to post, and I solemnly swear not to spend much time dicking around on the computer now that I can… but in the spirit of keeping things ultra-modern here’s a picture of my newly finished shoes, taken in the studio, on a computer and uploaded immediately.

Be careful the ink probably isnt dry so if you rub your screen you’ll smudge the image.

Out neon-ed

Oh man- Steve and I met with our grapho and he had this awesome custom font for us!  And I said that it would work perfectly for our guerilla style neon sign that we plan to hang out the window into the alley way.

Well, what do you know…some lane way art…IN NEON in our alley over f**king night!!

Back at the bench!

Ahhhh…. finally, some good ol’ hard labour at the shoe bench for the first time in over 2 months!!

Seeing as I’m a little overwhelmed by all the designs I have scattered around the house in piles of paper, I decided to start off on something a little more utlitarian to get my fingers and wrists back in the zone. With 4 weddings coming up in the next 3 months, Dani and I both need new shoes, and it would be a shame not to be sporting something handmade so that when people ask “what do you do?” and I say “shoemaker” and they look at my feet or Dani’s and see some crapola we bought 5 years ago.

So, first off the bench will be a pair of test fitters for me in burgundy suede. These were only going to be a practice pair of uppers, but I like the colour, and so am now lasting them up and planning to put in some bright coloured laces and be totally ‘on trend’ for this Spring – and also to suit the soon-to-be-cohesive palette I’m designing in which is pretty much “luxurious desaturated tones, with pops of neon / bright / fluro”

The wedding wearable shoes will be black suede, so they’ll be on the go next week… unless I decide the burgundy goes well with my blue suit, and then i’ll make another pair with less pen marks on them.

Pattern making… it’s been a while…

Part of the motherload haul from Dennis was this skiver.
It is perfect. It skived suede first time, like a dream. I almost wept…
so this pic goes out to you Emma, no more ratty edges, EVER.

uppers all stitched up…

lasted and shanked…

Ugly brown laces for now, soon to be replaced with something neon. nice.

There you have it, that’s the latest update from my desk… Dani is back working on lots of little things for a pre-christmas restock of all her stockists, and we have the first of our other studio pals Pennie Jagiello currently moving some odds and ends into her corner! One more desk to fill and we’re set to take on the world. If you want it, make yourself known before we give it to someone else and you miss the boat.

Oh, and tomorrow night is the first meeting with our grapho superstar friend Simon from Volume2A who will be showing us CONCEPTS FOR THE STORE BRANDING!!! Very exciting times.

New logo = signage = retail officialness … and new logo = new website design = no more DIY blog themes, soon we’ll have a spanking new look with an e-store attached and bio’s etc so you can learn all about the D+B gang.

So, we’re back, and you can settle in for what promises to be a summer FULL of us posting stuff we’re making, people we’re meeting, songs we like, and studio in-jokes galore.

Finally, check out our niece in her just-like-uncle-Steve checkered shirt. My heart is melting….
Sunday was supposed to be gardening day, but it turned into a babysitting afternoon of bubbles and dancing. Can’t complain about that really.

… I’m off now to check out all the coverage from NYFW and see what’s hot and what’s not.

Listening to : The Raspberries < another bit of 70s awesome… just discovered them today on the iPod.

Finally! Some more photos

Thanks for hanging in there people, I know it’s been a while between posts but you know,we’ve been busy, reeeeeeal busy.

So, without further ado, here are some photos of the almost-ready-to-work-from DEAD + BURIED WORKSHOP!!!!
(some of these are a bit blurry, sigh, seems I should have taken the tripod or used a flash, oh well)

view from the kitchen… new desks, restored desks, and our ‘machine shop’ with perspex window

super sized clock from eBay. Dirty window. Lamp.

the view back toward the shop (unfinished), showing our newly clad wall and the couch.

Dani has started working already……. I’m jealous.

Shoe lasts being sorted into styles and sizes… lots to choose from now!

We have all the desks in situ now, most of our walls sorted, kitchen sorted, machine shop semi equipped and sexy up-lighting plugged in and ready to go. There are still about a dozen things-to-do on the list, but on the whole we’re ready to start working from our little kingdom as of this week. We have an advertisement pending on Creative Spaces and will hit up the social media universe later this week in the hunt for 2 perfect studio pals (or 4 if we have to do a part time share thing)

Again, if you’re reading this and know of a fashion-oriented jeweller or two who is looking for a space, get them to EMAIL US!!
We want to find people we’d love to work with rather than just have to offer the spaces to any ol’ person because we’re strapped for cash.

On the shoemaking front, I have been back at the drawing desk starting to flesh out some ideas, and am being all proactive and FLYING up to Sydney next week on a whim to look at some suppliers up there… the few down here in Melbourne are leaving me a little underwhelmed. Hopefully I return with a bag full of goodies and a head full of inspiration!

Listening to : R Kelly – My Best Friend (and the rest of the Double Up album)
* he is the master of the long winded, curse laden, R & B story rap song.

In Bloom?

Holy smokes, photos of Kurt and Courtney’s little girl have hit the internet, and my has she grown up!
I guess with all those photogenic genes she was pretty much made for a grungy photoshoot or two.

There’ll be a huge amount of Nirvana fans out there (like me) who are  are about to do the math and realise that 19 years (!!) have passed since those photos of Kurt and his baby were all over Rolling Stone. I feel noticably older now.

Rock on Frances, fingers crossed you cruise along happily from now on and don’t go the burnout route…

Building, moving, arranging.

So, we’re mostly moved in to the studio now, one more trailer load from home, one more trailer load from Dennis the shoemaker and one more from my Mum’s house where our retail fitout is stashed and we’re IN! Again, sorry for the lack of crafty photos and/or studio setup photos, but honestly, it’s not that glamorous. About 90% of the time it’s just Dani or I in there in our ‘old clothes’ covered in either paint, stain or sawdust… dragging heavy things around the room. Taking a photo of it never really seems like a good idea you know?

…this is the best I can do.
Nella’s photo of her using the ‘hot desk’ that is free for drop-in visitors and friends to use.

Last week we had another of what I will now be christening “good fridays” where a whole gang of Melbourne’s best and fairest turned up for a beer, some antipasto and Rum and Coke courtesy of a ring in Mexican hot tamale that one of our friends was hosting for the weekend. Her name is Carmen, and from what I could gather over the noise, she loved Melbourne and hopes to marry Dani one day…

On a good note Dani got approached to collaborate with a Melbourne fashion brand this week and it’s all systems go around here now with Porcelain samples being churned out quick smart.

We also managed to squeeze in a visit to the Bus Projects show last night to see (amongst others) our pal Anita show some KILLER stuff… which we purchased, even though we’re mad broke. Silly us.

Anita Cummins – ‘Draw the Line’

So, although it’s nothing from the Dead and Buried archives, I’ll leave you with some images that have totally won me over this week. It seems a month or more of furniture construction and tetris style layout planning has made me look at these images as the equivalent of studio setup porn. I’m all hot under the collar I tell you.

images of  Michael Johansson’s work from Core 77

See you soon! I’ll be back with some NICE photos of the (almost) finished workshop soon.

Listening to THIS

Click it, have a listen, it’s lovely. Dunno who they are or what their deal is, but that song has been in my head all week.

ps. also, how good are the Jesus and Mary Chain?
Jeez, no matter how many bands you know, there’s always one that sneaks up and kicks you in the shins with a good album and makes you wonder “how did I not listen to them for the last, hmm, 20 years?”