Too many jokes…

Today we put up a wall! Thanks to Dani’s brother and Dad for showing up and sharing their expertise (and proper tools) we now have a stud wall in the corner of the room that will soon be clad and formed into a machine shop.

What do I mean by Too many jokes?
Seriously, you try putting up a wall and not making at least one  joke about an ‘erection’ , ‘getting it up’,  ‘studs’,  ‘noggins’, ‘making it fit’…. you get the drift. Luckily all involved were mature adults, and minimal jokes were made on the night, but I tell you what, they were there in the back of my mind.

It has been pointed out to me over beers that the updates are not arriving on here fast enough, but you know, after ANOTHER day of building things the last thing I feel like doing is typing about it on the internet! That said, here’s a bunch of photos from my iPhone for you all to look at and someone *cough*milly*cough* owes me a beer now for doing this at 11pm on a Sunday.

…lovely hardwood desks in the making. Built to last a lifetime.

Dani staining the first of 3….

… the hole I cut through the wall. See earlier photos for hole-less wall.
Took MUCH more effort than I expected, but it’s done and we now have a nice divided off Kitchen area! woo!

For those who have been keeping watch, we now have the following :
A kitchen, a clean couch, 3 x custom made jewellers desks, 2 x writing desks (2 more to find yet), 4.8 meters of floor to ceiling shelving, a new wall, and old wall with an archway cut into it, a temporary wall, and 3.7 million lasts that I have to sort out and put in the shelves.

I haven’t moved any of my own shoemaking stuff from home yet (sad face) but the focus at the moment is on getting the shared spaces done so that we can move some tenants in asap… rent is killing us! So hopefully next week we’ll shoot some photos and advertise properly.

This week will bring : A meeting with our graphic designer for branding plans, wall cladding (maybe), perspex window installation, jewellers bench staining and varnishing, a new shelf to put our griller / oven thing on, 2 more desks from eBay, 4 chairs, and if i’m lucky, a bench to call my own… plus regular work, dinner with friends, babysitting and no doubt something else we’ve forgotten.

We probably have 2 more weeks of workshop fitout tasks, then we get to do some work and slowly build / install the shop – whilst at the same time making stock for the shop, so that’ll be fun.

a sneak peek from my meeting last week with the awesome Hannah Carlyle. Collaborations!

On a final note, Friday night drinks have kicked off and are fun. Cheap / free beer, good music, good people… heaven I say. Come on up and say hi!

Listening to : Die Antwoord (and Enya, but Dani would hate me to admit that on the internet)

Mid Year Madness

Fendi A/W 2011

God damn, time is really flying along at the moment, it dawned on me today that the appointment I’d made to meet someone “later in the month” is um, this thursday, time is slipping away!

We changed the locks today on the new studio, so we’re super secure and able to start lugging in the more precious items and tools.
We have knocked a hole in the wall, we have a defined kitchen space now and Dani shopped like a madman to get us stocked up with cutlery and condiments… mmm, studio lunch breaks. I’m also on the hunt for a good coffee machine so that I can shave a little off my yearly latte budget whilst also being able to offer a cup to anyone who pops in for a visit.

Tomorrow we’ll be back in there building jeweller’s benches and starting to fill the shelves. It’s all taking shape (slowly).

Last week saw us attend the Design Made Trade show 2 days in a row and I finally got to have a proper chat to Emma Greenwood! After a good year or so of email banter, we finally got to ramble on in person (although I must admit I was doing all the rambling, so many questions to ask, so little time!). The rest of the show was a blast, and as has been the talk of a few blogs and publications around town the craft crew were there in full force showing that daggy craft is dead and handmade is the new… something. 3 cheers for Milly and the Craft Vic team for putting on a helluva display.

Later this week I get to meet with some more people to discuss collaborations – pretty excited about it, and will be sure to let you all know what comes of it asap.

But today I’ll leave you with these KILLER images from the new Fendi Campaign. Great colours, awesome photography / styling and a perfect colour palette. This is a pretty good representation of  the vibe we want to create for the Dead+Buried workshop… warm, arty, woody, with little bursts of colour, and of course hot shoes and even hotter ladies.

Images all from Fashionising

Week 2 update

Howdy all, what a fortnight it’s been! Not much sleep, lots of lifting, painting, cutting and dragging stuff around… but we’re almost in.

There isn’t much of a story to tell about the move, it went ok, we got rained on, people helped out, we ate pizza…just a regular moving in story I guess. So rather than rattle on with words, I’ll upload some pics from my iPhone that I’ve been snapping along the way to try to document the formation of d+b as much as I can.

beautiful reclaimed flooring from Urban Salvage + Blackbutt planks for the jewellers desks.

some of the 108 tongue and groove shelves we cut up…

a whole pile of shelf supports that Dani drilled and countersunk

the big moving night… Dani staining the shelves indoors, Nick unloading the truck in the rain.

Some of the bounty I have purchased from Dennis… like a pirate’s treasure!

A bit more… so many lasts, and these are JUST THE WOMEN’S LASTS! more men’s at home.

Jewellers desk #1. With a few areas left ambiguous so Dani can work out what works best.

The new room as it stands today. Messy, awkward, but filling up fast!

… and before I go, I should remind you all to drop in to the Design Made Trade show at the exhibition buildings today or tomorrow. Lots of local talent on display, including a whole bunch of Craft Victoria superstar crafters showing their wares and working on site – you can even see Emma Greenwood lasting up some shoes right there in front of you! I’ll be there this afternoon as a tourist, so say hi.

Listening to : Wu Tang!! 36 Chambers of phat beats.

Moved in (mostly)

In case you weren’t in Melbourne on Sunday and paying attention to the weather. It rained. A lot. The ENTIRE time we were moving furniture. Woopee.

…and to rub some lovely pink salt flakes into the wound, we found out at 5pm that the lift had been operational since 8AM but nobody let us know that… clerical error.

So, 80% of our stuff is in, the things that couldn’t get wet or were too heavy to be lifted in the rain at 10pm still need to go next weekend, but it’s a start!!I’ll upload some photos tomorrow, I promise.

Nick, Michael, Christine, Jen and James
for braving the weather, ancient lift and stained furniture fumes. Free stuff for you all when the shop opens! *

*offer not valid until 2017.

Moving Time!

… just a heads up to let you all know that we’re moving all most of our belongings in to the new studio today!

No photos again, i know, boring, but we will have lots more to show in a few days, including some construction pics of the first of 3 jewellers benches my dad and I have made.

Off to get the hire ute and one of today’s many, many, coffees.

Fashion smarts

Hey people, today is a home-day where I get to pack up my entire shed worth of stuff in anticipation of a removalist van arriving in the next day or two!

Our new space is painted, I have picked up about a million kilograms of lasts and shoe equipment from Dennis, we have desks, fridges, kitchen cabinets and lamps scattered all over the house and will be glad to see them gone from here and moved to their new home.

It looks green here, but the new colour dries quite dark and green/grey, like an old machinery shop!

So, seeing as I have an hour to slowly eat breakfast today, I’ve been online (of course) reading and scrolling through my Bookmarks tab, and came across this interview with Azzedine Alaïa where he talks a lot about the crazy seasonal cycle of fashion and how it is almost entirely built around marketing rather than a desire to make the best products possible. It will probably only interest a few of you out there, but I thought I’d pass it on as it resonates a lot with what I’ve been trying to sort out in my head (and on paper) lately in the lead up to launching a fashion-aware handmade brand.

I want to keep up with trends, I want to make things that work with current looks and colours, but I can’t see any way to pump out 2 ranges a year without compromising on quality or lifestyle… unless I bring in a load of workers, set up a production line and churn things out.

I’m hoping to find a balance between bespoke and seasonal ranges by perhaps releasing a new design every month or two, but even that might be a bit adventurous. I’m also aware that here in Australia we have the opposite climate to where the ‘fashion houses’ are, up there in the north, so it will also be hard to appeal to local and international clients if anything is too summer/winter oriented. Anyhoot, just some musing whilst I sit and wait for this coffee to kick in and the work to start up!

I’ll leave you with a few cut and paste quotes that I think sum up a nice and relaxed approach to the design of luxury goods that I hope to adhere to in the future.

“For more than a decade, Alaïa has premiered his collections at his own rhythm… He creates one collection per season. He doesn’t advertise; very few magazines are sent clothes to feature. He rarely gives interviews, and makes no public appearances. Everything Alaïa creates, he creates with his hands”

“Creativity should be the only concern. But today there is no time for creativity; nobody has time to develop a special silhouette or a special fabric. … Four collections for women, four collections for men, another four collections to sell, and everything needs do be done within four-five months — it’s a one-way course towards emptiness. It’s inhuman.”

“Maybe in July I will show other clothes, if I have the time to develop them. I refuse to work in a static rhythm. Why should I sacrifice my creativity to that? That’s not fashion, that’s industrial work. We can hire people to design all day long and then fabricate what they design and sell and sell and sell — but that has nothing to do with fashion”

“Also, people travel a lot today. Seasons are not what they used to be — we go skiing in the summer, swimming in winter. We don’t need to think in seasons anymore; we need to think about beautiful clothes.”

“…nobody can do a ton of great clothes. And Alaïa is expensive, like couture – it’s luxurious, like all high fashion brands. I don’t know why people in fashion don’t treat it as luxury anymore.”

So I think i’ll print a few of those out to form into some sort of mantra / ethos. That said, I also read that Tom Ford gets so much done because he refuses to talk about projects until they are completed… which is a rule I like, but makes the whole idea of blogging near impossible.

Finally these two bits make me feel more OK about being a bit OCD and staying up all night working on things or learning about something new:

“I begin at 9 am and I go to bed around 2am, sometimes around 3am. I sleep little.
Four or five hours of sleep — is that enough time to develop a dream?

I don’t waste time when I sleep.”

What have you learned today?
The day is not over yet. But I promise you I learn something new every day. And I want to try to keep it that way, until the day I die.”

So there you have it, I learned something new today – I also found someone new to aspire to be like, and thankfully that someone is successful.

Off to the (cold) shed to start lifting, and dragging, and lifting, and dragging….. until it gets dark.

We’re in! {trumpet fanfare}

We got the keys to our new space yesterday… so it’s all happening now!
Unfortunately there still isn’t much ‘blog worthy’ content to post, but I do have a few photos of the space as it is at the moment, and a shot or two of the mini VIP party that we had last night.

This will be the ‘workshop’… the wall between the two doors will be all bookshelving.

Workshop. The corner directly opposite in this photo will be an enclosed machinery room.

The shop! the white wall on the right will be removed so you can see the workshop in action.

The corner where the kitchen will be. There will be an illuminated wall separating shop and kitchen

A blanket, some fairy lights, an mp3 player, beer and 17 bags of chips = studio picnic party!
Apologies to anyone in the building who heard Phil Collins echoing around the hallways at 11pm….

This morning I drove down to Geelong with my dad to remove, disassemble and bring back a groovy little 50′s kitchen from a house that is being renovated (thankyou eBay), and so with a mini hangover, and tired arms from cutting and moving 150 bits of wood for our shelving wall yesterday I’m off to lay on the couch for the afternoon. I keep forgetting that humans need rest some time!

So, the next 2 weeks will be mental. We have to move, um, EVERYTHING in to the space, and then, you know, make it all nice.

We will have a launch party in a few weeks time, so check back here, or find us on Facebook or stand outside the door until we open it and we’ll see you there!

Wooden it be nice…

… to have a sleep in?

Up at 7am this morning to receive our delivery of 170 linear meters of reclaimed floorboards from the guys at Urban Salvage. If you need timber, with character and nail holes that ISN’T rotten or bowed to the bejesus, they’re the guys for you.

We also picked up some MASSIVE slabs of 40mm thick Blackbutt (hehe) to begin work on the custom hardwood jewellers desks that my dad is going to whip up. They will weigh over 100kg. They will be awesome.

We have also won a few eBay auction bargains, including an entire vintage kitchen that I’ll be off to Geelong to remove and transport back to the city this weekend. Too easy, instant retro.

A day trip to Castlemaine on the weekend netted us some great little antique tools and goodies, and Dani bought herself some super sharp brass scissors. Like cutting with lasers, but they’re scissors.

We get the keys this Friday, so expect a flurry of photos once we’re in… I should see if there’s a way I can post to this blog from my phone, so it’s less of a chore whilst we’re covered in sawdust and wearing overalls.

We also have some quotes onboard for logo and branding design, so that is verrrry exciting. Expect a website / blog overhaul in the coming weeks.

And on a final note, DI$COUNT have opened their store. Its insane. Is blinding. Its brilliant (in every sense of the word). I have already ordered a controversial spelling mistake tshirt that is on it’s way! Buy something if you can. In a year or two they’ll be the new McQueen / Westwood and you will regret not getting on board before everything sold out to GaGa, Beyonce and Rhianna.

Work to do, see you soon!

Getting closer…

Another quick burst of typing before I go to bed (new Harpers arrived in the mail today, time to reeeeead and scalpel out the good bits).|
*update: there were no good bits. boring this month. everyone’s saving for the September issue.

Today we met with our new accountant, and seriously, a dozen high fives will be given to Anika and Leigh for hooking us up with their ‘arts focussed’ accounting firm. My god, one hour of talking to Gianna and we were finally for the first time EVER actually confident about the possibility of making profit AND somewhat interested in using MYOB for something more than another desktop icon. Hurrah. Tax deductions here we come!

We also visited Urban Salvage and put a hold on a sh*tload of old floorboards, which will be used to line almost the entirety of one wall of the studio in reclaimed timber shelves for me to display my collection of lasts and half-made shoes on. Woo!

We also drew up and priced the plans for 3 (count ‘em) hardwood, fully equipped jewellers desks that I’m going to build asap.

On that note we have now decided that the workshop space will be offered to pretty much only jewellers (or small, bench work oriented craftspeople, watchmakers? etc) as we are going to divide the non-shoemaking side of the room in to 3 equal sized zones with one central polishing / stamping etc. area.
It just seems like there’d be too many variables and not enough room to offer the spaces to someone like me, who will need to spread out and stack leather or wood or fabric everwhere. Jewellers are easier to deal with. I hope.

The spaces will be offered as available from August 1. Not sure of the price exactly, but as I mentioned earlier, $150 a week-ish will get you a complete workspace, desk, other desk, shared machinery, kitchen and the option to stock your work in the shop and be sold online / hyped up by us. Being only a small crew we’ll be also choosing people who we get along well with, no room to hide in here! Will post more details soon.

So, work tomorrow, then full steam ahead with carpentry as of Friday. Then we get the keys. Then we panic. Then we move in.


Ps. Some other VERRRRY exciting news regarding a collaboration between myself and an awesome jeweller (not Dani) came to light this week. No need to jinx it now, but when it happens, you’ll know about it – it will be the start of a string of Steve vs. Someone Else Awesome shoes.

More info

Shoe equipment deal is done, money to change hands next week! So damn awesome.

Studio Lease is locked in, signing the paperwork next week.
I have already recreated the whole new space in CAD and planned the entire layout. Neeeerd.

So it’s official, we will soon be returning to our old ‘hood, and setting up shop in the Nicholas Building, corner of Swanson St and Flinders Lane, above Alice Euphemia.

Stage 1 is to move in, set up the workshop, get some tenants. (July)
Stage 2 is branding, making some stock, getting suppliers and launching a super new online store. (Aug-Sept)
Stage 3 will be the whole physical retail fitour, and of course making a bajillion things to stock in there. (Sept-Nov)

All this and more to be done by Christmas, no more lazy weekends for us… save your pennies kids, and shop local!

Photos to come when we get the keys.