Seems pretty much ALL of my shoe making problems (well, except for my non-finished RepRap) would be solved by being able to just zip back to the 70s / 80s / 90s when Melbourne had a thriving, or at least functioning, shoe component industry… so if anyone is working on a Time Machine, let me know.


Uncle Rico’s time machine. Sort of, but not really, what I’m looking for.

Click here to see it in action

After another morning of  “ok, lets do this” enthusiasm I have returned home with a few more potential suppliers crossed off my list and added to the “doesn’t stock those things any more” list, which is now pretty long.

It seems the idea of making, and even worse HAND making, decent women’s high heel shoes is just not on in this country any more. Parts either cost the earth, or don’t exist, suppliers are either closed or take me through tours of their residual stock in the back corner, and I’ve spoken to quite a few people about how the whole industry was lost to offshore production / how Collingwood used to be a goldmine for components…. yadda yadda.

So, on top of having to make my own heels and platforms etc, I am now looking at having to make, or possibly re-invent my own insole units (which you may remember I attempted a year ago with plywood) so that I can make shoes in the dozens, rather than one at a time using odd scraps and makeshift solutions.

Hopefully this doesn’t bum anyone out too much, I’m just venting a little to what I assume is an audience that might face this same problem now or in the future. There is plenty of scope for making amazing shoes here in Australia, lots of passion in the marketplace and plenty of skillful designers and crafty people around, but fuck, it’s reeeeeally hard to get something off the ground when each thing you go to make/order/buy is no longer available or just not viable to buy or use.


empty factory image for added dramatic effect.

Looks like I’m headed towards a Haute Couture level of shoemaking now… where everything comes from my little ol’ hands and every component is customised to my specifications. I guess that’s the price you pay for not accepting mediocre or you-cant-have-that as an answer. It will of course allow me to make jaw dropping designs that aren’t just factory produced items, but it means I need to keep finding reserves of enthusiasm and motivation from a well that is admittedly pretty dry at the moment.

As they say, the night is darkest (or is it coldest?) right before the dawn, so this will hopefully be one of those posts I look back on and go “shit, you were a sook back then” when I get this one million point list all crossed off and some money in the bank  – which would be verrrrrrrry helpful about now.

Keep on at it folks, nothing good comes easy, and um, a watched pot never boils.
That last bit has nothing to do with anything, but why not throw in some more idioms for good measure?

Listening to : Eyehategod. Grrrrrrr.