LASTMAKING IN EASTBOURNE, UK

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LASTMAKING IN EASTBOURNE, UK

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When you’re passionate about what you do, you never pass up an opportunity to learn—that’s why I spent this past week in Eastbourne learning how to make lasts with Dominic, the Lefthanded Shoemaker and Steven of Crispinians at Steve’s workshop turned classroom space at the Last Maker House! ✌🏽🙌🏽

It was incredible being able to use similar concepts, yet entirely different ways of measuring feet. This most recent lesson made clear all of the reasons behind so many practices I’ve learned from different makers over years of shoemaking and measuring tons of students’ and clients’ feet. This whole experience has also made me see what I can change and improve in my methods as well.

Below is a journaling recap of my lessons!

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On the morning of day one, we took our time measuring our feet the way Steve and Dominic do—the “East End” way. We measured sitting down so that our measurements wouldn’t be too wide. In our Intro to Shoemaking class in Brooklyn, we measure our feet standing up. We say when we measure the girth of the lasts that we can go down a few centimeters to find the last that fits you from the library we have. We also like putting in thicker foam insole at the end so the last accommodates for that. It makes sense how we interpreted feet to existing lasts in our shoe space.

At Brooklyn Shoe Space, we don’t currently have the luxury of starting a last from scratch and building it to completion in one quick class. However, I’ll make sure to bring back the knowledge from the last making class to our intensive classes back home!

Afternoon of day 1, we started carving the back heel and started shaping the arch length, side walls of the lasts. Slowly and steadily, almost timidly since it’s our first time, not knowing how much to shave off.

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“This whole experience has made me see what I can change and improve in my methods as well.”

-Keiko Hirosue

Day 2, we finished mostly finalizing the ball of foot to the back, and started working on the toes. Then the cone and instep/high instep area of the last. It basically took one entire day.

We got a beautiful sunset drive through the national park to Lewes, had a beautiful stroll in town, and some amazing vegan burgers and local beer with great company. Such a treat!

“Know when the lasts are done. Walk away, and come back another time.”

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“Know when the lasts are done. Walk away, and come back another time.”

-Keiko Hirosue

Day 3, we started our other foot’s last. I personally hacked away at it, almost finishing the entire process in one full day. Leaving just the finessing of the toes for the final day. We even had energy to go out to a local pub built in the 1100’s, and danced to a local skatoons band. Such fun!

Day 4, our last day, a bit a hang-over for a light weight, fine tuned with finer rasp, and hand sanded the bumps to a final shape, matching the toe shapes and volume to each foot as well as our feet measurements. It took another half day to almost a whole day for some, as we got ready. “Know when the lasts are done. Walk away, and come back another time.”

I’ll make a pair of fitters on them to see how they fit!

Am excited to use old wooden men’s lasts that were damaged or mismatched for new last making project to practice!

We want to invite Steve and Dominic to Brooklyn too if logistics work out :) never say never- where there’s a will there’s a way!

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SHOE TALKS: BORIS MATEEV of KABO LEATHER

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SHOE TALKS: BORIS MATEEV of KABO LEATHER

A true maker, Boris Mateev of Kabo Leather spoke about his passion and how he creates his bags last Thursday, October 9, 2016. He handsews everything. He is at the tipping point and looking for a good handbag factory that can replicate his handwork, to fulfill his wholesale orders. His samples that he brought to the event purposefully had no lining on one of the bags, some stitches were not finished, to show the process of his bags. You can see his fine meticulous work below.

Photos courtesy of: Oscar Alejandror & @dsmnd.co

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SHOE TALKS: THE SHOE SURGEON

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SHOE TALKS: THE SHOE SURGEON

We had such a fun evening with Dominic of The Shoe Surgeon- honest, humble and hardworking and uber talented shoemaker from LA. After the event, a late-night setup for the pop-up shop started, and boom, the BKSS space transformed into The Shoe Surgeon's world. So great to see the space turn into something else. Monday - Friday August 1 - 5, Dominic taught eight students his knowledge on how to deconstruct and reconstruct the shoes. Everyone's shoes were pretty advanced for a first-time maker. So many pieces... First time stitching... Many obstacles, but they did it! Dedication!! Some came early mornings, some stayed late nights. During the class, Jeff Staples of the Reed Space and DJ Clark Kent came by to inspire the aspiring sneaker customizers/makers. A great crew of shoemakers! Their journey just started. --Summer 2016. 

Dominic's journey continues, and he will be hosting L.A. Classes, so stay tuned! www.theshoesurgeon.com

Photos courtesy of: Oscar Alejandror & Mathieu Crisofor

Video courtesy of: @dsmnd.co & @bespokeandfor

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Sneaker Fever

Ever since BKSS started offering classes, there had always been Sneakerheads inquiring about making sneakers. In February, Jake of @JBFCustoms taught a class based on his style of sneakers using the Margom Outsoles. From high demand, we have posted a class taught by our members, where you can make any style sneaker you wish. @JBFCustoms will be back again in June, and BKSS hosts another sneaker workshop in July. There are future classes on Deconstructing and Reconstructing sneakers. Out of all the shoes made so far, Sneaker making classes are by far the most colorful and diverse use of materials of all. It is so much fun! Come see for yourself! and catch your sneaker fever! book at: http://www.brooklynshoespace.com/booking

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SHOE TALKS: PAUL CUNNINGHAM of Leather Head Sports

We had a privilege to co-host Paul Cunningham of Leather Head Sports this past Thursday, the 31st of March amidst the March Madness. Beautiful craft, beautifully executed with heart and soul by only a few hands, based in NJ. 

The gathering was organic and full of leather goods enthusiasts as well as baseball fans. The takeaway was, to 1. create your own niche, 2. to keep at your craft, and don't give up, and 3. to share your knowledge, your resources, so that the local vendors can get more business so they can stay open, for your own self! and 4. to keep on learning. and finally, 5. customer is god. 

The "lemonballs" are available for sale at our shop at a special event price, so be sure to check it out!

 

With @Bespokeandfor, BKSS stands to highlight and celebrate leather workers and shoemakers. We host free events with a meet and greet as well as the meaty interview by @bespokeandfor. We will keep on making! 

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