The Gallery

This is a photo gallery for members of the forum. Here you can share photos of your latest work for members to view. Like an Art gallery, however, where the exhibits come and go, photos will be deleted on a regular basis to save room on the server. Beauty, like Art, is fleeting.
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Re: The Gallery

#1401 Post by martin » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:26 am

Great work and interesting style!

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Re: The Gallery

#1402 Post by tjburr » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:31 pm

Paul,

I like the stitching, it looks simple but elegant. I find it interesting that just the right curves can transform a boot even with the simplest lines. I find this to be one of the harder parts to visualize. This shape to me gives the feel more of a victorian look even though the boot itself does not have vctorian lines.

I also like the heel shape with the overall look; it goes well with the stitching.

Terry

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Re: The Gallery

#1403 Post by dw » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:54 am

Paul,

Is the tongue attached to the uppers at all?

You may remember a pair of cognac ladies bals in my display case--it's an elegant style, not seen much but gaining / regaining popularity. I like balmorals almost more than derbys.
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Re: The Gallery

#1404 Post by paul » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:14 am

Thank you Terry!
I have to admit the stitch feature was borrowed from a vintage pair. (see attached) I liked it too!
Simplicity. It works. But it's so visceral. We like when we see it, yet there's not much to see - with the eyes - but with the gut it can be another matter. On the other hand seeing too much is too much! Interesting paradox, isn't it.

As for the Victorian look, that's interesting too. Obviously, it was my intension with the cuban heel ad all. But there seems to be something else here I couldn't have predicted, maybe it's the lighting? The leather is Softee Buffalo, and the grain at the quarters isn't reflecting the light the same as the lasted vamp leather. It almost looks like suede or fabric the way it's dull by comparison.

Now if I can just work out those bugs... Next pair.

Thanks again,
Paul
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Re: The Gallery

#1405 Post by paul » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:29 am

Thank you Martin.

DW, yes it is. I tack stitched it about 3/4" to the medial side quarter, between the 5th and 6th eyelets. It's hidden by the lace mostly.
Please don't let your eye linger on the glaring gap between the 2nd and 3rd eyelets. The results of inattention.
And making the unwise choice to go ahead in spite of it, and just take the consequences. I'll never do it again, I promise. I feel soo embarrassed!!! ;-)

I agree! The style is my latest passion. Besides, I like the world "galosh"!
and the challenge too, truth be told.

Paul

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Re: The Gallery

#1406 Post by dw » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:30 am

paul » Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:29 am wrote:Thank you Martin.

DW, yes it is. I tack stitched it about 3/4" to the medial side quarter, between the 5th and 6th eyelets. It's hidden by the lace mostly.
Please don't let your eye linger on the glaring gap between the 2nd and 3rd eyelets. The results of inattention.
And making the unwise choice to go ahead in spite of it, and just take the consequences. I'll never do it again, I promise. I feel soo embarrassed!!! ;-)
Well...it's not my place...but I think (my very biased opinion only) that the bigger problem is the distance between the bottom of the facings and the first set of eyelets. It encourages the facings to "gap" open a bit.

I sometimes put a little loop of leather just above the ankle and in the center of the tongue...then I thread the laces, coming from both sides, through the loop. This keeps the tongue centered whereas tacking one side allows the tongue to shift. And once it shifts it can take a "set."

Not so long ago. I saw a pair of Testoni's where they had done the same thing but instead of a leather loop they used a very neat and sturdy thread loop. It was very tasteful and elegant.

Also sometimes you'll see, esp. on vintage and high end bals (and the way I was taught) that the topline of the golosh rises a bit under the ankle...it's not a straight shot from the heel to the curve at the vamp point.

And in passing, a hung lining ought to be easier with a balmoral than a derby. And esp. if you want an extended heel stiffener. We don't do it...can't, really...with side seamed boots but most high end shoes have a heel stiffener that is as long as the last itself is long. Of course, that gets wrapped around the back of the heel but it is still longer than you'd see in a wellington. And when that is done a mid-liner is added that continues that stiffening / reinforcement all the way from the leading edge of the heel stiffener to, and slightly overlapping, the toe stiffener.

You probably know all this...and I'm just making conversation...
I agree! The style is my latest passion. Besides, I like the world "galosh"!
and the challenge too, truth be told.

Paul
:thumb:
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Re: The Gallery

#1407 Post by paul » Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:51 am

Thank you! That conversation is much appreciated.
I'll spend some time with it and get back.
Thanks again.
Paul

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Re: The Gallery

#1408 Post by paul » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:21 am

<Well...it's not my place...but I think (my very biased opinion only) that the bigger problem is the distance between the bottom of the facings and the first set of eyelets. It encourages the facings to "gap" open a bit.

I sometimes put a little loop of leather just above the ankle and in the center of the tongue...then I thread the laces, coming from both sides, through the loop. This keeps the tongue centered whereas tacking one side allows the tongue to shift. And once it shifts it can take a "set."

Not so long ago. I saw a pair of Testoni's where they had done the same thing but instead of a leather loop they used a very neat and sturdy thread loop. It was very tasteful and elegant.

Also sometimes you'll see, esp. on vintage and high end bals (and the way I was taught) that the topline of the golosh rises a bit under the ankle...it's not a straight shot from the heel to the curve at the vamp point.

And in passing, a hung lining ought to be easier with a balmoral than a derby. And esp. if you want an extended heel stiffener. We don't do it...can't, really...with side seamed boots but most high end shoes have a heel stiffener that is as long as the last itself is long. Of course, that gets wrapped around the back of the heel but it is still longer than you'd see in a wellington. And when that is done a mid-liner is added that continues that stiffening / reinforcement all the way from the leading edge of the heel stiffener to, and slightly overlapping, the toe stiffener.>

DW,

- I certainly appreciate and agree to your point of the gap at the base of the eyelets. It's one of the fixes for next time.
- I've seen boots with the loop on the tongue as you describe. it didn't occur to me to do it that way, it will next time. Thank you. I'll have to have a look for the Testoni loop you're referring to.
- That straight shot top line is one of my "three". I couldn't find much input on styling that. I'd like to improve it for sure.
- Lining balmoral boots seem to be a puzzle for others as well. (Also on my list of "three".) I think I'll have a go at the hung liner. I guess the tongue attached to the upper? Also ann extended counter feels right to me on these. And side liners seems to go with it. Thanks for that too.

Certainly looking forward to the next pair. I hope it not too long.

With kind regards for your input,
Paul

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Re: The Gallery

#1409 Post by dw » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:10 am

Well....bear in mind these are 30 some years old (I did another pair in grey which I don't have a photo of)...And I would do a lot different if I were doing them now. FWIW:
20161206_074540.jpg
kangaroo balmorals
My list of "druthers" :uhoh: ...short, sewn-in (boot) heel stiffener, vamp point too low/far forward, more lift in topline of golosh (I was aware of needing it but didn't know how much....) and I would put first set of laces even a tiny bit lower. That's my short list...my "it's done now, move on" list.
DSCF1731.JPG
alligator & calf
And here's a pair of balmoral shoes I did not too long ago which I think I got everything prit-near right---for my eye. I am reposting it just you can see the topline of the golosh.

Of course, not everyone likes that look, and someone from another "school" of making, might even be a bit dismayed--it's all very subjective. That's why I said "sometimes." My eye is different than your eye and what I see as beautiful and appropriate you may not, but most of the makers I admire would do it that way.
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Re: The Gallery

#1410 Post by paul » Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:12 pm

They are stunning and inspirational.
Paul

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Re: The Gallery

#1411 Post by martin » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:18 am

Great work, especially like the black pair!

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Re: The Gallery

#1412 Post by dmcharg » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:19 pm

G'day All,
I hope you've had a Good Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year.
For the last little while I've been involved in the 'non-sewing' side of shoemaking; Designing, working on lasts, making tools; so yesterday I embarked on a 'sharpening the axe' activity.
The 'Sharpening the axe' illustration goes:

A man walking through a forest comes across another man chopping down trees. He watches for a while and then comments,
"Looks like hard work!"
To which the woodsman replies,
"Sure is, this axe is blunt"
"Why don't you sharpen it?" the wanderer asks.
"No time; I've got all these trees to chop down"

When I'm away from a particular task for a while, I start to doubt about my abilities in that area, and so when I noticed yesterday that this was happening, I decided to 'sharpen the axe' a little. These are tasks that aren't directly for a particular customer, but benefit them, and all future customers, in the refining of skills. Some craftsmen will save up, from their profits, to travel overseas to study their craft from Masters in other countries. I'm only starting to get my head around this: Someone who buys something from an artisan is not only buying something for themselves, but is also contributing something towards that artisan being able to take the time out to 'Sharpen their axes'. They are supporting a rare and beautiful thing; and the next time they commission a work from them, it will be even better than last time :) I have to remind myself that this does not mean the previous work failed in some way, but that you have done the best you could, with the skills/experience you had at the time, and that your whole life is one of learning and increasing your skills. The Japanese artisans understand this quite well.
Hmm. Longer post than intended :)
My 'Sharpening' consisted in doing some hand sewing around one of the tongues for a pair of winter shoes I'm slowly making for my self. I was aiming for a stitch count, by eye with *no* pre-dotting, in the high teens (stitches per inch=spi) and, of course, nice and straight and even. I ended up with a consistent 21spi! I think it's a three ply thread; not sure as I made it about a nine months ago. I'm very pleasantly pleased with the result.
Cheers and a Happy New Year
Duncan
21spi 1.JPG
21spi 2.JPG
And my index fingerprint for scale :)
21spi 3.JPG
My index fingerprint for scale :)

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Re: The Gallery

#1413 Post by dw » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:39 pm

Very nice, Duncan. :bowdown:

I wish I could do that anywhere near as well....no time. :greatnotion:

Looks like your axe didn't really need sharpening...just a little honing. :thumb:

Bliadhna mhath 'ur
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Re: The Gallery

#1414 Post by dmcharg » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:08 pm

Thanks DW, though bowing is not required :) It's just my little obsession.
Yeah, maybe just some honing, and helping with my confidence.
Bliadhna mhath 'ur to you and yours too. (had to Google Translate it :D )
Cheers
Duncan

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Re: The Gallery

#1415 Post by paul » Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:40 am

Wow Duncan!
Very impressive stitch!
Not just the outcome, but how you approached it and what you brought to bear to perform it.
I've been feeling rusty in some areas (if they ever were very honed) you describe.
I'm inspired.
Thank you,
Paul

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Re: The Gallery

#1416 Post by homeboy » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:28 am

Duncan......now we're talking!! Great job! Hope your eye hold out!! :bowdown: :thumb:

Adios, Jake
What one man has done....another can do.

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Re: The Gallery

#1417 Post by dmcharg » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:46 pm

Thanks Paul and Jake,
I am due for my next Optometrist appointment :) Wearing glasses is made nicer, at least for me, by getting several antique spectacle frames from 100+ years ago (two of them rolled gold!) at a fraction of the cost of new, ugly, bargain frames, and then get my prescription put in them. The ones with my closeup lenses in them are small brass frames from circa. 1850 with extending arms, with loops on the ends that you tie a ribbon to, as it was before wrap around the ear designed temples came in. Because the lenses are quite small they work like 'half moons', enabling me to look over the top of them to navigate my room or talk to people etc.
All the frames are very light and comfortable.
Cheers, and have a Happy and Safe New Year :)
Top frame: Close-ups, mid. 1800's
Middle frame: General reading etc, late 19th - early 20thC (semi. half moon effect)
Bottom frame: Will be used when I need specs full time as they are built for larger lenses, late 19th - early 20thC.
IMG_1887.JPG

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Re: The Gallery

#1418 Post by lancepryor » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:34 am

Duncan:

Happy New Year!

Very nice work. Do you use a stitching horse or other clamp to hold your work? And, what shape of awl?

Thanks,
Lance Pryor

ps how is the last making progressing?

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Re: The Gallery

#1419 Post by dmcharg » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:37 pm

Thanks Lance, and a Happy New Year to you too!

I have an old Beech shoemaker's clamp, with a fairly deep throat, that sees a lot of use when closing.
IMG_6272.JPG
IMG_6273.JPG
The Awl I used is one I made out of high carbon music wire that I bought from a model aeroplane shop in a 36" length (for about $4). It's straight with a 0.5mm cutting edge at the end. It's the same one I used when I experimented with attempting, approx., 50spi a few years ago; just single inches in a couple of pieces of veg. K'roo I'd split down to 0.25mm and then sewed together. It coped with over 12kg weight before the clamp lost it's grip.
Here's a selection of my awls:
From the left:
Antique Beech haft and blade. One of my favourite general closing awls.
All the rest have homemade hafts.
The next two have commercial curved blades (for scale).
Homemade fine square awl.
Homemade fine curved awl.
Homemade v/fine curved awl from a darning needle (I think. Made it about 15 or more years ago).Favourite for doing fine butt seams.
Homemade point awl; good for crossing over an existing row of stitches.
Homemade v/fine straight awl as used for the above 21spi.
Two different diameter pieces of music wire. You can get it up to about 1/4" thick and as fine as about 1/32".
IMG_6283.JPG
Cheers
Duncan

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Re: The Gallery

#1420 Post by paul » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:40 am

Wow Duncan. Thank you for sharing pictures of these.
Happy New Year to you.
Paul

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Re: The Gallery

#1421 Post by dw » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:23 am

I really like the shape of your hand turned hafts. Does the extra "ridge" in the hollow at the base of the haft have a function or is it purely aesthetic?
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Re: The Gallery

#1422 Post by martin » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:29 am

Extremely nice stitching, Duncan! I will need to give this a try by the time I go about those 18th century ladies' shoes again. My first shoe didn't turn out anywhere near what it should have where the white rand stitching is concerned.

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Re: The Gallery

#1423 Post by dmcharg » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:07 pm

Thanks Paul, DW and Martin,
DW; No the shapes in the stems of the 'mushrooms' are purely aesthetic :) . I was having fun with a pole lathe I'd made out of a forked branch.
(Counting from the Left) The 8th one is used for very light closing, so there's no need to wrap the thread around the stem when pulling the stitch home so the mushroom stem can be any shape you like. The dark brown one, 5th, probably shouldn't have that fine 'reed' on the stem. Got carried away, though it hasn't caused any problems when, in the past, I've used it for sewing welts and inseams. That Haft I turned out of an old wooden step, one of three, that were being thrown out. Dull grey on the outside, but really heavy and a rich browny, reddy, purple inside.
2nd,3rd and 4th from the left have a scolloped moulding effect on the stems and that works fine (and looks nice). You can see wax still on two of them. I think I used wood from a Privet in our yard for the 3rd haft; Australian Bottlebrush, also from our yard, for the 4th haft; 6th one's from a Plum twig; 7th, Plum branch (needed a quick awl so mostly just hand carved it); 8th, Australian Redgum.
Over 20 years ago, I made a tiny 'shoemaking' kit that would fit in a small, antique, tobacco tin as a bit of fun; 1 straight awl and 1 curved awl, both with small hand carved hafts, two leather finger guards, a 3 inch steel rule, a small folding pocket knife and a packet of fine needles. That and a ball of single ply linen thread and a ball of wax and I had a 'Bare Bones' kit :) When came to actually using it, I found that the small awls were good to use, so I've compromised and make the size of my hafts in between the tobacco tin and commercially made ones.
IMG_6286.JPG
Sorry, a bit wordy.
Cheers
Duncan

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Re: The Gallery

#1424 Post by dmcharg » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:45 pm

Lance, P.S. The lasts are coming along quite well. I'm currently working on pair numbers 5 and 6, and these will be the first ones to be fully carved with the French Sabot knife; looking forward to that.
DMcH Lasts.JPG
IMG_0551.JPG
DMcH AM.JPG
The eyelets on this pair of shoes are made from solid brass tubing. The setter I made, for using with a pop rivet gun, gives both the top and bottom faces of the eyelet the same, smooth, unbroken finish.

Cheers
Duncan

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Re: The Gallery

#1425 Post by dmcharg » Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:36 pm

By the way, I've just put up a couple of posts over in viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1951&p=41610#p41610 giving plans for the $10 pole lathe I made, and some other items I've made with it.

Have fun
Cheers

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