Monday, July 9, 2012

A Little Update

So, it has been a little while since my last post.  Though I certainly have been busy, that is not the core reason.  As I have been in the process of learning from Perry, I must admit it feels a bit haphazard.  I learn what I can when I can and try to capture key lessons from Perry with the camera on my phone.  Because of the nature of my apprenticeship with him, that feeling is almost inevitable.  

Within the last few weeks I have taken a few more videos and I will continue to post them. However, my ultimate plan is to do the following:  Once I have mastered the various techniques in several different areas regarding different styles of shoes, I will give a more methodical and detailed explanation of the various stages of making a shoe.  So, if by chance you have taken a look at some of the videos I've taken, seeking to learn from them, and feel like it is a little disorganized, just realize that it won't be too long before I am able to do the "presentations" myself, a bit more chronologically accurate.

Now, regarding my progress:
I am to the point where I have made complete uppers, including the lining, on a derby. However, there were enough rough spots that Perry suggested I start the process over so that my finished product will actually be wearable.  So I am currently working on a pair of cap-toe oxfords that will be brought to completion and which I will put up on the blog once they are finished.  The same can also be said about a pair of chukkas I am working on.

And finally let me say a little word about my learning process.  I realize now more than ever that I  have a block in my learning ability that really frustrates me.  It is very difficult for me to recall specific details about things I have learned.  As an example, it takes me an inordinate amount of time to learn somebody's name.  I have looked foolish on several occasions when running into people whose names I should definitely know, but can't seem to conjure.  This leads to an awkward interaction where I try not to let them know that I can't remember their name.  On more than one occasion, I am ashamed to admit, I have resorted to asking somebody how they spell their name.  This works if their name is complicated, or if there is more than one way to spell their particular name.  But if their name is something like Joe, it becomes completely obvious that I just don't know their name.  Heck, who am I kidding?  It is probably obvious anyway.  

So, how does this relate to shoes? Well, I have to repeat a task several times before I get it, and probably more times than is common to most people. And I have to repeatedly refer back to notes or videos I have made.  However, at least in some things, I believe I am persistent enough in learning it that I am ultimately able to get to a point where I can accomplish said task quite effortlessly and efficiently.  Therefore my request to the one or two of you who may be reading this blog periodically is that you bear with me through my "stupid" faze, where all I can do is post a few pictures or videos of what Perry has taught me, to the point where I have a fairly good grasp on enough of it that I can convey the information to you in a way that is more accessible.  


  1. Hey Tim,

    Don't worry about not being able to remember the names of some people, I am the same way and in order to remember someone's name I have to hear it in conversation numerous times to remember, especially if it is a generic name like: joe, Paul or Tiffany. Sometime I give people nicknames that represent a characteristic or where they are from (sometimes people like it, sometImes they don't)

    Also, you are in the process of making not just shoes, but heirlooms because as you stated, a well made pair of shoes can last generations. So, take your time because the art you are learning is an art that is resting on the shoulders of a few (along with bespoke tailoring) and is going by the wayside because youth today aren't interested in anything that isn't solely based on a computer. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing a finished product from you soon. Hopefully you will be makin shoes for the public.

    Jerome F.

    1. Jerome,

      Thanks for the comment and the encouragement!

  2. Hi! Just wanted to let you know that yet another person was reading! Really enjoying your posts and appreciate that you're taking the time to share your experiences. I've been doing leatherworking for a little bit, and recently, have found myself interested in cordwaining. As you know, it's hard to come by information, if one doesn't have access to classes nearby. Thanks to blogs like yours and other sites/videos from master shoe makers such as Tim Skyrme and Andrew Wrigley, I'm finding the information and inspiration to perhaps attempt a pair of my own. Some of the tools seem elusive, but I'll be working on that! Anyway, thanks so much for your part of keeping this old, beautiful artform alive for current and future generations. - Jammes

    1. Jammes, I'm glad you have found these helpful so far.!

  3. Hi Tim try the learning how to learn course on the Coursera app. Its good. All the best.