I thiiiink I cobbled together–in the sense that they were pretty janky–my first pair of sandals roughly two and a half years ago, in August 2010. I’m pretty much self-taught (I lucked out, discovering a killer text: Jonathon Ervin’s Leather Notebook, a gem of a book hand-lettered in 1973, with fantastic drawings that have the prettiest lyrical line quality). After a year and a half, though, I felt like I’d reached a plateau in terms of what I could figure out on my own. In order to reach the next level, I needed to invest in a shoe-making class, so I attended a week-long course at Bonney & Wills and started making some real headway after that. Because I’ve found it so challenging and expensive to puzzle out the right materials to use, the correct tools and equipment to have on hand, and the proper techniques, I have a tendency to want to hoard my knowledge.
- “Do good work and share it with people.”
- “Wonder about something…Invite others to wonder with you.”
- “Bob Ross…gave his secrets away. Martha Stewart…gives her secrets away.”
- “When you open up your process and invite people in, you learn.” [bolding is mine]
I’ll start by posting older work. Below is a photo of the oldest sandal I’ve made and kept. ( I tossed the first pair because I mistakenly soaked them in neetsfoot oil to seal them. Holy cow, that stuff stinks! Hey, the book didn’t say how to apply it! Soaking seemed so much more direct than rubbing it in with a rag!) Okay, I’m embarrassed as hell putting this photo out there. Be gentle with me. *Blush…*