17 May, 2010

I Don't Know How I Do It, But...

There are very few books on shoemaking and pattern cutting for shoes. It's a dying art, as most shoes are designed by someone with no knowledge of production, and handed to someone else to make. But I feel I need a more in-depth understanding of shoes, and I also really enjoy the process of making them.

I have found one book that has been immensely helpful. Of course it is also immensely expensive. So I did some price shopping around the intarwebs, and I found that I could order the book directly from the publisher for half the price. I email them, requesting an order form, and not ten minutes later I get an email from the author of the book! It seems he works for this publishing company as well! He invoiced me and said he could send the book this morning!

But that's not the really interesting part. That's just the lead up. So, of course I sign all professional-ish emails with my phone number. I hate getting phone calls, but when it comes to my design work, I want people to contact me! But no one ever does. So you can imagine my surprise when at noon I receive a phone call from the author, letting me know he mailed my book. He asked if I was a student and we get to chatting. He is a lovely chap. It turns out he used to teach at Cordwainers (back when it was a good school) and has been in bespoke shoemaking for over 45 years! We talked about schools and how hard it is to find a real education in footwear. And then he did something amazing. He offered me two things- first, that I may email him with any technical questions I may have about shoemaking. Secondly, he said he teaches in the US and knows a lot of suppliers, shoemakers and other people he would happily put me in contact with.

HOW did that just happen? I order a book and somehow get a phone call from the author who offers me his shoemaking contacts in another country?? I think he sussed out that I wanted to do more than make Manolos and was happy to meet someone who appreciated the knowledge he has to share. But still... WHAT? HOW?

1 comment:

Charlie Snowgarden said...

This is one of the most loveliest and sweetest entries from anyone on my blog roll I have read in a while. You must have been beaming at the time. :o)