CAS Week 2018

Renaissance College

Category: Shoe-Making Workshop


Today’s the day that everyone’s been waiting for. After an extensive research, designing, sourcing, and modelling process over the past few days, we have finally reached the stage of making our shoes.

Jeff’s partner, Kit, introduced a couple of more tools and equipment to us in the morning to ensure that we’ll be ready to put our shoe together. She kindly taught us the use of different forkers (prongs) and dividers. The prongs, a small fork-shaped tool appeared rather foreign at first, but we all managed to get used to its forking purpose after a few practices. Its purpose is to puncture small holes on leather pieces to allow an easier stitching process afterwards. The dividers, on the hand, are to mark down guidelines and make sure we puncture the holes accurately along the lines. Since leather is an expensive material, we wouldn’t want to risk wasting any by using the forkers without guidelines.

Kit had also taught us to stitch on the leather pieces using a special type of thread called Wax Thread. Its difference with normal threads would be that Wax Thread is coated with a layer of wax throughout, so that when it comes in contact with heat, the wax properties allow for the stitched on Thread to sustain its shape as it cools. The heat source we used to “finish” our stitches with is a typical handheld lighter.

Many of us could not properly operate a typical handheld lighter.
However, when we all learned to do so, it was an incredible experience. Of course, we remained as sensible young adults and did not play with fire.

Also, Miss Valencia came and paid us a visit today! We talked about some of the things we had done in the past four days. We also shared some of our thoughts on the experience so far, as well as reflected back to the initial goals we had set for ourselves prior to this week. A goal that I set had been to challenge myself by trying new things this week. This experience is certainly new to me, and so far I do see the challenge in placing multiple complex steps together to creating a simple pair of sandals. So I definitely look forward to seeing how my end product would be like.

Overall, having learned the skills of marking lines, puncturing holes, and stitching leather pieces together, we began to apply the skills to the actual making of our shoe. I found that many of which was taught by Kit and Jeff had been extremely helpful in the making process. They have also provided us with much guidance and support throughout the day, and I feel even more confident now to be able to finish my shoes by tomorrow.

Author: Kelvin

Photo Credits: Ms Valencia


On day 3 of our CAS experience, we were finally closer to mastering the art of shoemaking for beginners and making our every own custom made shoes.

After the research and supplying process of the materials, we first started off by modifying our final design. Jeff advised us to list out the dimensions of our design prototypes such as the band size, ankle width when we had to sketch out our final idea and annotate where the materials would fit.

Once we finalized our design with approval from Jeff whether they would be feasible to make, we started modelling the shoe template by making paper folds. Paper folds are basically guidelines of the design features made from masking tape. To make them, we had to wrap masking tape around a template foot that was for our size – e.g 40, unisex, round. The first layer of masking tape being horizontal and the second being vertical, this process was rather tricky as we had to wrap masking tape all over the shoe model, and insure that there were no creases on the shoe template from the tape. Having no creases would allow a smoother surface to draw our designs on. Next, we drew our design out – e.g bands, outer corners, buckles, and cut them out as guides for measurements for the real materials.After that, we cut the paper folds out and labelled it a,b,c, etc.

Along the process of learning how to make paper folds, Jeff and Kit introduced us to more of the technical side of making shoes, by talking about the concept of adding allowance – the extra gap of fabric that can be folded underneath the shoe to allow a smooth design. Some of us also proceeded with creating the mock ups of the whole sandal itself using cardstock. In order to stick the design features, we had to make slits along the edge of the sole to make the bands pass through, also exploring the idea of allowance.

Although most of us would have rather began the creation process for our final sandal, the paper fold model allowed us to better visualize our design, especially if we needed to create a buckle or a velcro strap. In addition, if we are unsure about the dimensions needed for the actual materials, we could always refer back to our paper folds as a guide.

Next, we are going to start off with creating our final designs, we are all very excited to see our sketches come to life and see how each other’s unique touch can reflect on the creative direction of the creation of sandals.

Authors: Jennifer and Bhavisha


Today we continue our journey of shoemaking, yesterday we finished our designs and today we start the process of sourcing. Sourcing is a process where designers go to the market and buy what they need for their design. For us to source, we went on a field trip to sham shui po! First, Jeff gave us a short briefing session where we tell him what we show him the list of things we need to buy. Jeff then teaches us how to communicate with the shop owners in sham shui po, if we respect and be kind to them, then they will respect and be helpful to us.

After the short briefing, we walked to sham shui po, where Jeff introduced us to the streets and what they sell. Jeff then introduce us to some of the stores he usually goes to for the workshop, we can see that Jeff is really good friends with the shop owner, this may be because they respect each other which transformed into a good relationship.

Other than shops that sell materials, Jeff also introduced us to local restaurants (cha chaan tang) and art centers including an art shop called form society. For society is a small art shop where they aim to promote art around Hong Kong, they often organize workshops and art events around Hong Kong so that more Hong Kong people can participate.

After Jeff introduce us to all these shops, he gave us free time to buy material and explore sham shui po ourselves. We got back 3 hours later where we share what we saw and bought in sham shui po with the rest of the class.

Overall it was a fun and interesting experience, not only we bought useful materials for our sandals, but we also get to explore places we would never have the chance to go if we didn’t have CAS week. It was a tiring yet fun day, and we are all excited for tomorrow where we start making our sandals.

Authors: Sunny and Russell


Today is our first day at the shoe artistry workshop. Some of us hand trouble locating the place, but we all made it there in one piece. We meet Jeff, one of the two people running the Shoe Artistry, and he lead us for the day. We were told we are going to make sandals.

Jeff introduced us to the materials and tools of the trades, stating the purpose and function of each one. We got to know about the scissors, hammers, threads, leather, glues that is used to make shoes.

After that, we talked about shoe lasts, a place holder for a foot when making shoes. We got to decide on the type of shoe shape we wanted through picking the lasts. Jeff also taught us how to draw our feet by tracing around it on a sheet of paper which also helped determined the type of lasts we picked.

Around half way through the day, we got let out for some exploration to hunt for some inspiration. We were tasked to take pictures and draw some of the sandals we saw around Mong Kok, paying attention to the shape, straps, and style of the shoe.

After a hour and half, we met up again in the workshop to share our findings. Then we started to come up with ideas for our own sandals. We shared our plans and Jeff gave us tips and improvements for our design.

The day was almost over and Jeff informed us on the task for tomorrow: come up with a list of materials we need for our shoes because we are going to go shopping in Sham Shui Po!

Today we lots of fun and chill. I felt like I learnt a lot more about making shoes, something which is completely new to all of us. I look forward to learning more since I know we barely breached the surface of this craft!

Author: Po Yee


Before CAS week actually began, we were informed to take a look at sandal designs as a reference for future designs. We were also told to research other things that might be related to sandal making and construction online as means of achieving basic background knowledge.

This process was not that complicated as we only needed to look at images and see what styles we preferred however they also greatly influenced what we chose to do as market and material research the next day.

Author: Lotus

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