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.
Photo Credits: Ms Valencia