Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Last Cordwainer

I am sure most of you have no idea what a cordwainer is, am I right?

How many of you know what a cobbler is? No, I don't mean the peach or apple kind, either!

A small lesson here:
A cobbler is someone who repairs shoes.
A cordwainer is someone who makes shoes.
A last is the form they use to make the shoe.
A cordovan is a type of Spanish leather.

So, I, Cordovan Cobbler, formally welcome you to the Last Cordwainer.

Why did I pick this name, title etc? (BTW- any name you may have previously known me as shall hereby be stricken from your vocabulary or suffer a slow and painful death.)

Because I am trying my hand at making shoes. Yup. I decided that I want to make shoes.
Today was the first day. I bought a pair of flats in my size at a thrift store and took all embellishments off. Then oiled those puppies up and filled them with plaster to make the last.

I should be tearing the shoe apart in about an hour.

Please stay tuned for further updates on my shoe-making process. I am sure it will be full of surprises and stories.


  1. OMG, how crazy. I bought a book a couple of years back and the shoes and plaster but never got around to it. The book shows several ways to make the lasts and then follows through the steps, etc. There was even a separate book included which specifically addressed sandals. It took be forever to find the specific glue (barge).

    I got a free cd from someone on craftster.org showing how to make custom boots. It seemed pretty interesting. That was last year. You definitely have to keep us updated on the process and post pictures of your progress! Post them for posterity sake if nothing else. Good luck!

  2. Wow - very cool. I hope you have fun doing this! Somewhere I was reading that Daniel Day Lewis spent quite a bit of time learning to make shoes in between movie roles so you're in good company. :-)

  3. I think I might try my hand at modern women's shoes first. I doubt I will do sandals or tennis shoes though.

    Although, I have toyed with the idea of doing leather boots.

    I would be interested in your CD Anath....seriously.

  4. I actually looked up "cordwainer" when you started up the new blog. Cool!