There comes a time in everyone’s life when they arrive at a fork in their road. They are faced with a choice. For some of us, we decided long ago what our answer would be. Some of us have no choice. For some of us, the fork is still in the drawer, hanging out with the spoons.
The choice I’m speaking of, obviously, is to make shoes, or not. I took a break from my regularly scheduled deadline production and I made some. They aren’t practical in the conventional sense, but, they can be useful.
I’ve been thinking about this project for a long time, and I have stored up materials to make other kinds of shoes. This month’s Punk Frocker’s challenge prompt is #pfSewNotClothes, so I thought I’d dip my toes in and finally start this project. I’ll write more about it when I refine this process and develop the other prototypes.
For Christmas, my darling bought me the experience (and shoes) of custom made sandals. COVID-19 was in full roar, so we had to postpone our trips to Jutta Neuman’s shop in NYC.
We went up for an initial consultation, and they traced my feet. We made a weekend of it, and had a wonderful time. We both found some great books and other treasure, and the food was delicious.
The second trip involved two visits to the shop. In the morning, they fitted the straps to my feet, and glued them in place.
We went out a delightful lunch that began with some fried anchovies, to give them time to assemble the sandals and allow the glue to set.
We we returned to the shop, I walked in the sandals, and they traced my feet in them to cut them down. After we left, they added a Birkenstock type tread and put them in the mail.
I love sandals, and I’ve always wanted to learn how to make them. I tell a story about in 1993, I was in NYC for the CMJ festival, and happened upon a leather shop that made belts, bags and sandals. I was enthralled with the place, and while I never had the chance to have sandals made for myself, I did strike up a correspondence with the proprietor the resulted in the offer of an apprenticeship. I had just bought my first house in Baltimore, and couldn’t make it work. I figured someday I’ll do this. Meaning both learning to make sandals, and also have a bespoke pair for myself. I can happily cross one of this off my todo list.
These feel amazing – they fit perfectly, and I never want to take them off. I love them – what a wonderful experience and gift. So very thoughtful!
While we were in NYC, we visited the garment district, which was a lot of fun. I found some neon PVC which I’m going to make some repeated things with – more on that soon.
P.S. My nail polish is OPI Blue my mind. It matches the drums I use in Coastguard, and is my favorite color.
There are a few movies that are in constant rotation in my studio/home. I watch and/or listen to them while I work and/or workout. I’m not saying they are cinematic masterpieces, only that I love them. It’s the highest praise I can give. These movies continue to provide rewards with consecutive viewings.
I just saw Welcome to Marwen, it immediately earned a spot on my tiny, exclusive list.
Steve Carell plays Mark Hogancamp, an artist who had his memories and drawing skills beaten out of him outside of a bar when he drunkenly admitted he likes to wear women’s shoes.
Much of the narrative takes place in Hogancamp’s yard, in a model town he created called Marwen. Barbie like action figures (the characters in the film actually call them action figures, bless) interact with a puppet figure Hogancamp. It’s an elaborate coping mechanism that highlights the resilience of imagination. He stages realistic scenes and photographs them. The shift between two worlds – a miniature facsimile and the “real” world – is enticing. Plus, the bad guys are Nazis and they are repeatedly pummeled by his stiletto wearing female protectors. The sets are wonderful. And Carell’s Hogancamp is endearing without being sappy. He finds peace and acceptance in his internal world – who doesn’t want that?
I read a shitty review of this film (there is no shortage of them) that noted Welcome to Marwen is for people who complain about Hollywood’s formulaic films. I went to see this with a friend, and we both thought the movie felt “loooooooong.” But, that’s not a bad thing, and I also think this deserves several initial viewings. Does it have some problems? Probably. But it’s so good.
It’s directed by Robert Zemeckis, who directed Back to the Future movies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Cast Away, and Forrest Gump. I think this film is a labour of love, and perhaps wasn’t really positioned to be a blockbuster. I don’t care if it was. I’m glad they got this story out into the world. There’s even a nod to Back to the Future.