As a designer-maker I feel part of that weird breed of people, who since the start of time, in all ages, climates and situations has felt the urge (and necessity) to look down at their feet, and to devise a suitable foot covering, using available materials.
My greatest love and interest in shoe making is still that part; in fact my interest was first awakened when I saw a Native Indian moccasin in the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, and realised that someone, a very long time ago, after dinner put their foot on a piece of left-over hide, cut roughly around their heel and toe, sewed a half round piece to cover the top of the foot, and wrapped the rest in strips up around their leg, fashioning in effect a layered bootleg with ventilation gaps, and tied the ends with a tendon at the top. It looked so well-thought-out and at the same time so easy, so natural, and so like what I would do!
I love discovering shoemakers who take an old construction (most are old constructions) or style and think “Now, would it be possible to make the shoe I want to make, using this construction?” Or “Could I make the same shoe, but using a different construction?” “Is there a material out there that acts like bark but doesn’t break like bark?” And ” Is there a rest material I can use/recycle?”
Of course, you want the modern innovative shoemakers too, the ones that require a whole new material to be devised that functions perfect for a certain design, but I love the shoemakers the best who take something old/traditional, and invent a modern or new function and interpretation for it. Then there are the designers who make works of art!