26 February 2015
In February 2015, Eelko Moorer, course director of MA Fashion Footwear at London College of Fashion (LCF), travelled to Johannesburg to facilitate a workshop at the Museum Of African Design (MoAD). The Anatomy of Footwear ran for four days, during which Eelko led the participants through the different stages from deconstructing a shoe, to designing a brand new pair of sandals. The visiting Maker Librarians and their hosts also held a roundtable discussion about footwear manufacturing and design in South Africa. Here's some highlights from the course.
Day 1 was a hands-on introduction to shoe-making. Each participant was asked to dissect a shoe to reveal its components. Course leader Eelko Moorer put all the shoe parts into one bag to mix them up. Each participant then received a jumbled selection of parts from which to create a new ‘Frankenstein’ shoe. After this creative experiment, Eelko gave a lecture about lasts, the moulds of feet used to shape and fit shoes, explaining their role and significance in the shoe-making process.
During Day 2, participants started to work on their own design, focusing primarily on structure. Using a last which they covered in masking tape, they drew the desired shape of the sandal on to the mould. They then cut the masking tape out and used the resulting mock-up to test how the shoe would fit on their own foot.
Days 3 & 4
During the final two days of the course, the participants sculpted their sandals. They cut out the leather uppers from a variety of materials, including ostrich skin, then dyed them, fixed them to the sole and added buckles and other adornments. Finally, the designers finished the shoe edges with a sander. The resulting sandals ranged from the elegant to the abstract, and each participant proudly took their creation home with them.
Location: Maker Library at MOAD, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dates: 23-26 February 2015
This workshop was hosted as part of the Maker Library Network programme.