Friday 10 January 2014

Shoes #3

Just before Christmas I visited a shoemaker in Bethnal Green, located under the railway arches there. His name is Thomas Rowe and he recently started the Parachute Collective - a collective of shoemakers - with workshop space, machinery and a shop. It's a very contemporary space, but with all manner of traditional shoe-making equipment, such as a Lockstitch Blake Machine.

Thomas studied shoemaking at the Cordwainers College (now part of the London College of Fashion), and a recent graduate is Maud van den Broecke. We expect to be working with both of them on our upcoming Soul to Sole project: making shoes, giving demonstrations and running workshops. I have also had a brief conversation with the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers about a possible partnership with them.

I also met with Helen Wyld - a National Trust employee who is working at the Met Museum in New York, undertaking research on the tapestries which once hung at Croome.

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