The sole aim of my work is to create shoes and leathergoods of use and joy, and to give others the opportunity to do the same.
The moccasin in particular as a style of footwear has always intrigued me, being an ancient and highly personal item of clothing expressing the individual. The many ways in which they are made provide techniques I enjoy discovering, using and sharing time after time.
Although I'm drawn to the plain and utilitarian on one hand, and the pretty and decorative on the other I attempt to marry these aspects until a product feels balanced. With each new style, a rigourous process begins with cutting patterns, prototyping, and practicing relevant manufacture techniques. Finally a style is reached that incorporates everything I feel is important technically and aesthetically. I feel that the process needs to be fun and interesting for the end result to have a life of it's own. This way of working I find exciting, challenging and rewarding.
In 2011 I won a prestigious footwear design award which gave me the opportunity to set up a moccasin atelier in the Selfridges shoe galleries, London. I hand-stitched bespoke styles for customers in-store which led to an on-going appreciation of working in a direct manner with people and manufacturing on a small scale.
In 2013 a baby moccasin collection was developed inspired by a trip to Sandy bay and Pelican narrows in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada. I accompanied a friend to visit and share skills with cree artisans who were, and are still, attempting to engage youth with traditional skills in order to preserve heritage and understand identity. Here I picked up home-smoked moose-hide and beads to work with, and continue to use these for the bespoke styles I make. A person's first shoes are symbolic of past and future. Where will this child walk to and who will they become?
Before making shoes I designed them for streetwear and fashion brands in London for a decade. I have taught short courses and day workshops in London, Whitstable, Dartmoor, Dartington and Bude, and continue to share as much as possible about the satisfaction in hand making footwear and carry goods for everyday use.
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Thank you and I hope to see you soon.