Now brings me onto the ‘Creative Feets’ aspect of the title… Yeah yeah yeah, terrible play on words. Live with it.
In Melbourne we stayed at the Art Series Hotel: The Cullen, which was recommended by a friend. Cheers Hannah! The Cullen is like the love child between a fantastic creative business mind, and a free spirited grunge eye for the gritty and the crude. The Cullen displays the artworks of Adam Cullen, a Sydney born artist whose works, are best viewed rather than discussed with no visuals. The hotel was situated close to Chapel St and a hidden workspace specialising in bespoke leather shoes.
Wootten Bespoke Footwear by Jess Cameron-Wootten.
I have a huge appreciation for items handmade/handcrafted by the one individual. One item created by one pair of hands. It evokes the diminishing ideals of the soon forgotten concept of face to face manufacturing, or tailoring the bespoke, in it’s purist sense. By this I mean the difference between an individual meeting you, measuring you, and creating for you opposed to, you logging onto a bespoke website, entering your measurements and paying for an overseas manufacturer to put together an item for you according to what the specifications on an order form say. No hate against that method though.
At Custom Made Shoes on Grattan St, Prahran, I was taken in by the whole experience. The retail front, the shelves full of lasts behind the counter that led to the various leathers rolled up and all that machinery… score! I spoke with Jess and he gave me the rundown of what he does and a little about the creative scene in Melbourne, then he kindly let me run free in his workshop. Jess was the real thing, a proper cordwainer carrying over the skills from his father and keeping the experience available for the public for that much longer. (A common misconception is the use of the term cobbler referring to a person who makes leather shoes. A cobbler is actually someone that works with used materials or repairs shoes, where as a cordwainer is a person that crafts shoes from brand new materials. But you all already knew that!)
I love workspaces and this did not disappoint.
I believe products are best viewed through the eyes of the creator. Interested? Check out Jess’ website at http://doccobbler.squarespace.com/wootten/.