The tools of a craftsman...photography by Euan Denholm
Now that the Christmas shopping has been completed, my thoughts have begun to wander away from my the present and I've started drawing up lists of things I need to do next year. Over the last twelve months I have developed a passion for shoes, an addiction even. It is just impossible to resist elegant, well fitted leather creations. After meeting shoeists like the chaps at Lodger and of course Mr. Hare I had a feeling that their passion would be contagious and it certainly was. I have documented my exploits in becoming a fine footwear consumer in recent months but now I'd like to take my own new found passion one step further...I need to learn more about the craftsmanship and observe each skilled process in the making of my favourite footwear.
After stumbling across the above pair of Edward Green made to order shoes one of the adventures sitting near the summit of my to do list is exploring the heart of English shoe country, Northampton. Edward Green is just one of the traditional yet still thriving men’s shoemaker based in this historic shoe producing town. Northampton is only an hour from Euston on the train and I think it will prove to be a really fascinating trip which I will surely make early next year. My exploration of English shoe country will begin with Edward Green and these images taken by Euan Denholm which document the Northampton workshop make me want to make the trip as soon as possible in the new year.
A craftsman at work...photography by Euan Denholm
In 1890 Edward Green began to make hand crafted shoes for gentlemen in a small factory in Northampton. Founded on the skill of his craftsman and his belief in excellence, he soon gained a reputation for making 'the finest shoes in England for the discerning few.' Today the high standards remain. Almost one hundred and twenty years later and they still hand make all of their shoes in their own workshop in Northampton. Every pair is hand cut to ensure they use the very best grain of leather. Some styles are even hand sewn with a pig's bristle. Each pair takes several weeks to make and many skilled craftsman are involved. Based on Jermyn Street, Edward Green has become discreetly famous for producing probably the finest Goodyear welted shoes. Instantly recognisable - an English look with definite international appeal. Stay tuned and expect a follow up post in January after I've visited the workshop myself...