Final piece Evaluation

The materials I used for my final piece were plaster, clay and leather, the leather was a light blue and on the flip side white however the white was a coating and wasnt natural and so it couldnt be laser cut which was a slight set back that was resolved. Originally I wanted the lasts to be plastic but the plastic I wanted was too expensive so I had to settle. the soles used on the display are clay and plaster.

With the way I pinned the leather shapes to the lasts I wanted to show speed and that why they kind of have a resemblance messenger wings or just wings in general, I personally think they look like hermes shoes.

I wanted to do something abit different to what the final outcome was, However, I do like certain elements, like the resemblance to hermes, and how well the laser cutting element turned out. I do think that i got torn between two different ideas of what i wanted my final piece to be and thats affected the final outcome.

My final piece relates to my proposal because it was about deconstructing and the shapes that go into a shoe, i think I have displayed this in my work along with other things including experimentation and the idea of making everything from scratch.

Overall I think it could have been better if I had used my time better and had acssess to the materials I needed , However, I think in the end i used what i had to the best of my abilities.


So the theme of my Final project was the design and overall look of a running shoe/Trainer, I wanted to take inspiration from iconic Nike Air designs such as the Air Max 95 because of the hidden lacing. The way I gathered secondary research for my project was by looking at current popular shoes on websites such as footlocker, Klect and FightClub, and looking at the types of materials, shapes and patterns that are used within some of these designs.


As well as looking at the design of the shoes I also wanted to look at how they were put together, what tools and machinery were used in this process. For this I looked online however I could not find much useful information apart from local companies which manufacture casual footwear, although this was not the type of shoe I wanted to create, it was a step in the right direction and so I went ahead and contacted these companies, unfortunately, most of them were unable to get back to me for reasons unbeknown to me. As no one got back to me I looked on youtube and found some amazingly helpful videos on how some of the tools were used to make shoes and so on…


I had also found a large number of designers and pages on instagram which showcased digitized designs as well as prototype trainers and decided to reach out to a few of them asking about processes, materials and other designers they use and think about when they are doing their own work.  


At the start of the project I went with processes that I had previously become good at using such as photoshopping and illustrating digitally. As I had done research I wanted to in a sense build a shoe from scratch, by this I mean make all the tools used to create a shoe myself for example a shoe last, usually made from wood or plastic and so I carved the shape of a last out of plaster and made a cast of it so that I could then produce unlimited amounts of the original last out of whatever suitable material I desired. The original plan was to pour a plastic material into the cast because plastic is stronger and more resistant than plaster and these features are imperative to what the last is used for, however, the plastic I needed to use was only available in high quantities and was overly expensive and so I was not able to get hold of it.


When i was researching materials to use I ordered some samples of leather from yarwood leathers and they were sent pretty much immediately, I looked at a black and yellow theme of leathers that looked abit distressed rough. I also got a full hyde of buffalo leather from a market in todmorden which was specifically used for making sneakers, the only down side was that one side of it was coated in a white plastic coating, I assume it was to give the leather a better finish. This meant that I wasnt able to have this sheet of leather laser cut but instead we used the other side and just scratched the surface with the laser.  


I think my skills have developed drastically  throughout this course as I have explored new processes and materials, I started off with a lot of pencil drawings and the idea of designing a sneaker, this has develpoed into looking at how I could create tools such as a last which is usually made from plastic and is pre made, instead I used plaster and carved and casted the shape of a last which are two things I have never done before. I was also shown how to use a laser cutter and make files ready to be used on a laser cutter. I have also looked more towards textiles and using sewing machines and stitching fabrics together which is something that I have done before but have not yet done properly and is something that I would liked to have done more of.


I would have like to have done more laser cutting because when I used this tool, the final outcome was amazing, however certain materials and lack of time held me back from doing this, I also wanted to see the possibilities if I had access too plastic lasts and some of the proper tools used to make sneakers, if so I believe I would have been able to make something more professional.  

Laser Cutting

I took the pattern that made for one of my digital designs and turned it into an illustrator file so that I could have it laser cut onto leather, the leather that I decided to use was buffalo leather. however, the outer layer of it was coated in a plastic material and glued on so I wasn’t allowed to have it cut on that side. I had to use the suede side for the imprint, tomorrow I am going to go back and Cath is going to show me how to make a vector so that I can laser cut about half way through the leather without cutting through the coated side.