S: Cowboy Boots
BC: Lisa Sorrell artist, boot maker | 217 E. Oklahoma Ave. Guthrie, OK 73044 405-282-5464 | www.lisasorrell.com firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: sorrellcustomboots
1: Lisa Sorrell is a cowboy boot maker. Working alone in her shop in Oklahoma, she creates bespoke boots for individual clients, using their measurements and leather and design choices. Lisa also teaches both boot making and leather inlay and overlay. | www.lisasorrell.com email@example.com
2: It all begins with the design, drawn onto a poster board pattern and then stitched with no thread in the needle. The poster board design is laid onto leather and a small bag filled with baby powder is rubbed over it. The powder falls through the holes, leaving a line of small dots to follow for cutting and stitching.
3: The designs are cut by hand with an X-Acto knife, carefully following the design that's been marked onto the leather. Every edge, whether it goes on top or underneath, is skived. To skive, a very sharp knife is used to slice off the edge of the leather at an angle. This prevents bulges and ridges in the finished work.
4: Lisa frequently works from a client's drawings, photographs or ideas.
6: All of the design stitching is done on an old Singer sewing machine. Every line of stitching requires careful attention; there's no computer guiding the machine.
7: This is an example of a design with ten rows of stitching.
8: A cowboy boot with an intricate inlaid and overlaid design requires many pieces of leather. A considerable amount of time goes into creating patterns before any leather is cut.
9: The vamp, or foot part, of the boot is stretched over a specially shaped board in a process called crimping. This gives the formerly flat piece of leather a three-dimensional shape.
10: These are the completed boot tops with the vamps and counters attached. The side seams will be stitched with the right sides of the boots facing each other, so the boot will be wrong-side-out.
11: The side seams are stitched on an American Straight Needle machine. An awl punches the hole and the needle comes up through the hole created by the awl and grabs the thread to make the stitch.
12: After the side seams are stitched the boots are turned right-side-out. Now they're ready to be shaped around the last.
13: The last is a wooden form that's been customized according to the client's measurements. The insole is shaped to conform to the bottom of the last and trimmed to size with a knife.
14: Wrapping the leather over the last is called lasting. During this process a toe box is inserted between the vamp and lining to give the toe its shape and all of the wrinkles are smoothed away. The leather around the heel is also pulled smooth and tight so there are no wrinkles.
15: This boot has been lasted and is waiting to have the toe box put into place. | The toe boxes have been added to these boots.
16: Inseaming is sewing the welt, a narrow strip of leather, to the boot through the insole. After the sole is cemented to the boot it's stitched in place through the welt.
17: The soles have been cemented to the boot, stitched, and pegged. A hole is driven through the leather with a pegging awl, and then a small piece of wood called a peg is driven into the hole.
18: After it dries the sole is sanded smooth, dyed and polished. The heel is added one layer at a time, each layer shaped, pegged and leveled. Constant care and attention is given to making sure that each boot matches its mate in every respect.
19: When the boots are completed they're dampened and boot trees are inserted. They sit overnight on the trees for the final shaping. They're cleaned and polished one final time and then sent to their new owner to be appreciated as wearable art.
20: Lisa enjoys listening to classic country and bluegrass music and chooses to name all of her boots using song titles from these genres. | "The Way I Am"
21: "If We Make It Through December" | "Out Among the Stars"
22: "Waltz of the Angels" | "I Heard the Bluebird Sing"
23: "Love is a Lonely Street" | "Nobody Wants to be Country" | "I Want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart"
24: "Under Your Spell Again" | "Smoky Mountain Rain"
25: "A Satisfied Mind" | "Drifting and Dreaming" | "Rambling Fever"
26: "A Good Year for the Roses" | "Knoxville Girl"
27: "Born to Run"
28: "Boulder to Birmingham" | "Counting Flowers on the Wall"
29: "Come Early Morning" | "My Elusive Dreams" | "If Heartaches Had Wings"