In extension to my previous post I thought I'd show you guys so of the photos I look when I visited the Grenson factory. I used an Olympus 0M-2 35mm film camera and a black and white film. I love the authenticity a film photograph creates aswell as the old fashioned grain. Personally I just love black and white photographs, I just feel they contain so much depth and drama. The contrast of the black, white and grey tones allows the image to show its true content, like the colour is irrelevant. Its what the photograph is trying to show that matters after all. The grid format is used to show a rough process of how a shoe is made, I also think this looks neat and allows the photographs to have there own prominent space within the image.
Here we have two gentlemen performing a process called Clicking.
This is where they start to make the top part of the shoe (the bit that covers the toes, bridge of the foot and around the ankle) formally known as the upper. The clicking operative is issued with a number of skins of leather, mostly from cows, although other animal skins can be used. The most traditional method is the use of a metal strip knives. He/she will cut out various shaped pieces that will be sown together eventually make up the upper. This can also be done on a pressing machine that will allow cutters to be pushed into the fabric to create the shape however I do believe this is mostly done by hand at Grenson.
This is a very skilled job because the leather is very expensive (one of the most expensive available in the World) so waste must be kept to a minimum. Leather will have varying amounts of flaws on the surface such as barbed wire scratches, insect bites and scars. These need to be avoided as it may cause the leather to split, make two pairs of shoes look uneven or simply not comply to the standards.
The two men photographed are professionals and have been working within the shoe trade for many years.