“Lost Trades” podcast

Here’s a link to my interview on the “Lost Trades” podcast, hosted and created by Don Gonzales.

https://losttradepodcast.com/lisa-sorrell-cowboy-boot-maker

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Choices and sugar

It was hard to decide if I should start on the Louvin Brothers shoes or the RBG shoes first, but I decided to delay gratification on the Louvin Brothers shoes just in case I have some more mistakes to learn the hard way. Bo brought me a Virgil’s root beer and a bag of candy; for my next apprentice I’m requesting one who will bring me salads and sniff disapprovingly when I consume sugar.

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Inseaming

“Inseaming” is sewing the welt to the boot through the insole. The sand-colored ostrich boots are both inseamed, one of the alligator boots is inseamed, the final alligator boot is waiting to be inseamed, and the waxed inseaming threads are laying across the boot toe.

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I need a boss

At some point I need to stop making shoe uppers and actually make the shoes. But it doesn’t matter right now because I’m feeling better, so playtime is over and it’s time to go back to work on cowboy boots.

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Not sure who won

I am now weak as a newborn kitten and exhausted, but the boots are on the last. If you ever want a good fight, try lasting a pair of ostrich boots that decide they don’t wish to be lasted.

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Progress

I am genuinely so proud of myself right now. I ran into a small issue as I was putting these together. Instead of barreling ahead and hoping for the best because I had a deadline, I stopped before it was too late. I went home and thought about it, found the solution, and fixed it, without stressing about falling behind. Yes, the design is fantastic and I think I’ve executed it well. But I’m most pleased with the construction–the small details that affect how the boot will sit on the last, or tiny elements inside that no one will ever see. I am proud that I’m giving myself the freedom to learn and be challenged without a deadline spurring me onward relentlessly, where I can make boots because I truly love doing it and getting paid to make them is a bonus and not the primary motivation. I am proud that I have worked hard to leave space for joy in spite of the presence of loss and grief.Of course, I still have to worry about whether or not they’ll fit. I don’t know of anything that eases that little bit of uncertainty, so that should keep me humble. 😁

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That’s a day

It’s an unsatisfactory place to stop, but I’ve done the difficult part (sewing in the hard counter) and now I must go enter orders and pack boxes.

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The process

It took me far too long to understand that if I wanted laying soles to be easy, without the threat of ugly gaps or places that wouldn’t stick, I needed to neatly prepare the boots leading up to that stage.

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Celebration!

I put these together completely in my head last night before I went to sleep, and in a historic first, I did not sew anything out of order this time. Please ignore the messy bench (I obviously am) and the yellow shoelaces (they’re just to hold the shoe together until it’s completed and I put in the correct shoelaces).

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Stitching is where it’s at

The cowboy boot top on the bottom has been completely stitched; the top one is only partially stitched. Please notice the importance of stitching for leather inlay and overlay. All of the tiny details and any hint of movement or light/shadow is conveyed with stitching.

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