Day Five: the making of the Oklahoma Boots, which are now part of the Oklahoma State Capitol permanent art collection
At this point in the process all of the decorative work is done and each piece is completed; now it’s time to begin putting all the pieces together.
Making a pair of one-piece top boots with a single seam up the back is a challenge. Here I’ve sewn the vamp tongue onto the boot top; this concludes the easy part of the construction.
The challenge begins once the back seam is sewn — from this point forward I’m working with a tube shape. The absolute hardest part is sewing the thick, heavy, flat counter (heel reinforcement) into the boot. It’s done in this photo and you can be sure I was breathing a sigh of relief at this point. That center back seam can be an ugly eyesore and it’s typically covered with a simple strap of leather. I decided to use it as an opportunity for another design detail, so the back strap is an intricately inlaid and stitched oil well. The Oklahoma State Capitol building is the only capitol in the world that sits over an oil well and the only US capitol with active oil rigs on the property.
The most common question about these boots is, “What size are they?” There are two answers: One, they’re a size 10B. And two, no, you won’t ever get to wear them.
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I'm a custom cowboy boot maker. I own a business, Sorrell Custom Boots, and I create bespoke cowboy boots using vintage machinery and hand tools. I also own www.sorrellnotionsandfindings.com, a company that specializes in tools, supplies, and leather for the boot and shoe making trade.