Tuesday, December 28, 2010


It's been quite a long time since I have updated. Che scema. But I guess one could say I have been busy living my life outside of the internet. Maybe I will make some silly new years resolution to give myself a blog schedule or something of the like. After skimming over a few things on 'The happiness project,' I found some value in the author's argument of doing something every day. In a way it is much easier to do something once a day, every day. Running three times a week is very difficult. That flexibility of allowing the three days to be whenever works best is dangerous. Before you know it is saturday night and you've realized that those three days never quite happened because you kept putting it off to the next day when things would 'for sure be less busy.' Or something of the like... I agree with the completely. So maybe the way to go with the whole blog thing, or journalling, or any sort of recording, is to say once a day, everyday. In fact, I do have proof from experience that this works. The last time I lived in italy, 2007, I made a silent pact with myself to write something, at least a sentence, in my journal every single day I was there. It worked. Every night I wrote something. I think I might have missed no more than four days in six months. Of course as soon as I got home life got more routine and less confusing, and the journalling quickly dwindled down to nothing. So maybe I shouldn't be so quick to be making promises. I have a feeling that life on my return to Philly will be quite a change from what i've been used to here in florence. Much busier for one, real school! Finally!

In the meantime I will present to you an attempt to make up for my lack of correspondence with the internet. And no better place to start than the highlight of my fake schooling in Florence. I say fake school because really there is no better way to put it. An American 'university' in Florence, with classes taught in English, and about 80% of the students only stay one semester? I just had an incredibly hard time taking the whole thing seriously. As properly described by a friend: I kept waiting to push over a cardboard wall, and for everyone else to realize that those grades they were giving out, they're all just a smiley face sticker. And everyone gets  their own smiley face. Of course this is just my exaggerated, biased view. Coming from a program last semester that was quite 'rigorous,' to say the least of it, I really felt let down. I really love school. I found my niche at UArts. And honestly I cannot wait to get back to my design education, no matter how much sleep I lose in a semester.

Complaining aside, I did take a great course while I was there. Footwear design and construction. The first half the 'design' half seemed a little like just an exaggerated version of the drawings of shoes I used to make in my sketch book when I went through Shoe Phase #1, c. 12 years old. So I drew shoes for a month or two... Can't complain. We also got to do a few wonderful tours of factories. My favorite! Then came the second half of the semester, which I treated with all the seriousness of any ID class back home. We made almost one hundred percent from start to finish a ballerina-style shoe. Me being me, I made two. A pair. The way shoes should be. Nothing is sadder than a lone shoe.

Needless to say, I have an endless amount of respect now for the handmade shoe. It's a hell of a lot of work! And that was just a simple one piece upper ballerina, I can only imagine how complicated a pair of wingtips or something of like would be. Not even being to think about boots. Uhf. Thats a lot of leather to sew. All in all though, I must say, I loved it! This is exactly my favorite tip of meticulous detail work. And the end product: shoes! Gosh I love shoes. Shoes and bags, bags and shoes. Maybe someday I will find a pair of lasts in my size (38 if anyone seems them!) with a simple toe style and start making myself flats. There is nothing I love more than a project that I fully functional in the end. And I'd love to try out different styles and pattern cutting. Alternative materials... yum. Watch, all this complaining about Florence, and I wouldn't be shocked if in ten years I end up the apprentice of some shoemaker a few blocks from the Ponte Veccio. No, that's not going to happen. I've had enough of Florence.

The above pictures are a few highlights of the extensive collection of process pictures I took during the whole endeavor. I'm working on putting all of them together in a little book that illustrates the steps it took to make a ballerina. Next semester I'm taking book binding, so hopefully I'll be able to put it all together in a book!


Matt said...

Ugh nothing worse than boring school! Glad to see you're doing well though.

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