Monthly Archives: January 2011

Esquivel x New Grass Suede Cap Toe Boots

George let me squeeze in these boots before I left for Washington.  I used Esquivel’s Dublin boot as the springboard, but the inspiration behind them was the WWII era “service shoe” or “roughout” boots, or more specifically, the rare Type III service shoe (captoe roughout).  We didn’t have any tan suede in stock so I went with the grey suede instead with a tan/yellow calfskin lining.  I may end up dubbing these, especially now that I’m in wetter terrain.  I really wrestled with the sole options.  I was super temped to go with a white Vibram christy sole but decided against it since I have a couple pairs of Red Wings with Vibram christies.  I opted for a traditional leather bottom sole with a stacked leather heel and left it all natural.  I really like how the natural leather contrasts with the grey suede.  I also dug through the last library and picked out a last with a more traditional toe than the Dublin’s normally more bubbly toe.

I was able to take part in nearly every part of the construction of the shoe, getting some hands on experience with lasting, sole shaping, etc.  I’m really happy with the way these turned out.  Thanks again to George and his team for letting me take part in this!

This One’s For Pops

This photo made me think of my dad.  He was a fisherman, sailing the treacherous Bering Sea, between Alaska and Russia.  He’d be at sea for several months at a time, docking at Dutch Harbor and flying back to visit me if he had a long break.  He’d always come back with long hair and a beard, wearing a scraggly hoddy and he (and his entire duffle bag + contents) would always wreak of fish and cigarettes.  I can imagine why, especially considering the picture above.  I can still picture the smell and as gross as it sounds, it’s very nostalgic to me.

Internship | Esquivel

The next logical step after leathercrafting for me was shoemaking.  Actually, leathercrafting for me was more or less a stepping stool for the larger goal of learning shoemaking.  So I’ve been stealing away in my spare time for the last 8 months or so, learning the shoemaking ropes at the LA-based handmade shoe company, Esquivel.  Making shoes by hand is a dying art and it’s a shame, because it’s a beautiful and time-honored trade.  I have a genuine interest in learning shoemaking and in a sense, to have a hand in preserving the trade.

I got in contact with George Esquivel by chance and didn’t hesitate to ask him about an internship with his company.  It’s been amazing being there and I’ve gained an invaluable amount of knowledge thanks to George and his team.  Leaving this opportunity was one of the only things that made me regretful of moving, but I’ll no doubt continue to drop in whenever I’m in town (which will be very frequent).  This won’t be the end of the road for me and shoemaking…

If you’re looking for a unique, solid pair of handmade shoes made by artisans who take pride in what they do, take a look at Esquivel.  You won’t be disappointed.  George’s playful yet tasteful take on shoes always comes off effortlessly and somehow always manages to look modern and fashion forward, yet still classic.  Huge thanks to George and all the good folks at Esquivel for sharing their time and knowledge with me.

Transplanted | Vashon Island, WA

I packed my life into the back of a Uhaul and made a 24 hour marathon run up the west coast from my hometown of Orange, CA to my new home of Vashon, a small island right off the coast of Seattle.  My wife and I decided it was due time for a lifestyle change for us, our two kids, and two dogs.

This place is absolutely perfect.  We’ve got a lot to learn being city folk, but I’m more than happy to be along for the adventure.  So here’s to green trees instead of brown smog and acres instead of square feet.

p.s. If anyone reading is in the Seattle area and happens to have a motorcycle you want to let go for cheap, let me know.  I left mine in OC for the time being (will explain later) and am itching to ride, especially here on the island.

Prototypes | Macbook & iPad Folio Sleeve

I wanted something super simple and minimal that I could slip into a bag or backpack but would still look nice carried around on it’s own.

I opted for a button stud closure which I’m a big fan of.  It really simplifies the look while at the same time, giving a secure, quick, and easy closure.

The strap wraps around the back for a simple tuck and go system for smaller things like a phone, journal, magazine, etc.  The laptop sleeve worked out well enough for me to make the iPad sleeve for my father in law.

Picture Archives | Moon River Ranch, TX

I was going through my iphoto and found these pictures from a family trip we made back in August.  550 acres of open texan land, ATV’s, longhorn cattle, horses, pools, lakes, chuck wagons, shotguns, skeet, fireworks over the Brasos River, gratuitous amounts of food, lots of lounging and so on.  In other words, it was fun.