Friday, December 23, 2011

Shorthand Christmas Carol

I found this little beauty a while ago at the flea market in Deptford, south east London.

I love it when an old book had the original owner's name and the date.
This belonged to G. Harris, dated 26th June, 1931.

Beautiful cover? Check. Bit of history on the inside cover? Check.
Can this book get any better? Absolutely! Have a look inside....

The whole thing is printed in shorthand!
Pitman's produced all sorts of publications related to Commerce, including an extensive range of Shorthand, Typewriting and Stationery publications. Many of these were exercise books, and they even produced shorthand versions of popular stories and novels to be used as reading exercises.

G. Harris made notes throughout the book, dating her progress...
5th November, 1931

10th December, 1931

Does this beautiful little book have any more surprises? Why, yes it does!
G. Harris left her book mark in there...

Other titles are available...

Jekyll and Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, even the New Testament - all printed in shorthand.
Or if you prefer a more international overview, there were books on Esperanto shorthand, as well as French, German, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Welsh, Gaelic and Afrikaanse. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

X-Men First Class

**This is an example of some of the work I was involved with when I worked for a company called Theatrical Shoemakers. We made costume shoes for film, theatre, television etc**

Did you see X-Men First Class? Did you pay attention to the costume designs by Sammy Sheldon? Did you keep an eye on the ladies' footwear? No? 
Ah well, here is a brief recap of the footwear made by Theatrical Shoemakers for the film...

Pearlised white leather thigh-high boots with concealed platform and suspenders style top line. The leg section of these boots are unlined and the leather is quite thin and supple for an extra snug fit.

Knee-high version. Pearlised white leather, concealed platform.
Look at those tiny ankles!

Ankle version. Pearlised white leather, concealed platform.
The concealed platforms are made up of layers of cork and then filed into shape with a rasp and then smoothed off with sandpaper. It had to be seamless, because with such thin leather, any little bump or dip in the cork would be obvious.

Lovely brown knee boots with concealed platform. On screen for about 3 seconds. 
And upstaged by that fellow's impressive beard.

Annoyingly, I didn't take a better photo of these GoGo Boots (this was long before I considered starting a blog) The cutouts and lacing continue up the length of the boot on the inside and outside.

These shoes are the copy we made of some original 60's shoes provided as a sample. The sample pair were too small for the actress.
We also made the black knee boots the blonde girl is wearing in the above screen shot, although I didn't take a photo of them at the time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Merry Christmas, we're watching you.

A jolly, festive reminder from Canary Wharf shopping centre security.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Some Wicked shoes

**This is an example of some of the work I was involved with when I worked for a company called Theatrical Shoemakers. We made costume shoes for film, theatre, television etc**

These are some shots of shoes we made at work for the London production of the musical Wicked. The amazingly imaginative costumes were designed by Susan Hilferty and are incredibly detailed, as are the shoes with an array of colours, textures, fine details and interesting toe shapes. Here are some of my favourites...

I love button boots and these are some excellent variations.

curly toes! Hooray!

These exaggerated toe shapes are built up with layers of lightweight cork that we then file back into the desired shape with a rasp.

Want to have a look around the Wicked costume department and hear about the costumes from Susan Hilferty herself? Well you're in luck because Threadbanger made this handy video!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Industrial chic

some snippets from around the workshop...