About This Website
As you may have already suspected, this website is designed to provide insight and advice on recreating and constructing historical raised and high heels, such as chopines, pantoufles, zoccoli, and the like. I have based my chopine and high heel construction techniques on extant examples, written documentation, pictorial evidence, and educated guesses where information is not available. You will also notice that this website is mainly dedicated to the chopine and raised heels from the 15th to the 18th century, but I certainly am interested in other types of shoes and other crafts as well.
This, of course, leads us to the next question - who am I, and why should you listen to my advice anyway? Excellent question! I'm Francis Classe, and your host through this wonderful world of heels. In real life, I'm a mechanical engineer, but I frequently play a shoemaker on TV. =) Note that I have never been "classically trained" in the bespoke manner of shoemaking (or cordwaining, to use the period parlance); much of the information contained on this website was obtained by digging through old books and websites, looking at writings/paintings/illustrations of the period, reading articles and books on the construction of shoes (such as those by big names like Swann, Salaman, and Goubitz), examining extant pieces themselves, and most importantly, making shoes! I've been making shoes since around 2000, although I count the early years heavily as "learning exercises," as I certainly wouldn't display those attempts (although I may, as a joke, put them up one day!). In any event, I'm a modern day fellow with an interest in crafting historical shoes - there are more of us out there than you might think!
Regarding the information on this site - please feel free to use the techniques, references, illustrations, etc. for your own crafty purposes, but if you plan to publish anything, either online or in the written word, I would very much appreciate a quick note and a nod; it takes 60 seconds to write a comment letting me know that you'd like to publish some of the information, and 60 seconds to insert a link into your work stating where you obtained the information from. This is not only professional, but also demonstrates intellectual integrity, something we all value! =)
Lastly, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog or write me directly at francis.classe AT gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!