It's been a while since we heard from Donovan Skirvin, one of the few people in this town full of makers who makes handmade shoes. He's back on the scene now, though, with the Elske Project, a Kickstarter campaign in which he's pledging to make 10 pairs of shoes using only non-mechanized tools. The tagline for the campaign is "Proof That High Quality Goods Can Be Produced By Hand Here."
Donors of $75 or more will get shoes! But the point is bigger than that.
By combining traditional practices with new ones, Elske has found a way to produce beautiful shoes that do not require machines to be produced in an extremely efficient way. This is important because it shows that it is possible to create a production system that employs humans in a way that engages mind and body in a manner that modern humans seem to want in the work place. The process also demonstrates the feasibility of producing quality goods in the United States. The process will be documented from start to finish with writing and photography. At the completion of the production phase of this project, a final exhibit will take place. This exhibit will show all tools used in the process, all design notes, detailed explanation of the process, photographs of production, ten pairs of shoes, and interactivity with the shoemaker.
This has gotta happen, and dovetails with what feels like a (yet again) renewed motivation for returning manufacturing to the United States and doing so in a way that's accessible for more people. It looks like it will. The campaign has less than 24 hours to go and is less than $150 away from its goal. Feel like pushing over the mark?