Each shoe is eight weeks in the making, a process involving over one hundred and sixty separate stages. The ‘clickers’ (the name deriving from the sound of the cutter’s knife clipping the brass bound pattern), cut out the leathers deftly and expertly, knowing just where to place the pattern on the leather and in which direction of grain to cut.
One man is responsible for the brogue patterns and punches the design into each shoe individually. The ladies who sew the stitch detail (this is still a typically female role) do so solely by eye, skilfully lining up the two rows, one millimetre apart.
And the skivers (this is where the word comes from, though why it has taken on its current connotation is unclear), who thin the edge of the leather, work with such a pace and fluidity of movement that each leather piece seems to be in their hands only moments.
Yet while these processes have a quickness and rhythm to them, there is an obvious patience and dedication to the task. Every part of the shoe is fashioned and guided by the human hand and human eye, by a deep understanding of how leather handles. This attention to detail shows in the finished article.