Lasts but not least
HAVING stumbled upon a haul of around 1000 1930s wooden shoe lasts while she was sourcing stock for her business, White Dove and Wonder, arts and antiques dealer Susan Gaston bought them on impulse without any idea what she would do with them.
But as they were a nostalgic link to her family’s association with the shoe trade, which goes back three generations, Susan and her husband Jimmy both agreed they should be preserved, not least because they are an important symbol of industrial heritage.
With a bit of creative thinking, the couple set about recycling the lasts, which were crafted by one of the best shoe factories in Northampton, to make a range of highly covetable items for the home – and bring “shoe envy” to a whole new level. The result is a collection that gives these vintage lasts a new lease of life – incorporated into coffee tables, mirrors, bookends, doorstops, candle holders, clocks, coat pegs, table lamps, bookshelves and bespoke commissions, all designed jointly by the duo.
Former photographer Jimmy – who now works alongside his wife in their Greenwichbased business – follows through the process by painstakingly restoring each shoe last before hand-making striking new objets d’art.
Recycling at its most ingenious, prices start at £29.99 for a single shoe last coat peg.
For more information or to order, call 07899 665197 or visit www.whitedoveandwonder.co.uk, while the range is also available in Scotland from A Millers Tale in St Andrews.