Lasts but not least

The Herald - Scotland's Homes - - Scotland’s Homes -

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.

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