Portraits 1 : Shoemaker Van der Meiren, Melsele

Making portraits that is a challenge : the light and the colors must be perfect, the person must be captured in his essence and character, the surroundings are important.  There is so much to learn and to try here for me, it’s like a whole new world to discover.


There are not many shoemakers anymore in Flanders, it is a fading profession.  It is more like a handicraft and very useful (a longer life for shoes means less waste, good for the environment too). 

Shoemakers are  snowed under with work.  It is a very good thing to learn if you want a good and regular job, but strangely enough not many youngsters seem to get this idea. 

The shoemaker Van der Meiren is one of the rare craftsman who has also the skill to repair saddles.  Since horse riding as a hobby is booming, people come from far and near to get their saddle repaired. 

If you enter the workshop of F. Van der Meiren, it is a bit as if you go back in time : saddles hang on the wall, a mass of shoes in all forms and measures is waiting for repair, other rows are ready to be collected again, there is the smell of leather and all kind of tools and machines are around him.

With thanks to F. Van der Meiren.


01:19 Gepost door Hildegarde in Vlaanderen-straat | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | |  Facebook


mari This photo of him working in his shop is so rich. So many shoes, so many stories.

Gepost door: mari | 08-04-06

memories I had forgotten they still existed. I had a shoemaker in my streek when I was a kid. Soles and heels were promptly repaired if shoes still fitted.
He was a funny guy, I used to be fascinated by the machinery in his workshop. Of course he didn't actually make shoes, so the word shoemaker is not well chose, he only repaired them.
Great photos and thanks for bringing back these fond memories.
And in Melsele: I have a friend or two living there. But they are not shoemakers :-)

Gepost door: pieterbie | 08-04-06

wow wow hildegarde
wat gaaf
zo'n schoenmaker hadden wij vroeger ook hier in het dorp, en als kind heb ik wat tijd versleten met kijken naar wat hij allemaal deed
brengt leuke memories naar boven deze plaatjes
dank je wel en maak er een fijne zondag van hé

Gepost door: klaproos | 09-04-06

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