Anthony Delos, who just received the well deserved Meilleur Ouvrier de France Award (a very important that rewards the best artisans in our country), kindly sent us the photos of the masterpiece that earned him his prestigious title.
This exceedingly demanding contest is structured in a way not disimilar to a figure skating competition (!) : it is divided into two stages, during which the aspirant will be judged by his peers on two imposed models, and a freestyle creation (nicknamed "the masterpiece").
To reflect as best as possible the spirit of Anthony’s work and respect his inspiration, we have translated the exact description he forwarded of his masterpiece, which is truely breathtaking work in every aspect.
Here is how he described it, with his usual humility.
“ This piece is a tribute to François Pinet, a boot and shoe maker admitted to the Compagnons du Devoir du Tour de France (French organization of craftsmen and artisans dating back to the Middle Ages) in 1836 under the name of Tourangeau la Rose d’Amour .This is why I inlaid a brass rose in the heel. Also, my workshop is located in Rosiers sur Loire. As you know, I also belong to the Compagnons du Devoir, and it meant a lot to me to salute my predecessors (including Pierre Corthay). Without them passing down our craft, there would be no young shoemakers today.
For the freestyle creation, I tried to imagine a shoe created for François Pinet today while rendering what he means to me as a shoemaker.
To highlight my craft and its roots, I wanted to design a shoe that had both vintage and contemporary appeal, even though buttoned shoes have become quite uncommon. So I went for a modern shape. For the assembly, I chose a Norwegian construction, round internal and external edges with a relief at the shank. The braided Norwegian construction highlights the heel.
I have never seen a shoe making use of those three specific techniques : Norwegian and welted construction and braided Norwegian.”
Anthony Delos – May 31st 2011
And to really show it all, here is a photo of the two imposed models and of the freestyle creation.
Admiration and respect to Delos, and congratulations !