Ivan Lukic, Serbia: every pair of shoes is unique

01 May 2021 13:10

A master who does his job well is highly valued not only by clients, but also by museum workers. Why? Because we are talking about a craftsman who makes the attributes of a medieval costume. In particular, today we are talking about the master from Serbia, Ivan Lukic. Grateful clients nominated his workshop for the Artisans and Craftsmen People’s Choice Award competition.

Ivan Lukic is the member of the group White Eagles (Beli Orlovi) organization. He is a medieval shoe maker and leather craftsman.

“For now the top of my work as a medieval shoe maker is that the museographs from the Golubac Fortress Serbia appreciated  my work and it’s accuracy and told me that my shoes look like replicas of the shoes found in museums. So they also ordered 10 pairs of shoes from me”, Ivan Lukic told HMBIA News.

He started his work in this direction 3 years ago. Being involved in HMB sports, Ivan understood that there were no craftsmen in Serbia who could produce shoes of the Middle Ages for reenactors and HMB athletes. He decided that he must do everything in his power to at least somehow cover the shortage of relevant specialists. Thus began a long period of research and the first attempts to make a comfortable and historic shoe. For 3 years, a long way has been passed and the master has something to be proud of.

“I started learning from scratch how to do it, I started researching  how to do it from books and of course from the Internet, and from then on everything went by itself. In my research I found that in every part of the world the shoes are very different, in every century  they change and they evolve through time, and you can recognize them by their particularities”.

As you would guess making medieval shoes is nothing like making modern time shoes, it takes a lot of patience and everything should be handmade, from cutting the leather to sewing, up until putting it all together in one piece. For making an accurate pair of medieval shoes Ivan needs around three days of work.

“Most of my shoes are made after medieval paintings, manuscripts, sculptures and  museum artifacts, because I want my work to be accurate, and to not be mixed up with fantasy or Larp. Almost every pair of shoes I make is unique, and every time I make a new pair of shoes I make a new pattern so it can fit the one who will wear it perfectly”.

Of course, the master communicates a lot with clients before making a pair of shoes. This is an important part of the job, but sometimes it’s more of an outreach job! 

“I get a lot of questions about shoes, and a lot of weird requests from people who would like to buy my product, but they usually end up showing me pictures of fantasy shoes, and I always have the patience to explain them the difference between what is accurate and what is not from the historical point of view”, said Ivan.

The master sometimes receives orders, which is a real challenge to fulfill! For example, Ivan remembers a pair of 14th century England, also  known as “poulaines”, whose points of it were supposed to be 15 cm long and have a lot of decorative elements, because only the richest people of that time wore such shoes. Ivan fulfilled this difficult order, giving pleasure to the client, who could now flaunt in a luxurious suit and shoes at HMB tournaments and festivals. The master himself, among other things, received invaluable experience in creating such shoes for the future.

I love my job, and I am trying to be better and better at it, also sharing and discussing with other medieval shoemakers around the world”. 

Undoubtedly, the opportunity to learn, share experience with colleagues is beneficial not only for masters, but also for all of us who are passionate about HMB sports. Indeed, as a result, we are the ones who get high-quality and beautiful items that create the mood and atmosphere of the Middle Ages, which reigns at our events around the world.

The news would like to thank Ivan Lukic for an interesting conversation and remind you that very soon we will announce the start of voting for the best masters.

In addition, you can read about the work of other masters, which we wrote about earlier:

Henrikas Viteika workshop from the UK
Workshop of Anna Muzalevskaya from Russia
Historicum workshop from Poland
Past Time Pedlar workshop from the UK.

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