The sole is stamped with the maker’s mark, the size, and the width of the shoe. The sole is attached to the last with a staple gun, then using the relevant sized upper, the shoe is pulled over the last, the toe is pinned, and the upper is stapled to the seat of the last. This is followed by a combination of paste, hessians and cards to build up the block, depending upon the dancer’s specifications. This is how Freed of London make their bespoke pointe shoes, and this behind-the-scenes process is how Prue Lang’s “Castillo” begins.
Jana Castillo in “Castillo” by Prue Lang. Photograph by Anne Moffat