Chris Francis is about as close as you can get to an explosion of creative thought. That's to say he constantly expanding, with increasing momentum, in all directions. There's little about the world that doesn't interest him, and it shows when he expounds on subjects as widely diverse (but perhaps, very much related) as Salvatore Ferregamo, The Who, and how corporate culture has a chilling effect on creativity and innovation.
Oh, but where were we? Yes, SHOES! Chris is a shoemaker, cobbler, bootmaker, cordonnier, whose own curiosity leads to a world of influences and inspirations, from fashion to Orientalism, punk rock and the shells of fallen industry. He works hard to be both radical and provocative. Expanding the boundaries of what is considered beautiful is very important to him, and his shoes are experiments in seeing how far those boundaries can be pushed.
Chris is the mad scientist of footwear, an inquisitive mind that finds absolute delight in taking a concept and bringing it to life. His fervor and passion for the handmade leads him to being a verbose advocate, and as arguments in favor of the diversity, fantasy, quality, and beauty of wearable art, his work speaks for itself.
Photographs by Noel Bass. Courtesy of the Craft & Folk Art Museum.