Should we have a staff shoe at COVER? Yes. Time to start that e-petition so COVER’s big Kahuna will buy us a slew of Kiyoshi Yamamoto’s hand printed leather textile shoes from the 2012/13 season of the Aurlandskoen shoe company.

The ancient Norse warriors who named the land where Aurland shoes are made weren’t ones for hyperbole. UNESCO has since declared the area a World Heritage site, but the Norsemen named it “Gravel Land”. Really? Gravel? Accurate but not the poetic moniker the sublime landscape deserves.

The shoes pictured above, a bit of a cross between a Blue Meanie and a fluffy cloud, are just one of Yamamoto’s designs. We quite fancy the dogstooth too. A graduate student working on his MA at Bergen Academy of Art and Design where the student/staff ratio is 3:1, Yamamoto’s textiles are revelatory. Be sure to have a good rummage round his website.

“The Original Aurland Cabin Shoe” is a moccasin-like design. Local man Nils Tveranger began making them in the early 19th century after being inspired by Native American moccasins. They quickly became identified with the region and produced by many Aurland makers, although there is now only one manufacturer, Aurlandskoen, and the shoe we see today is a refined model dating from the 1930s. DJ

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