apprenticeships and schooling

Looking for someone to make a particular style of boot? Need a mentor? Post a notice here.
Post Reply
Message
Author
marcell

apprenticeships and schooling

#1 Post by marcell » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:10 pm

Hi everyone!

I intend to invite 2 forum members every year free of charge for two weeks. I make it for preserving the craft, sharing some useful knowledge. Craig Corvin and Rick Roman was already participated in this program and feels hopefully happy with it, so I decided to continue.

So I would like to invite these two guys:

Jon Gray,
Jeffrey K Richard

If you wish to come, please contact me. (think about the second half of the year)

User avatar
jkrichard
3
3
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:08 am
Full Name: Jeffrey K Richard
Location: Tulsa, OK, USA
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#2 Post by jkrichard » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:31 pm

I am beyond honored and flattered... and almost rendered speechless (and that takes a lot). My answer is a resounding YES!

Thank you, thank you!

-Jeff

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#3 Post by dw » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:33 pm

Image Image Image

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

User avatar
jon_g
5
5
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:46 am
Full Name: Jon Gray
Location: Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada
Been Liked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#4 Post by jon_g » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:34 pm

Marcell, Thank you. I am overjoyed. This is such an exceptional opportunity. I can barely believe my eyes. I look forward to seeing you in Budapest.

Jon

mac
2
2
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:06 am
Full Name: Sean MacMillan
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#5 Post by mac » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:58 pm

Congrats guys!
That is very kind of you Marcell.

I bet there are a lot of people who are green with envy! I must say...I'm one of themImage

Sean

User avatar
romango
8
8
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:40 pm
Full Name: Rick Roman
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#6 Post by romango » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:09 pm

I had an unbelievably great time and experience in Budapest. It's very inexpensive to stay there and Marcell's help was fabulous and generous beyond words.

Have fun!

corvin
2
2
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:13 pm
Full Name: Craig Corvin
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#7 Post by corvin » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:29 pm

I truly don't know how I could ever repay the debt of gratitude I owe Marcell for the time I spent in his workshop.

He is incredibly devoted to the craft and it's preservation and his knowledge is only surpassed by his generosity!

And on top of all that, he's a good natured, fun guy to hang out with!

Jeff and Jon are in for a fantastic experience!

marcell

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#8 Post by marcell » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:07 pm

Thank you guys! You forgot to mention the rest: "OMG", "sharpen your knife!".. and the rest.. Image

User avatar
jkrichard
3
3
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:08 am
Full Name: Jeffrey K Richard
Location: Tulsa, OK, USA
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#9 Post by jkrichard » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:06 am

A légpárnás hajóm tele van angolnákkal!

(I figured I'd get a head start on learning Hungarian. Maybe I can develop a full Magyar accent by this time next year.)

On a serious note:

Thank you again Marcell. This is an amazing example of the "pay it forward" attitude. I am still blown away. I guess I'll have to step up my game in the cordwaining department and prove that I can earn my keep, so to speak. Image

marcell

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#10 Post by marcell » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:37 pm

Wow! You can teach me some Hungarian sentences! Image I hope I will understand you better face to face than this.

User avatar
jkrichard
3
3
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:08 am
Full Name: Jeffrey K Richard
Location: Tulsa, OK, USA
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#11 Post by jkrichard » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:46 pm

I suppose learning my Hungarian from Monty Python fan sites is maybe not the best idea. Image

User avatar
niksag03
1
1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:15 pm
Full Name: Sue Brown
Location: Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#12 Post by niksag03 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:52 am

Hey there, does anyone know of any schools in South Carolina with shoe making? All the places I have found are in New York, Ohio or overseas. Looking for something in my area where it would not be too expensive because once you pay for the course, travel, and accommodation it all adds up.


Thanks

Sue

paul
8
8
Posts: 1014
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 10:00 am
Full Name: Paul Krause
Location: Prescott, Arizona, USA
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#13 Post by paul » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:38 am

Sue,

I don't think I've ever seen any listing for your area either.

Alot of us have wished for the same thing you're asking for.

Idealy, finding someone with whom you can sit and watch and learn some basics is maybe the best way to start if a school is not close. Add to that the abundant resource this forum is.

However let me say this about the expence of travel and such to learn boot or shoe making,
It's worth it.
When you are away from your life, your attention is focused and not distracted by other concerns. Your committment is tested and resolve is affirming.

This is not really a hobby, like sandals or mocassins can be (and absolutly no offence intended to our sandal and moccasin makers, please). But eventully understanding shoe making involves understanding leather, and last making, and it just goes on and on. Ppotentially, it's a highly specialized field of study. How much would you pay for a whole 'nuther life?

These are just some thoughts on a quiet morning, and my words are meant to encourage, I hope you'll receive them that way.

Best Wishes,
Paul

User avatar
niksag03
1
1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:15 pm
Full Name: Sue Brown
Location: Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#14 Post by niksag03 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:58 am

Thanks Paul for your encouraging words. There are a lot of shoe repair shops in my area but I don't know if I will learn some basics from them, they just repair the bottoms. Learning that is fine, but I would like to learn about the uppers, pattern making, etc.

kieran_ionescu
1
1
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:00 am
Full Name: Kieran Ionescu

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#15 Post by kieran_ionescu » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:28 pm

Sue.

I echo Paul.

With that said, I live in NC, and while in no position to teach anyone, my shop is always open to folks who are interested in visiting. It might help you figure out more specifically what you what to learn and at the very least put shoemaking in some kind of context.

Bests,
Kieran

User avatar
niksag03
1
1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:15 pm
Full Name: Sue Brown
Location: Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#16 Post by niksag03 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:47 pm

Wow,thanks Kieran I would love to visit one day. Could you email me your information?

Sue

User avatar
athan_chilton
4
4
Posts: 163
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 7:03 am
Full Name: Athan Chilton
Location: Urbana, IL, USA

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#17 Post by athan_chilton » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:02 pm

Sue, I can only echo Paul K. above--it's well worth spending whatever you can, to go to where the teaching is. I'm an absolute beginner (less than 10 pr of shoes so far) and have gone to both east & west coast for schooling. I will go back to NYC next time Marcell teaches there, too, no matter the cost. The quality of teaching is well worth the cost. Meanwhile learn whatever you can on your own, even simple stuff. Before I attended my first class I made very simple stitch-down shoes and moccasins with instructions from a 1970s book, Catherine Lewis Clark's "Make Your Own Shoes". She doesn't teach lasting or much that goes into 'real' shoes, but it was nonetheless a good simple intro to the craft. Best of luck to you & don't let the difficulties stop you. The more you learn, the better it gets! And the people on this forum will answer questions too, and give you pointers on any work you post.

User avatar
niksag03
1
1
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:15 pm
Full Name: Sue Brown
Location: Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#18 Post by niksag03 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:01 pm

Hi Athan, thanks for the information and sorry for my late response. I had a baby this month and I am still recovering Image) I think I would have to put the extra money aside to attend Marcell's class. Not sure when but it will have to be one of his classes in New York. Or if I can get 10 -15 people interested in Columbia SC he may consider coming here to teach. I will take a look into Catherine Lewis' book and see what I can learn on my own. Do you have any other tips for me while I try it on my own? Where should I begin? What tools or materials I should start off with? Do you know anything about this book Bespoke Shoemaking? Do you recommend it? Do you recommend any sites to purchase the materials such as heels, leather, tools?

Anyway now that I am back I can't wait to enjoy more of this forum.


Sue

marcell

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#19 Post by marcell » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:47 am

Let me say a word. shoemaking is not a hobby. It is a craft, even if it looks like a hobby - you can't be a hobby crafter, you will be a beginner craftsman. So better to start with proper trainings, teachers, than books and knowledge and make shoes which look like shoes.

If you can't start learning now, I would suggest to design, learn patternmaking from book, etc. That things are useful.

User avatar
courtney
6
6
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
Full Name: courtney schamach
Location: petaluma, california, u.s.a.

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#20 Post by courtney » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:05 pm

Sue, Bespoke shoemaking is great! I think that it is tottally possible to learn how to do this on your own. Obviously if you can find a master shoemaker to teach you that would be better.

I think with this forum, videos, books, and the internet in general you can find information today that would have been very hard to come by years ago.

I have only made 3 pairs of shoes but I think they bassicaly look like shoes and kind of fit like shoes.

Courtney

luckyduck

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#21 Post by luckyduck » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:40 am

Sue,

I have to weigh in on this one. As I am about 3 years into working fairly diligently at making shoes and boots.

Maybe one class to get started is good. You would want it to be something aimed at the complete beginner. Alan Z. has a nice one at www.shoeschool.com that I took. It gave a lot of background and helped get over the mindset that you need to know all the stuff people post on here to get started.

If that isn't possible. DW's books (http://www.bootmaker.com/dwswb.htm) will take you from pretty much scratch. Plus if you start with packers, shoes can be just really short boots. Then when you are ready to branch out, Tim's book (Bespoke Shoemaking) is great for making different styles. Having a variety of books is good because each one describes basically the same steps in slightly different ways. Sometimes one book makes no sense until you real it stated differently, then it all comes together.

It takes a couple years to get good at the basics. Think sharpening, skiving, stitching well, gluing, pegging, etc. I practice stitching and skiving/folded edges for an hour each at least twice a week. That is in addition to about 25-30 hours of actually making shoes and lasts. Oh yeah, I have a side business of sharpening, so that gives me 20-50 knives a week to practice sharpening on, too.

My theory on classes is that if you make the attempt before the class, you will have better questions and learn more. Then you need to make a pair of shoes using what you learned within 2 weeks of getting home for the info to stay with you. On the other hand, if you take a class and then need to spend 2 months gathering hard to find tools and supplies you will forget most everything and it will be a waste of most of the time and money.

Just my experiences, yours may be different.

Paul

big_larry
4
4
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:00 am
Full Name: Larry A. Peterson
Location: Ephraim, Utah, USA

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#22 Post by big_larry » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:55 pm

Sue,

I totally agree with, and would like to add to, what Paul has just said. The sooner you can get to work making the shoe or boot, the more you will retain. I have met several folks who have gone to boot school that put off getting started and never was able to "get it togather." One fellow described it like having a dream. "The longer you wait to record it, the more it fades away."

Best wishes,

Larry Peterson HCC Member

marcell

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#23 Post by marcell » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:19 am

Sorry, if I generate another long discussion with my two pennies here - I would never suggest that anyone attempt to learn on her/his own. I am not talking about self confidence. No doubt that someone who believes this to be true has enough of it, but... Come on! This is a tradition!! How can you expect to continue this tradition without understanding the roots? If you make something traditional, you MUST learn the traditional way, you have a responsibility to preserve it.
Please don't learn from videos and books - they can support your studies, if you already learned the traditional way, but you cannot expect to learn the correct way from a book alone. In the old world, in order to preserve the craft, people who advertised themselves as shoe makers without being trained by a master were ostrisized, their properties siezed and they were banished from the city, they took the craft that seriously.

And just one more thing to consider: this craft has been developed over thousands years of. Chances are you will not improve upon it with your own dicoveries.

User avatar
sorrell
6
6
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:00 pm
Full Name: Lisa Sorrell
Location: Guthrie, OK
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#24 Post by sorrell » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:39 am

Marcell,
I have to jump in and say how much I appreciate your comments. The forum posts are automatically sent to me, and I usually just delete them after reading. I've saved both of your posts in my mail and have read them over several times.

"Let me say a word. shoemaking is not a hobby. It is a craft, even if it looks like a hobby - you can't be a hobby crafter, you will be a beginner craftsman."

I especially liked the quote above. Our craft has so many long years of history and heritage. Books and videos and internet have made it more accessible, but there's NO substitute for hands-on experience with an experienced craftsman. That approach brings with it a deep and abiding respect for the craft. This isn't a hobby or a diversion or a casual interest. It's a deep and true passion and it requires a sincere desire to learn.

Lisa

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#25 Post by dw » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:41 am

Marcel,
How can you expect to continue this tradition without understanding the roots? If you make something traditional, you MUST learn the traditional way, you have a responsibility to preserve it.


At every level, I agree with you 100%. But I suspect very few people just getting into this have any real appreciation for what it means. It takes experince and at least a little insight into the complexities of making boots or shoes to really understand the depth and intricacies..even passion...that being a shoemaker demands.

If for that reason only, let us not forget that books and videos--your own on YouTube, for example--generate interest...or dampen it...such that the reader/viewer either becomes excited enough to pursue it further or daunted enough that they drop it.

Books and videos are introductions and should never be thought of as anything more.

Personally I applaud and congratulate everyone who has taken the time and given so thoroughly of themselves as to write a book or create a video. More than almost anything except a long term apprenticeship...not three days worth nor even three weeks worth...those books and videos preserve the skills and the traditions.

Having said that I want to repeat ...I think your remarks above are some of the soundest and most important advice that can be given to a beginner.

Hands-on learning may not be the only way but it is the best way.


Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

Post Reply