apprenticeships and schooling

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#151 Post by kevin_l » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:58 pm

Are there any boot makers who will take on a new student within a days drive of central Illinois? Say ~400 miles?

lex

Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#152 Post by lex » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:43 am

Is anyone familiar with the Bonney & Wills School of Shoemaking in Ashland Oregon? Or can anyone reccomend a good school?

Thanks

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#153 Post by walrus » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:33 am

RW
Bonney & Wills is one of the best schools available. You will leave with the knowledge needed to make footwear,plus the opportunity of being taught by someone who has made his living plying his craft . Bill Shanor is a Master Maker,and has put together one of the finest and most comprehensive schools out there. Check it out this page says it all:
http://www.shoemaking.com/about/what-makes-bonney-wills-unique/
Note:
There are lots of schools out there,what you should ask your self is first of all is what you want from a school.

Define where you are with your knowledge about making ,and then decide where you want to be.
Then ask the schools before you make your choice,if they are going to fill those expectations.You should try and bring as much knowledge to the class as you can. All of the schools are what I call intensive learning situations,an immersion into the craft of Shoe & Bookmaking. They are meant to introduce you to the processes, and start you on your journey.Only time and practice makes you a Master.

Hope this helps.

Larry Waller
www.walrusshoe.com

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#154 Post by sorrell » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:00 am

I sent my daughter Paige to Bonney and Wills and am very happy that I chose to do so.

Lisa Sorrell

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#155 Post by admin » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:16 am

In the coming months (after May?), I intend to put out a call for people who teach or offer seminars or even apprenticeships, contact information and specialties...ie. bootmaking, shoemaking clogmaking, etc.. Compile a list of educational opportunities, as it were. Make it a "sticky."

At the same time, I want to do something similar with high end makers just so that people can look at the work that is being done by the best of contemporary makers.

Which brings me to this:
There are lots of schools out there,what you should ask your self is first of all is what you want from a school.

Define where you are with your knowledge about making ,and then decide where you want to be.
Then ask the schools before you make your choice,if they are going to fill those expectations.You should try and bring as much knowledge to the class as you can. All of the schools are what I call intensive learning situations,an immersion into the craft of Shoe & Bookmaking. They are meant to introduce you to the processes, and start you on your journey.Only time and practice makes you a Master.


Personal opinion....Good advice. I would only add that it is wise to look at examples...photos or, better, actual "real life" examples...of the work being done by any teacher. (If they can't/don't/won't provide examples, be cautious)

Look at as many makers/teachers as possible. Decide what kind of footwear you want to make or learn to make.

Then study the workmanship and the aesthetics of the teacher's work. As a student, you will inherit, to one degree or the other, much of what the teacher embodies--the philosophies, the devotion to quality, the appreciation of "line", colour, and space. If a teacher doesn't, or cannot, do a particular technique it is unlikely that it will be part of your "inheritance." That can be a major factor in how you develop as you go forward.

And while perhaps not a deciding factor, inquire and think about how closely involved (or removed) the instructor is with the student. Large classes tend to impose inescapable limitations. Shoemaking has, traditionally, been passed on from one teacher to one student.

Last, abandon all expectations when you go to any teacher. If the teacher has any sense of responsibility...to the student, to the Trade...he/she will give you their best, and what they can.

Those willing to teach are not hired hands. The student...to be a student...has to sit, metaphorically, at the teacher's knee...at least for the duration. An open mind, a blank slate.

Hope this helps.

Emmett

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#156 Post by janne_melkersson » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:38 pm

DW, good idea and well said!

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#157 Post by admin » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:53 am

moved to Coventry, pm sent, awaiting response.

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#158 Post by farmerfalconer » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:31 am

Admin,

What is coventry? I didnt see it anywhere.
The reason Im asking is just that I dont want to miss out on that list.

Thanks,
Cody

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#159 Post by admin » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:28 am

Cody,

It's neither visible nor accessible to regular members.

Coventry is a city in the West Midlands of England. During the English Civil War, Royalist prisoners were sent there for "safekeeping".

The phrase to "send someone to Coventry" entered the English language as a polite of saying that they were out of favour or ostracized.

On this board it means that a post (or a registration) is being held in abeyance until a decision can be made about what to do with it. vBulletin's global ignore list references the same idiom.

Now you know more than you ever wanted to about such things.

Yr. Hmb. Svt.

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#160 Post by farmerfalconer » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:31 am

Image Thanks!

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#161 Post by gshoes » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:40 am

Very good question Cody. Thanks for asking it.
Geri

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#162 Post by areuwired » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:41 pm

Hi everyone! I'm looking forward to that sticky!

I've been looking for an apprenticeship anywhere in the world since 2011. Still looking and enthusiastic about learning the Trade. I want to learn last-making from scratch, and ultimately become a shoemaker. I have tried to make a pair of lasts using the George Koleff's geometric method but couldn't complete the pair because the method didn't seem to work with very high heel heights. I will keep trying, though. I'm in the Washington, D.C. area but am just looking for an opportunity to learn.

Please send me any info you may have about apprenticeships: bilqisfassassi@gmail.com.

Thanks!
Bilqis

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#163 Post by artzend » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:50 pm

DW

I have a worldwide list of schools teaching shoemaking on my site here http://shoemakingbook.com/shoemaking%20schools.htm if that helps.

Tim

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#164 Post by admin » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:54 am

Tim,

That's a great link. Thank you. It may be all that is necessary.

On the other hand, I want to assure you that I'll not just copy it and present it as my own effort. If nothing else, when the time comes, I'll ask for permission to use parts of it.

emmett

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#165 Post by artzend » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:00 pm

DW

No worries. I have probably still got some to go, but now I have to leave it to people to contact me to be added.

Tim

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#166 Post by sorrell » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:23 am

"If you want bask in the aura of a living god or worship a Master who demands full devotion, Bonney & Wills NOT the place to go."

This was from an older post about Bill Shanor's teaching style, and it made me giggle. It brings up a very good point, one that ties into DW's advice about studying the workmanship and aesthetics of a teacher's work. A student/teacher relationship is an important one.

Reading the above posts, I see a lot of potential students asking for a teacher in their area. As tempting as it is to think only of convenience, I'd recommend that a student think more about what they want to learn, whose work best embodies that, and which teacher conveys a learning style that works for the student.

The truth is: Learning shoemaking is not fast, cheap, or easy. Find a maker who's making what you want to make and then either submit to their style of teaching or keep searching to find a teacher with a personality you like who's also making the work you wish to emulate. Unless you're very lucky that shoemaker probably won't be in your town.

Lisa

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#167 Post by dw » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:27 am

^ While it might have seemed superficially amusing, I thought that there was a serious undercurrent, in that remark particularly, which was dismissive at best...esp. as it came in response to a gentle suggestion by Admin to make these kinds of endorsements more general and not so personal.

In point of fact, Admin was advised that such preferential endorsements were skirting the legal bounds of our purview and that we should not...could not...be seen as endorsing one business, school, or HCC member in preference to another.

It's not much of a stretch to interpret those remarks as denigrating people such as Janne Melkerssohn, Lisa Sorrel, Dan Freeman, Paul Krause (they all teach) and every other maker who has devoted his/her life to becoming skilled. To mastering this Trade. Arguably, Masters in their own right.

But it doesn't end there, there is also the suggestion in the example given, that if a student wanted to sit at the feet of a master, he or she would be forced to look elsewhere.

The point is that beyond the legal reasons why the many good teachers...and masters...who contribute to this board are not accorded more than a passing mention, there is also the issue of it being in bad taste. Many of these people work tirelessly...and modestly...for the Guild in the background, seeking no acclamation or credit.

In that regard, such remarks divide us, create dissension, and, perhaps most importantly, denigrate the generosity and efforts of those who do value and respect skill and mastery.

As a general rule...at least on The Crispin Colloquy...an implied criticism of Skill, Knowledge, and/or Mastery is a rejection of everything the Guild itself stands for. Simply because that's why the Guild (and the Forum) exist--to recognize, preserve, and cherish skill and mastery. Such criticisms suggest the author does not value such attributes, suggests a certain cynicism (all too prevalent in society at large) which outweighs any suggestion of respect.

In truth, it is a little disconcerting to see this issue raised again and the post that was sent to Coventry quoted. Why did Admin send that post to Coventry? Could it be that it was seen as divisive and thoughtlessly, needlessly, abusive? Why was it revived? Do these kinds of issues need to be aired publicly?

We do not designate "Master" status here in the US nor do we test for proficiency...as some in Europe do. But sometimes a person will rise in the esteem of his contemporaries to a level of respect that seems out of the ordinary. In every instance, there is a good reason for that respect. No one can fake what others think about them. No one can carry off a masquerade of competence, or skill, or knowledge, for very long without actually having those attributes.

And to the extent that such people give back to the community and the Trade, without recompense, without remuneration, without seeking adulation, perhaps they are indeed worthy of the title of "Master."

If sitting at someone's knee, subordinating your own ego and your own preconceptions, if only for a moment in time...in pursuit of a knowledge you are asking another person to give you for no other reason than that you demand it...is too onerous or too humbling or even "basking," then I suspect any real learning is going to be incidental. And all the wrong lessons learned.

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#168 Post by sorrell » Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:36 am

I really don't know how to respond. One, I thought it was funny. Every teacher has their own style of teaching, and that's OK. Bill Shanor's personality is just as important to his classes as Marcell's or DW's or mine.

Two, the part about "endorsements must be more general and not so personal" has obviously not been enforced in the past; I'm a little curious about why it's suddenly such a pressing issue. There follows many examples of personal endorsements that were not censored. These were quick and easy to find--I didn't have to spend hours scouring the board to examples.



Hello all! I am new to the world of bootmaking. This is my second pair of boots I have ever made. These were completed in September of this year through DW Frommer's bootmaking seminar on Packers. Thank you for the great education DW!
Kathy Sully, DW's student, December 1, 2012

Here is a pair which is the result of my trip to spend time with Marcel in Budapest -- many thanks to Marcel for a very educational two weeks. It is humbling to get to observe someone who works with such a combination of skill and speed.
Lance Pryor, Marcell's student, June 10, 2011

A return to man shoes. The Edelman Luxe in Vino and Pitch Brown. The proportion of vamp to quarter is not quite perfect, but I do like the line. I was aiming for translucent but consistent edge color, didn't hit it this time. Overall though, an auspicious start to my torrid love affair with oxfords. A shout out here to Tim Skyrme for including closing instruction in his book.
Holly Embree, June 6, 2011

This is a review of the 4 week boot making class I took with Lisa Sorrell in Guthrie Oklahoma.
Overall it was a great class and I learned a lot. My goals going into the class were to learn what it takes to get my workmanship from a hobby builder up to the level that I can make boots of high enough quality to go into boot making as a business. I think we made that goal.
Class format:
Lisa built a pair of boots and I watched her do each step while taking pictures and notes. Then we went over anything I had questions about. Then I did the step on a pair of boots using the notes and Lisa kept a close eye on what I was doing. Usually there was another lesson to clear up any misunderstandings at this point. Finally I did the step on a pair of boots unsupervised and then she showed me techniques for recovering from mistakes. Happily the unsupervised pair was the best looking. In the stages where we had to wait for things to dry we covered inlay and stitch pattern design along with how to pattern triads and one piece tops. Since I have already built several pair we skipped most of the skiving, sanding and cutting as separate lessons.
Results:
I am really happy with the step up my work has taken. I have not built a pair at home yet (it has been 5 days), but am confident I will be able to as soon as the tools and supplies get here. A lot of what we covered was refinement of the techniques I had learned in a pretty much self taught way from DW’s book and the forums. Many times I was not using the correct tools because I did not know what they were and many other times I was not using them correctly to get the best results. The class has given me enough confidence that I have ostrich on order for my next pair of boots and already have the patterns rough drawn after being home for 5 days.
My home work after the class was some pretty straight forward skill practice with the machines, drawing patterns, and just building boots.
Recommendations:
I would recommend this class if you can take that much time away. You can also learn a lot more about boot making if you have at least learned how to skive, not be afraid of the finisher, and sew a bit. For practice before the class I made 2 feet of beading, sanded 2x4’s of pine into heel shapes and sewed practice patterns a total of about 1.5 hours a day, 4 days a week for 5 months. The other thing I did was make 6 pairs of boots using DW’s books. This gave a great back ground so that the class was a refinement and correction of techniques instead of trying to learn from scratch in a short time. This implies that you will have spent the time finding most of the heavy equipment before the class so when you get home from the class you will be able to order up some better hand tools and leather to get building.
Cautions:
There are no written materials. It is up to the student to take notes and pictures adequate to remember. I ended up with about 80 pages of notes and 130 photos and would consider that barely adequate. I also re-read the last couple days worth every night to mentally go thru the steps and set it in my mind better.
Full review of my class from Paul Opperman, June 4, 2011

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!
Craig Corvin, September 24, 2011

Concerning tapes, D.W. Frommer has a set that is the next best thing to sitting beside him. It's a 14 tape instruction on making a pair of four piece western boots. It's the most complete tutorial I've ever seen. Everything from measuring the customer to instructions on where to cut your patterns on the hide. You can contact him at http://www.bootmaker.com
Jake Dobbins, August 2, 2004

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#169 Post by admin » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:37 am

In the first place, there is nothing wrong with endorsement...up to a point. Your endorsement of Bonny and Wills was not questioned nor sanctioned. Nor was Larry's. That's a red herring and anyone who has been paying attention for the last 15 years or who has taken the time to inform themselves about the forum and the Guild, knows it.

The post that was sent to Coventry (for further considerations...it was not deleted, it could have been reposted) was seen as abusive and divisive.

Second, as the Guild and the Forum has grown, the focus and the purpose of the Guild seems to have been lost esp. among new members. I would estimate that roughly 90% of both new and old members have never taken the time to read the Posting Guidelines for the Crispin Colloquy. Almost 100% of new users fail to enable email notification for System Announcements despite that being one of the very few requirements for continuing membership here--and a statement to that effect is part and parcel of the registration process.

Many members chafe at the rules the Guild was formed under and the legal constraints that bind us and our charter.

Many cannot understand why quoting prices which could be seen as profiting a member are not allowed...despite this being explained many times.

Many want the Guild to function more as a Trade association...promoting the commercial interests of members and esp. promoting their businesses.

The fact is, the Guild was not created for those purposes and to the extent that it remains true to its roots and its vision (not to mention its charter), will never pursue those goals.

The point being that just because some things that skirt Guild policy...or opinions that are at odds with Guild policy...have been tolerated in the past, may even be tolerated in the future (as long as attempts to change those policies are not forced nor deliberately flaunted), doesn't cancel the policies themselves.

Another example: forum policy (posted in the Guidelines) gives Admin the authority to delete or move any post suspected of being in violation of forum rules...at Admin's sole discretion. But admin has not done this...ever. People post photos on the forum that are too big to be seen. Admin has warned against this and written about this extensively in System Announcements. To little or no effect. In lieu of any arbitrariness, Admin now simply downloads the offending photo and PhotoShops it rather than delete it. It is work...it is a nuisance, it is a theft of Admin's time and attention. It is unreasonable and unacceptable that simply because of someone else's laziness (or lack of involvement or unwillingness to cooperate) Admin should be saddled with this kind of burden. Yet admin does it.

But again, as instructive as these examples may or should be (to some)...it is not the endorsements that are at issue, it is the unthinking, unwitting, uncooperative, attitudes and postings that repudiate the Rules and Spirit of the Guild and the Forum, that are at issue.

Emmett

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#170 Post by sorrell » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:22 am

I'm sorry--I still can't see anything in the original post that denigrated anyone in any way. It simply humorously highlighted Bill Shanor's personality. Perhaps it was phrased in a way that someone might think it was aimed at them but I don't see any evidence that it truly was.

I believe that the personality of a teacher can be as important as their skills to some students. I personally had a student choose me and my classes simply because he thought my teaching style would be more mellow. Compared to whose, I don't know or care.

And now, I will bow out, yield the floor back to you, and stop being annoying. Image

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#171 Post by admin » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:57 am

Lisa,

You are not annoying...you are a valuable and respected member of the forum and the Guild...which is why I took the time to respond to you. At the same time, it must be said that you have earned that respect. And that's not an insignificant consideration.

Even before the OP's post was sent to Coventry, a response from the OP was solicited. After a reasonable amount of time with no response, the post was dealt with. Reviving it, requoting esp. the most offensive part, smacks of second-guessing or challenging Admin's decision in this regard.

If the post was "phrased in a way that someone might think it was aimed" at some one person...it only reinforces Admin's apprehension that the post was abusive and divisive. No, and it doesn't make any difference who it was aimed at...effectively it was aimed at all of us.

If a humourous, "mellow," or perhaps even lackadaisical approach to teaching is valid, a more rigourous Tradition-steeped approach is surely also equally valid. I suspect it all comes down to what the student wants and/or expects of themselves.

I sat at my teachers' knees--both the bootmaker and the saddlemaker--and "Non, Je ne regrette rien." It didn't hurt me in any regard. I learned! And not just rote movements...I learned how to think about shoemaking. If I have any skill or cachet as a maker...at all...it is because I pushed my ego out of the way. If I had to do it again, knowing what I know of teaching and students, I would not want to have learned differently or from a different kind of teacher.

And as much as I would prefer to keep these discussions private rather than air our dirty laundry perhaps a bit of air on occasion is good...as long as people are mindful of what is represented in this community and the allegiance and the respect we owe to each other.

Beyond that...and no criticism intended...I suspect it's simply that you don't see the larger picture. Nor is it necessary that you do...although Admin can always hope. Admin has 600+ members and a mission statement to consider...not just the druthers (or pique) of a few.

Yr. Hmb. Svt.

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#172 Post by salsa » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:02 pm

"I believe that the personality of a teacher can be as important as their skills to some students. I personally had a student choose me and my classes simply because he thought my teaching style would be more mellow. Compared to whose, I don't know or care."

I bet every teacher has a story like that.

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#173 Post by dw » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:29 pm

I suspect you'd win that bet.

I had one student come to me after a previous, abusive seminar/teacher.

Perhaps more disturbing, I have had a number of students come to me because they didn't feel like they had learned enough in previous paid classes, to get much beyond the basics.

I just turned down another student who, while not complaining about his previous, very well-known, very well respected instructor, wanted more. Unfortunately, I not only didn't wish to take any more students this year (four is my limit and only if it doesn't interfere with my fishing), but I didn't feel that this person had put in enough time "mastering" the lessons he already had. And I told him that. Told him it would just make for confusion and frustration and in all likelihood he wouldn't be able to get his money's worth with me.

And no offense to anyone intended... but the truth is, if I wanted to learn shoemaking I would go to the best shoemaker I could find. If I wanted to learn how to make glib cocktail party conversation, I'd go to a Dale Carnegie course.

Again, I suspect who we choose to learn from often has less to do with the teacher's personality than the motivations and goals of the prospective student. [As if we could ever know anyone's personality based on hearsay and the gossip of fishwives.]

Tight Stitches
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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#174 Post by sorrell » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:56 pm

This particular student specifically wanted to know if I were in the habit of cussing at or around my students. Paige, my daughter, said, "OH! Mom, let me answer that question!" She sent him an email that said, "Dear ***, My mom's cuss words of choice are Piddle and Shoot."

Lisa

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Re: apprenticeships and schooling

#175 Post by dw » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:14 pm

Lisa,

Well, there you've got me...I'm a rough old cob at my best and use rough language more than I could wish (although less than in my younger days when I was still highly influenced by my time in the paratroops). I don't admire that in myself but everything is relative...I used to know a terrific sadlemaker--widely regarded as the best in our part of the country. He swore worse than anyone I knew or have known. And he had a sign above his workbench that read "my best ain't none too good, don't bring out the worst in me."

In my early days I kind of admired him and wanted to put the same sign above my workbench.

Until he shot himself in the head with a .44 magnum right in front of his son.

He also beat horses with shovels...

Lesson learned.

Tight Stitches
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[center]Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.[/center]

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