The Registry


Re: The Registry

#26 Post by bud » Thu Oct 18, 2001 5:18 am

Just a quick HOWDY, from the Lone Star State.
While saving my pennies to buy DW's videos, I thought that this may be good good place to pick up a few tips and pointers. I have just recently decided to learn this craft, so any advice or direction will be greatly appreciated.

Buddy Smith
Garland, Tx


Re: The Registry

#27 Post by hubleyleather » Wed Dec 05, 2001 11:30 pm


We are a small 1.5 - 2 person bootmaking shop based in the small Canadian city of Halifax/Dartmouth in Nova scotia.

We produce 4-5 pairs of handmade shoes for the local market every week. As well, we do a good deal of work for the movie, theatre, television and reenactment markets on top of that.

There is about seventeen years experience accumulated in the field. We have a modest shop space and minimal old machines to accomplish the task. We like to keep it simple and spend the money on good materials rather than lots of machines.

I think theatre work is the root of my education. I spent 9 years as the head of the boots and shoes department at the shakespeare festival in Stratford, Ontario. We made our own lasted shoes and boots to cover the playbill season. Besides the craft of bootmaking, there were theatre demands for the look of any given century with the functionality of backstage quickchanges and fitting to some of Canada's senior stage talents (and their feet!).

I did study under many "master" bootmakers during my time and consider myself one of the few who can deliver on time & budget for any major production going on here in Canada.

There is a lot more to tell you about us but I,ll wait and see if there is further interest


Re: The Registry

#28 Post by SharonRaymond » Thu Dec 27, 2001 4:01 pm

Greetings, I am a "simple shoemaker" - I enjoy figuring out how to make a multitude of styles of footwear that fit my requirements: out-stitched, unlasted, made of soft leather, generally low-heeled (I have recently figured out how to make platform sandals using my low-tech techniques), patterns made over the foot using aluminum foil. 29 of these styles (I think I was contracted to create 30, but someone wasn't counting) were recently published by Lark Publishers in a book I wrote entitled Crafting Handmade Shoes. That was an exhausting enterprise, but surprisingly (to myself) I haven't quite stopped making patterns. On my website ( I sell additional patterns for continuous strap traditional and Roman sandals, platform sandals, and a woven vamp shoe. I am now working on a mega-integrated moccasin pattern that will need one of those tree-type outlines to clarify all the directions one can go in creating styles with it, from a primitive sandal to a deerhide-lined boot. I give occasional shoemaking workshops, will be doing one on an island off Seattle at the Coupeville Arts Center this August (I love the opportunity to get transported to a place I've never been, do some teaching, then explore the area). I live in Western Massachusetts, learned my style of shoemaking initially from Christine Lewis-Clark's The Make-it-Yourself Shoe Book, followed by a decade of excruciating trial-and-error effort - did get some great help from Luna H. of G.B., a wonderful shoemaker. I don't know why it took me so long to figure out something so simple, but that's the way it went! I have benefitted from sharing information with Glen L., another out-stitcher. He makes custom oxfords and boots, and has developed many refinements of the out-stitched process. I look forward to communicating with anyone interested in this spoke of the shoemaking web.


Re: The Registry

#29 Post by Maya » Fri Feb 15, 2002 3:49 pm

Hi, My name is Maya and I live in southern California. I am very interested in learning how to make shoes, not only because I love shoes (yes, I am a woman)but, because I have some new designs in mind.
For over a year I have searched the internet looking for schools in the US that teach shoemaking with no prevail. I found a school that does have workshops, but after speaking with the teacher I would need more schooling for what I want to do. I can't afford, nor do I want to go to London for 10 months to get a degree over there. I am willing to travel within the US, but can't find a school that teaches my interest. So, I will keep on searching for another year if I have to.
Good luck and peace to everyone.


Re: The Registry

#30 Post by owly » Fri Apr 19, 2002 8:51 am

Hi all! Í'm Anna Troy an american born and bred in Sweden and currently living there. (I've been mucking about with footware more or less since I was tvelve (I'm 27 now). I didn't really get going though until about 5 years ago when I joined the SCA Society of Creative Anachronism, ca 5th century-the year 1600, yupp I'm one of those). I'm interested in all types of historical shoes but have been constrained to pre-17th century due to lack of lasts and ignorance concerning technique. I'm learning all the time though. If you wish to see some of my work go to

I look fowards to learning more here and don't listen to anything Marc has to say about me. ;-)

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Re: The Registry

#31 Post by tjburr » Sun Jul 28, 2002 5:18 pm


My name is Terry Burress and I live in Arlington Texas. For those not familiar with Texas, it is between Ft. Worth and Dallas Texas.

I started making shoes about 8 years ago. I was involved in working and attending various Renaissance Faires and needed shoes to go with my costumes. Not liking the styles that were available, I made my own. The result were shoes and boots for myself. These shoes looked fairly period but were not made as they were during the Renaissance period. I did find that I enjoyed making shoes.

While managing a booth for a friend, I however recieved many requests for where I had obtained my shoes. Since you can not actually, officially sell at these faires if you are not an approved vendor, my answer was always that I made them myself but there were several shoe makers at the festival.

Well through my participation in the SCA some of the people actually obtained my phone number and I was getting calls to actually make shoes. After making another 30 or so shoes, I decided to see if there was any demand for them and was allowed to sell from of a small area of the booth I had previously managed. From there it expanded to owning my own booth.

I only sell my shoes at one faire since I also have a full time job programming flight simulations. This I too enjoy and the two compliment each other fairly well.

Well since I enjoyed the making of shoes so much, I have spent plenty of time researching shoes. This originally started out researching Renaissance but has expanded to encompass most shoe making. Part of this is to learn exactly how to hand sew shoes exactly as they were during the Renaissance. If I can find time in my busy schedule I would like to give demonstrations at the festival.

Last year I sort of took a leap to making more modern shoes. I took a several day course taught by Denes Szabo on making orthopedic shoes. I strongly recommend this if you get the chance since he provided a good course and I learned considerably. I have since branched out making a few shoes for family and friends in a more modern look (I seem to be surrounded by people that do not have standard feet).

So I continue to learn....

Terry Burress

Frank English

Re: The Registry

#32 Post by Frank English » Fri Aug 30, 2002 10:19 am

I have printed a post in the past but did not introduce myself so here goes, this maybe more information than needed.
I am currently living in Bozeman, Montana. My background----23 years cutting hair( owned two salons), trained and worked as a body guard( short time,very boring), bouncer in a bar in N.Y. city, retail clothing sales and did some massage therapy. Wish I would have found out about making boots sooner. Lived on each coast and in between, am 49 years old , hair thining and happily living with a great ER doctor, Marha, who can't figure out why I don't goe to doctors(except for emergencies). I guess I can get long winded, sorry. I am now seriously starting my business in boot making. Jim Covington was my teacher and is my Friend. THE END!

Frank English


Re: The Registry

#33 Post by mic » Fri Dec 06, 2002 4:01 pm

Hello all,

I'm a recent member of the HCC, and have been lurking about the Colloquy for around a month now. I'll probably keep to the back for a bit longer, I do best when I spend some time quietly absorbing information before jumping in. I acquired the archive CD, & I can see that will keep me busy for a long while!

Some background - I haven't a clue about making shoes, but I have obsessed about it for years and years. So now I finally want to do something about it. I have never in my life found a pair of shoes that truly fit my feet & allow me to walk any great distance without pain. Thought I was a great freak (nothing medically wrong with my feet), until I discovered that most of my friends & family have exactly the same problem. So, now I'm wondering, if I can figure out how to make a pair of shoes that actually fit & serve me well, maybe I can do the same for others and have a small cottage business that would get me out of the rat race at the same time.

Crazy? Maybe, but what the heck. If nothing else, I'll gain an enormous appreciation for what's involved.

Thanks for having me,

--Michelle Fink


Re: The Registry

#34 Post by Werebear » Mon Jan 06, 2003 7:31 am

Read of you all in The Crispin Colloquy: The Registry , any help in early pirate boots for a lady? I am introducing her to the SCA, and she wants to re-create a female welsh pirate, as close to 1600 as she can get. I know the classic bucanner was later, but...
She likes bucket boots and thigh-high turndowns, but my research and needle skill isn't up to the task.
I am a jack of all trades, from computers to armoring, but sewing garb and making boots for a tenderfoot are miles apart.
Short of sewing a taller shaft onto a premade boot, I am stuck with low shoes and/or overpriced fetishware.

I would like to discuss patterns,prices and also orthopedics. The perfect boot is steel toed, form fitted insoles, and under a c-note.

You might also see the pattens & shoes at
A bit on the pricy side, but he is a stickler for authenticity.

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Re: The Registry

#35 Post by paul » Sun Jan 26, 2003 7:26 am

Frank and all,

I have been in and out of the Colloquy for awhile now and have not posted on the Registry. Since I am interested in ongonig conversations with several of you, Frank, Jonathan, and DW to name a few, I thought I should do that.

After a short term in the Air Force, I took a job in shoe repair in Central California. I continued to work in that trade for 25 years, all in CA, and was fortunate to work in some shops doing great work. For 5 yrs. I worked in a shop doing nothing but wholesale western boot repairs for Western Stores. That was when I made my first pair of boots. A book by Joe Wise was offered by the Shoe Service Magazine, and with that and a little coaching from my workmates, I came away with a pair of somewhat wearable boots. But I realized it was going to take along time to become a 'bootmaker'.

Southeren California, National Silver Cup winner in '83 and helping to start up Shoe Doctor, a chain of European style while-you-wait shops, followed until I bought my own shop in the San Francisco area, where I stayed for 10 years. I made two pair more there and lurked around the fringes of the bootmaking community. At this time, I also found myself taking my hands to a pair of boxing trainers, wedge style shoes for my wife and several other pair of non-cowboy boots.

Circumstances led to me closing that shop and coming to Arizona to work for Galco International, one the country's premier leather manurfacturers of holsters and belts, for 5 years. I worked in the custom shop and supervised the belt department, with oppotunities to learn machines, leather and tools, that I would never had if I'd stayed in shoe repair. I also began to doodle with leathercraft and art and won a 1st prize for a leather sculpture in an international show.

In 2000, my wife and I moved to the Northern Arizona community of Prescott, where I've opened a leather shop, doing whatever jobs I can russle up. I've made 6 pair of boots by now and have orders waiting and opportunities coming on a regular basis, not all boot related as this is a very diverse community. My interests are all over the board and sometimes I become aware of what a disadvantage this is. But then someone will walk in the door with a request for help that leads me back to previous conversations about other areas of leather work and I'm down another road once again.

Well, that's a look at me. I learn from everyone I can, and hope to be cured of this MADness(Multiple Art Disorder), and actually amount to something someday.


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Location: copenhagen, denmark

Re: The Registry

#36 Post by cmw » Fri Mar 21, 2003 1:18 pm

My name is Christopher Williamson, call me Chris.

As many people do, I started by reading the discussions and looking at the pictures in the forum. To tell the truth, my heart started beating faster the first time. I had finally found what I was looking for. It’s hard to find this kind of information in Denmark, especially as an apprentice cobbler. I take my hat off to the creators of the forum and all the boot/shoemakers that help people like my self along the way. You have no idea how thankful we are.

I hope to finish my three yr. training as a cobbler with good test results circa Nov. 2003. The training/schooling consist mostly of repairs and the skills needed to do so. Some of the other things we are tested in are things like orthopaedic adjustments to shoes.

When a chance to make shoes from scratch shows it’s self, I jump on it. As a part of my training/schooling I’ve made and designed shoes and sandals for my wife, military style boots for my self and all the other usual school projects that have to do with leather. My boss knows what my final goal is, so he also teaches things that will help later on down the line.

After the journeyman-test, my sights are aimed on finding an orthopaedic shoemaker to work for and learn from. After that the next step is Boots!

The man I learn from at present has been in the branch the last ca. 14 yrs. His help and guidance has hopefully started a long career with many chances to learn and one day teach someone, so I may do my part in keeping the craft alive.

I’m a 37 yr. old family man with two children, the first is working on 14 yrs., the second is 1 yr. old. I have lived in Denmark the last 14 yrs., and have a strong wish to return to Texas with my family and make boots along with doing repairs. In the past I have worked with many things ranging from fishing boats, building and seismic cables to general back breaking work like working in warehouses.

A Thankful Texan

Betty S.

Re: The Registry

#37 Post by Betty S. » Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:28 pm

Hi! I am 26 and living in Chicago, IL. I have been here since 1997, and had previously lived in Southern Illinois before that all my life. I have 2 cats and a husband. I currently work as a coordinator in a non-profit, basically a secretary role. I have wanted to make shoes since I was 4. It seems so difficult to find anyone still making shoes. I see a lot of bootmakers, though. I was lucky enough to find a man by the name of Glen Leasure, where I received instruction on making shoes for a few days. It is worth the trip to go see him, so if anyone needs contact info, who would like to go, just e-mail me. I am looking right now though for either an apprenticeship for a few months or some more private instruction, especially in historical reproduction shoes, preferably in the USA. I don't want to be a secretary forever and would like to open by own shop up someday soon.


Re: The Registry

#38 Post by rvallee » Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:25 pm

Hi, I am Rusty Vallee of Maine Thread Company.
I am 41 years of age married to "Georgia" we have 2 children "Mike" and "Jenn"

Living here in the state of Maine I am a "Die Hard" Boston Red Sox fan (this is our year!) so I say that every year, and a NE Patriots Fan.
I have taken interest in the HCC because I have heard from many of you over the last couple of years.

I have enjoyed the pictures listed on The HCC and have started reading some of the text as well.

My company has been supplying shoe manufacturers since 1958. It started here in Maine and New England with companies like
GH Bass, Sebago, Stride Rite, etc.
but nowadays 90% of our waxed handsewing thread production is exported to China, Hong Kong, India, and Dominican Republic.

Please do not misunderstand my intentions, I am not here to sell anything. In fact if I can be of help in any way I would be pleased to do so.
Some of you have received the 13 cord unwaxed Teklon from me. We have other types of synthetic threads you may like to experiment with.
Lewiston, Maine has a long tradition in shoe making, and supplies are still easy to get. Machines, findings, jobbers...

The HCC site is really a unique place on the webb, congratulations are in order.



Re: The Registry

#39 Post by erickgeer » Thu Mar 11, 2004 3:41 pm

Hello all,

I thought it was about time I introduced myself, since I have participated in a number of discussions recently.

My name is Erick Geer Wilcox, and I live in Chicago with my Fiance, Leigh Ann. I graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA, with a focus in Fashion Design and Sculpture. At the SAIC, I took an elective course in footwear design - as many times as allowed for credit, and then proceeded to hang about, helping the instructor, Gillion Carrara. I am now teaching that same class to new students.

Since graduating from the SAIC, I have kept a studio at various locations, making shoes and clothing and most importantly trying to learn new techniques, bettering my pattern skills, collecting antique lasts and lately I have developed my own last.

Being unsatisfied with my version of a stitched shoe, and realizing that it was trying really hard to look like the bottoming of Western boots, I thought it was about time I learned - I had been considering D.W.'s books for a while now. I kept hearing about Al Saguto from my former instructor, and Larry Waller kept telling me to sign on to the HCC - So here I am. I am finally learning how to use some of those tools I lucked across, and new ones to find.

I hope I can be as helpful as so many of you have been to me already.



Re: The Registry

#40 Post by tomo » Thu Mar 25, 2004 2:43 am

Well, it's about time I submitted my profile, so here goes.
My name's Tom O'Sullivan and I live in a little service town called Otaki, which is about an hours drive north of the capital of New Zealand, Wellington.
I've had an interest in footwear from an early age as my mother was the Sample machinist for a footwear firm here called Feltex. She worked in the pattern room with the guys who designed the shoes. It was her job to make up each shoe complete then write up the sequence so they knew how to make the shoes in the factory.

When I was about 12-13 I'd design shoes and Mum would take them to work for the guys to look at. Don't know that they made any up but it was fun. Then, when I was alittle bit older I wrangled a job at a riding school on the weekends and got interested in saddlery and horse stuff. Although I was 6 when I rode my first horse.

I've messed around with horses off and on for years now, working as a stud groom, saddler (mostly), leather worker, shepherd and whatever. Most of the saddlery here is English although I've spent time building both Western and English saddles and a stint at one place that made Western boots - but that was 'bout 20 years ago that I did the boots and It's something that's been dogging me for years.

I manage a firm here that produces all the country's police duty belts as well as belts for the public and other organisations like the fire brigade etc. The best part is that I have access to some great machines and equipment : )

Working as a stud groom ( Thoroughbred) was great for gaining first hand knowledge into the racing industry and the farming bit helped with the working horse stuff.

My horse interests include Dressage riding and of course Western riding. That's why I'm interested in building the riding boots. Because we service the fashion industry in a limited way ie the belts, I'm always conscious of whats happening in the footwear industry.

In this country most of the footwear firms have closed down or gone off shore due to government restructuring in the early 80's ie removing tarrifs and import restrictions. I saw on the net that NZ imported something like $259 million worth of footwear last year. Not bad for a country with a population of only 4,000,000 people!- Actually not good either! But there you have it.

More power to y'awl.
PS there's a photo of me in the other profile part.

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Full Name: Michael
Location: Nocona, TX, USA

Re: The Registry

#41 Post by pancho » Thu Apr 22, 2004 12:59 pm

Hello to everyone.

My name is Michael Reeves. I live in Montague County in North Central Texas. I've lived in this rural area of Texas my entire life. And I can think of no other place I'd rather live.

I've worked in footwear manufacturing for the last 20+ years (mostly cowboy boots). I went to work at the Nocona Boot Co. in Nocona, TX in 1983 at age 18. I started in the lasting dept. and ended up in cutting a few years later. I was fortunate enough to learn hand-cutting skills, and how to make made-to-measure patterns.

In the early 90's the boot business slowed down, and I had the opportunity to learn pattern making from a pattern engineer that worked at Nocona for a short time. A couple of years later I moved into management as an apprentice pattern engineer in product development. In 1995 my position was eliminated, and I transfered to product development in the Chippewa division of Justin Brands (Justin Boot Co.). I continued to learn about pattern making and grading. In 1999, when Justin Brands closed 2 of its factories (Nocona and Fort Worth), I was moved back into manufacturing as a pattern engineer for all brands (Justin, Nocona, Chippewa, and Tony Lama). I had the opportunity and blessing to work with, and learn from, two of the best pattern men in the industry: David Walter and Harold Buck.

For the past two years I've been working back in Nocona in a little boot factory set up by the former manager of Nocona Boot. We're making the Larry Mahan line of boots for Cavender's Boot City. It's great to be back at home with my family, and still making boots!

Western boots are pretty much a passion with me, whether they are quality factory-made boots or custom hand made. I hope I can learn something here, and maybe I can contribute some things too.

Michael Reeves


Re: The Registry

#42 Post by shiny » Fri Aug 20, 2004 6:15 am

Hi, my name is Sandra Björk. I was born in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1966. At the age of 19 I moved to California where I studied art in California College of Arts and Crafts and later at the San Francisco Art Institute. In 1991 I moved back to Iceland where I got a job with one of the oldest cobbler firms in Reykjavik. I soon noticed that there were two guys seated on the upper floor of the firm making shoes. They were learning the trade of orthopaedic shoemaking and soon I got interested as well. It took quite some years to convince my boss into taking me on. I spent the first 2 training years winding the firms gold mill, making insoles for athletes, children, elderly and anyone who could be persuaded into believing they needed insoles (99.9%). Occasionally, when the boss was absent, (which he was per natura) I would have to work the reception, run the treadmill, do measurements and master lies. I got pretty good at sweeping floors and cleaning apparatus, being at the end of the food chain.
With one year left in training I was getting a bit anxious to get on with the program. After some shouting about my boss finally calmed down and did me the favour of getting me a “seat” One of the guys I mentioned earlier, who now had completed his journeyman walked me through the first pair. After that I was on my own and he was ordered to make lasts. Breathing down my neck when sober, my boss ordered 2 pairs a day as soon as I could make 1. When 2 pairs a day became reality I should make 3.
My last year in training was coming to an end and I told my boss that we might want to look into the fact that I would have to go to school in Denmark for at least 3 months before taking my test, which I also would have to complete in Denmark. He made some calls and true enough the test was just around the corner. A week from that day! I agreed that I would pay my own way and stay, as well as the cost of the test. I just wanted to get this over with. The following day he told me that I was fired, but was so kind to lend me some tools to take with me on my journey.
That weekend I packed my life and headed to Denmark. To make it short, I failed the test. I passed the female shoe, which had a rubber sole. The gents shoe, was I fiasco. I had very little experience working with leather. The test was a no good. I got drunk ;-)
I got a tip that maybe I could get work at one of the shops in Copenhagen. I had everything to win so I marched to the shop and talked to the chief “Master” Of course he had heard of my pour test results (Small city) and was not convinced. I asked him if he would be willing to give me a trial period for 3 months. If he did not like my work I would go. We had an agreement. A year later, in 1996 I completed my journeyman with specialisation in Orthopaedics
3 months have turned into 8 years. I have been fortunate to have the guidance of both my Master and another cordwainer who has been with the firm for 56 years. He retired this year. Following his retirement and the suspension of another fellow shoemaker, my master hired a “young” American (We are all around the same age at the firm, making it a fun place to be) who I now get the pleasure of ordering around. I think he knows where the broom is ;-)
In the past, my Master and me have had some conversations about boot making. It has elevated since we got the US inspiration. We are however quite busy, so most of it is talk.
Looking forward to reading and learning more.



Re: The Registry

#43 Post by angel » Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:56 am

Hi, Tom.
Better late than never... I've been quite bussy the last days, finnishing a project.
Just found this topic. So I'll leave my footprints in here.
I live in San Martin de los Andes, a small city on the Andes Mountains in Patagonia, Argentina.
My English is far from good...
I'm a 46 years old architect, relly happy with my proffesion. I'm married to Susi and have four children, from 17 to 10: Lucia, Felipe, Ines and Gonzalo.
I very much enjoy wearing riding boots, and, as a design lover, always paid much attention to styling, quality and crftmanship of boots, so at a certain moment I decided to do them by myself. I though it was easier....This was some 18 years ago.
I began making a plaster model of my feet, thus discovering forms and feet were not the same thing. So I took a plaster block and began to carve my first pair of forms, and after a long try and error calvary, tired of trying to figure out if they would fit, I made my first pair of riding boots, asking every shoe maker I found on the way, thinking they were going to be perfectly styled. Well, they weren't off course, but I was happy enough to slip into them and finding I could wear them.
Then wood forms came. Full leg ones, in four pieces. And now, after 6 pairs both for me and my wife, I can say I'm nearer to make good enough boot.
To answer your question, Tom, I ride sometimes, (also have a horse) just for fun, not regularly. I like jumping though I'd not say I'm good at that.
I found the Colloquy about two years ago and have been paying serious attention to all the discussions. much surprised on the deep knowledge you all share.
At the moment, my biggest concern is about forms and patterns.
Always learning,


Re: The Registry

#44 Post by oneshot » Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:46 pm

Greetings from Denmark! My name is John, I'm an American living here, doing technical writing for a living. I'm thinking about taking up bootmaking for a hobby, for a number of reasons - the least of which is that the Mrs. has trouble finding well-fitting shoes, and the selection is kinda crummy. What I'd like to know is, about how many hours goes into a pair of boots? Currently, I TIG weld stainless steel for a hobby (don't ask), and have good dexterity. Can anyone enlighten me about cordwaining as a hobby/sideline?
Thanks in advance,


Re: The Registry

#45 Post by lorrwill » Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:25 pm

Hello from rainy California

It is unbearably cool to find out that shoemaking is as “dead” as dressmaking.

I became interested in cordwaining with respect to period costume making then decided that since RTW shoes cost too much to not fit properly and/or fall apart as quickly as they tend to, perhaps I should learn shoe/boot making: practical application.

So now I am gathering and absorbing every bit of information I can. I even have this dream of finding a local repair shop where I can work in my spare time for free just to learn…

So in the mean time:
I have found this forum
Am compiling a book wish list (with the first on order)
Add bookmarks to informational and supply sites daily
Am trying to find local compatriots
And most of all, I am wondering how on earth I am going to add yet another potentially spendy hobby and still be able to eat. :lol:

There is an OVERWHELMING amount of information on this forum. I look forward to trying to sort it all out and put what I can to good use

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Re: The Registry

#46 Post by headelf » Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:21 pm

Hi Lorraine
I'm from California too. Near Los Angeles. Welcome. Perhaps we're within driving distance.
Email me at Regards, Georgene

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Full Name: Roy Najecki
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Re: The Registry

#47 Post by roy_najecki » Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:01 am

I’ve been a Revolutionary War reenactor since 1975 and curiosity in how things were made got me interested in shoemaking. Unable to take time off from work, I missed the weeklong 18th C. shoe seminar at Don Carpentier’s Eastfield Village but contacted Mark Sipson who taught the class and was the master shoemaker at Old Sturbridge Village. This led to me and a friend driving to Mark’s house one evening a week until we had made our own shoes. Peter Oakley was Mark’s neighbor and would stop in on occasion. I followed this up by buying a run of lasts from Jones & Vining, which was in nearby Massachusetts, so I could make more shoes. Hearing about the HCC from fellow Rev War reenactor Matt Koppinger, I joined the HCC in 1985.

Since then I’ve studied original Rev War leather equipment and have been able to replicate it fairly accurately. I’ve come to learn that the skills of a cordwainer are also handy in the harness and allied leatherworking trades.

I work as a budget planner for a manufacturing company, and my wife Debra works in the medical research field. In our free time we make Rev War reproductions, see Debra and I live in the hills of rural Rhode Island with our yellow lab Holly and quarterhorse/Morgan cross Lacy Creek

Roy Najecki
3413.jpg (57.59 KiB) Viewed 1099 times


Re: The Registry

#48 Post by piersf » Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:03 pm


Ashley Fawkes is an artisan shoemaker who hand-makes striking shoes for women and men. As one of the few modern shoe designers to have ever been trained at the ancient Cordwainers' College in London, his shoes are designed and hand-made in his small workshop in the North of England using traditional methods and materials sourced for quality across the continents. Ashley delivers his own contemporary styles with a very strong sense of history.


Re: The Registry

#49 Post by paul_opperman » Fri Oct 14, 2005 9:18 am


After lurking for the last couple of years it is time to introduce myself.

My name is Paul Opperman. I have been making moccasins for the last few years and am learning to make "real" shoes. My goal is to make 1970's style bicycling shoes.

My history is that I grew up in Iowa and have been working as a mechanical engineer for the last 15 years in various industries. Lately it has been medical device manufacturing start ups. Due to fortunate circumstances in that work, I am now free to pursue a second career in a more enjoyable occupation (shoemaking!). Next spring we are planning to move back home to Iowa and spend more time with our extended families.


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Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:00 pm
Full Name: Jenny Fleishman
Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Re: The Registry

#50 Post by jenny_fleishman » Wed Oct 19, 2005 8:25 am

My name is Jenny Fleishman, I'm 49 and I live in Chicago. I'm new to shoemaking, and have been reading this board avidly for about 6 months. For years I've sewn my own clothes, because nothing ready-made seems to fit quite right. For even more years I've had problems finding comfortable shoes, as my feet are very sensitve (Princess and the pea!), and apparently somewhat unusually shaped. I've got about 40 pairs of shoes in shoeboxes in my closets that I thought were going to be comfortable, if I put just the right types of padding in them, but to no avail. I've thought many times, "If I could make my own shoes, I WOULD!"

It finally occurred to me that perhaps I COULD! I searched the Internet for shoemaking classes, and also found the HCC. In September I finally made it to Virginia and spent 5 days with Glen Leasure ( learning the stitchdown method. I had an absolutely great time with him, and his family showed me wonderful hospitality.

For the past month I have been busy equipping my shop (dining room) and acquiring tools, leather, etc., so I can start making shoes. My biggest challenge is designing/building a fume control system so I don't kill myself or my 2 cats with Barge fumes! That project is almost done, although how effective it will be remains to be seen.

I've been really impressed with all the knowledge on this board, and I expect I'll have lots of questions once I get starting making shoes.

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