The Registry

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mrs_hill

Re: The Registry

#76 Post by mrs_hill » Sat May 26, 2007 5:54 am

I have just realized this month that it was possible to actualy make shoes. I am going to dive right in and make them for myself and family. I need help though, could anyone help me know where to start? I am able to learn from books but a person to ask questions would really help. I run and alterations business and i can usually tackle anything that needs needle and thread. I have a knack for taking things apart and putting them back together. I have worked some with leather, and have designed and made a leather coat. so working with leather is not new to me. I really believe that I can do this it I just dont know anything and dont know where to begin... PLEASE HELP!

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Re: The Registry

#77 Post by admin » Sat May 26, 2007 6:46 am

Wende,

Welcome to the Crispin Colloquy.

There are a couple of regulars on this board who started pretty much as you are wanting to. And no shortage of people who can help if you ask the right question.

Maybe the best place to start would be to read all the back posts in Open Forum/Techniques, Crans and Visualizations. I know that's a tall order but there is so much good information buried in the archives and in the various discussions that if nothing else you can get a pretty good overview of what is involved and what information you are missing.

Besides it's only one small part of the forum. Image

Be active, don't hesitate to ask questions, and enjoy...

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Re: The Registry

#78 Post by admin » Sun May 27, 2007 5:58 am

I have moved the bulk of this latest discussion here: Open Forum/Techniques, Crans and Visualizations/Seeking Knowlege or Survey

Emmett

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Re: The Registry

#79 Post by marko » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:21 pm

I am looking into learning shoemaking as a second career now that I am in middle age, but I don't know where to begin. I know next to nothing about the craft, but I enjoy working with my hands, and I like the way shoemaking combines design with practicality. Is it really possible to learn from books? What is a good book for a beginner? Would a class or apprenticeship be better? Does anyone know of any learning opportunities in or near Boston, Mass? Are the tools expensive?

Thank you for any suggestions!

firefly

Re: The Registry

#80 Post by firefly » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:33 pm

Hey Mark,

Welcome to the forum. I can help a bit because I started somewhat where you are. I can't say I am that much farther down the road but I will give you what I can in hopes to get you started.

The first thing I might suggest is to take some time and read all the posts on the forum. Well maybe not all of them that might cause brain damage. There are some very good lessons and videos on both shoe and bootmaking out here. If you don't understand something feel free to ask. No one here bites though I have seen some loud barking.

There are also a couple of folks that have a great many years of experience that have written some instructional books and it is my opinion that you can learn to make a pair of shoes from a book and this forum. Hopefully Tim or DW will chime in with a response here.

If there is a local guy that is willing to teach you that is always a plus because from personal exparience I can tell you that it does help to see someone perform some of these techniques.

As to the equipment issue. There are a number of sources here for equipment. It is not that expensive to start. I guess that would be a relative comment. Most of the equipment can be purchased off of eBay or through a number of the suppliers mentioned here on the forum.

If you do not have a digital camera you may want to invest in one because sometimes a picture will help to answer a question faster than words.

It is a journey and one that you will enjoy given you have a passion for it. And by the way 45 is not middle age anymore we're just getting started. There are some old guys out here though so don't let them scare you.

And again...Ask questions Image

Thanks,

Mark

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Re: The Registry

#81 Post by jesselee » Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:30 pm

Mark

Apprenticeship is the best. But make sure you apprentice in a shop which makes what you desire to learn. There are a few fellers here who give great courses, and that combined with drive and talent is very good. Yes you can learn from books, but nice to see the techniques unfold. Some of the bootmaking brothers have written some excellent books which are easy to follow. If you are doing Civil War period, I have the book for you.

As for equipment. Lasts and hand tools are really all you need. Doing cowboy boots can run big dollars in equipment. Doing stuff the old way, like I do, demands that you take years to hunt down the right equipment (I inherited mine).

But essentially a good machine to sew uppers and design is all you need, soles can be trimmed by hand (I still do that) and side seams can be hand stitched, as many here still do.

Your other consideration is the 'style', for cowboy boots you need different lasts than regular shoes or Civil War styles (no lasts available for the latter unless you make them or luck into a range of originals.

Also consider leathers, again, across the board there are different types and weights.

I used to make the WWII desert boots on the side simply because I like them, and all you need for that is a machine to sew uppers (like a 29-K series. Same with loafers, small machine and lasts.

Hope this helps.
jesseLee

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Re: The Registry

#82 Post by artzend » Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:39 pm

Mark,

I agree with Mark (above) you will get a bit of insight into the craft from reading the forum posts. You will find some video here of different aspects of shoe/boot making. They tend to be slightly different views of how to do things, but most stages are similar.

I think that if you can find a tutor your journey will be that much faster. I wrote my book Bespoke Shoemaking for beginners through to advanced and DW has written a book on cowboy boot making.

Hand tools are not too expensive and you don't need a lot of machinery to start with. You don't need very many of those either. I agree with JesseLee on that. Even when you have machinery you revert to using the hand tools on occasion.

Tim

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Re: The Registry

#83 Post by jesselee » Mon Jul 23, 2007 6:19 pm

Mark

This may be of some use for you in making shoes.

http://www.shoeschool.com/shoeschool/theater/index.html

Their styling is modern, not sure if that is what you are after.

JesseLee

relferink

Re: The Registry

#84 Post by relferink » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:04 pm

Mark,

Welcome to the Colloquy. Your in the right place to find shoemaking information. Depending on what type and style of footwear you are looking to make, there are many very qualified people to ask questions here.
It's a good idea to start reading the forum and get some books on shoemaking. As hard as it is to learn a craft such as shoemaking from a book, it will give you a good starting point. There are a number of participants to this forum that are mostly self taught (with some occasional help from the forum). They can advise you very well what books are best to start.
Alternatively you can opt for a class. Don't expect to be a shoemaker after spending a couple of days or even a few weeks in a class. Heck, I sometimes feel that 6 years of formal footwear training and 15 year of experience ain't enough. It will however give you a nice hands on introduction.

I'm in the Boston area and be happy to help you out as needed. I don't have a setup that currently allows me to formally teach or take an apprentice but I can certainly show you some hands on techniques. I would still encourage you to use the forum, if nothing else you may get a couple of different answers to a question. Not that any of the answers would be wrong but by trying the different ways you can develop a technique and style that will work for you.

The Annual meeting of the Cordwainers Company is a great place to meet different makers and exchange information. Some of the members will give demonstrations. The meeting is the weekend closest to the 25th of October (St. Crispin's Day), often on a site of interest to shoemakers. This years meeting will probably be announced soon on this very forum.

So to get started just ask a question. Remember that the only dumb question is the one you didn't askImage.

Rob

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Re: The Registry

#85 Post by lancepryor » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:28 am

Hi Mark:

I am in Providence and have been trying to learn shoemaking, when I have time, during the last couple of years. Perhaps you could phone me sometime, and I could tell you what I've done and what I've learned. If you e-mail me, I'd be happy to send you my phone number so that we could chat.

Lance

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Re: The Registry

#86 Post by sharon_raymond » Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:01 pm

Greetings Mark, I wonder if you are aware of my teaching of shoemaking in Western Mass. I teach the "stitch-down" shoemaking technique, meaning that the upper is draped over a last that has the topsole nailed to the bottom of it; the upper and topsole are cemented and stitched together with the last still inside, then an outer sole is cemented in place. (Then you take the last out!)I describe the shoemaking process I teach as being the equivalent of making "pinch-pots" in ceramics -it's perhaps the simplest way of working with clay, but you could spend all your life perfecting pinch pots, or you could go on to hand-building on a wheel, working w/ porcelain etc ("porcelain being equivalent to making cowboy and wellington boots, I imagine). I invite you to check out my website, www.simpleshoemaking.com. Best wishes all, Sharon

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Re: The Registry

#87 Post by bill_harris » Tue Sep 04, 2007 7:19 am

Hi everybody,

My name is Bill Harris. I was an early member of HCC.
Attended Randy Merrell's seminar in 1982.
My youngest child graduated from college in 1991 and I went into business doing design of special tooling and machines.
Worst financial decision of my life but I had a lot of fun.
Before long I had a small machine shop, employees and debt.
In 2005 my business and I went into chapter 7.
The only thing that I have to show for these yesrs are my hand tools,a DVD with 2 minute cameos of a dozen machines that I built and my wife Therese.
I have made my own lasts and patterns.
I will post pictures of my "eastern" boots.

Bill Harris

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Re: The Registry

#88 Post by paul » Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:35 pm

Welcome back Bill,

Ah, the school of hard knocks. (I've got my diploma.) Relax and enjoy. You're back amoung friends.

I'm sure you feel blessed to have come out of it with your wife. The hand tools are good too, of course.

Are you going to take it up again?

Paul

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Re: The Registry

#89 Post by admin » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:34 pm

Bill,

Welcome to the Crispin Colloquy.

Sounds like you bring a lot of diverse experience to the Trade...Did you keep your machine shop? I mean the tools and such? Good bulldog pincers and peg floats might be an extra source of income!!??

Emmett

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Re: The Registry

#90 Post by missadriennesimpson » Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:41 pm

I thought a lot about learning how to make shoes in college. But all I could find were hippie workshops, and when I asked a cobbler to teach me some things he laughed in my face. I thought maybe I'd pursue academics....

Now, it's a couple years later. A couple of months ago, I had a sudden vision of my future life as a shoemaker, and I've been embroiled in research ever since. No real experience yet, at least not in shoemaking (I've been making my own clothes and patterns for years), but I'm signed up for the Port Townsend shoe school in November, and I guess we'll see where it goes from there.

I'm so thrilled to find a community of active cordwainers!

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Re: The Registry

#91 Post by admin » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:42 am

Adrienne,

Welcome to the Crispin Colloquy.

It's too bad we don't have more sources of learning in this country. But it has always been my contention that as the factory mentality seeps ever more insidiously into the fabric any society, the value of traditional, one-heart-one-hammer, Trades is lost. And, as is the case worldwide, the sources of learning dwindle and disappear. Eventually there is no one who can teach anything but the factory techniques (which require a...well...a factory to implement, in many cases); or, as you discovered well meaning folk who labour with Olympian might to re-invent the whole process, and compress a thousand years of invention and evolution of technique into two years in a teepee.

You will enjoy Alan's course and it will get you started.

And most importantly it will give you some insight into the complexity and the genius underlying the best bespoke work. After 30+ years, full time, in this Trade, I am still amazed and challenged and delighted.

Emmett

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Re: The Registry

#92 Post by dearbone » Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:51 am

Hello all
My name is Nasser and I am a bespoke shoe maker for 24 years in Toronto, Canada.I make shoes & boots and other leather goods in my shop.I found this site by accident, and I am delighted.I will post some of my shoes & boots at the gallery for you to see and I want to thank the moderators for approving me to this wonderful house of shoe makers and all leather workers.

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Re: The Registry

#93 Post by admin » Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:23 am

Welcome Nasser! I look forward to seeing your shoes and talking to you about shoemaking.

Where did you learn your Trade?

Emmett

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Re: The Registry

#94 Post by dearbone » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:15 pm

Dear Emmett, I learn my shoe making from an 86 years old master shoe maker in the town of Dundas in ontario.It was Fred Longton shop and Tony and I were lasters, stitchers and finishers .I learn pattern cutting later. Thanks for the welcoing message.looking forward to make some serious footwear.By the way I tried to post some pictures at the gallery,but do not know how to post yet.

(Message edited by dearbone on October 13, 2007)

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Re: The Registry

#95 Post by starmaker » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:25 pm

Hi All,
I have been a member of HCC for a long time but have managed to fall away, as it were, several times.

I have been making theatrical footwear in NYC for over 30 years, in my home in Montana when I'm not here for about 13, and teaching SHOEMAKING at the Fashion Institute of Technology for over 20 years.
I do mostly period stuff for Broadway, opera, dance, film, etc. You can see my work in Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, Blue Man Group, The Metrolopitan Opera etc. etc. etc. I can make real (as opposed to pretend/theatrical) cowboy boots and all kinds of other stuff as well.

I posted a long piece on the Discussion board about heels last week and no one has responded---did I say something wrong? or did it go to the wrong place?

I would be happy to share whatever I know with whoever belongs to this group.
Sharlot

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Re: The Registry

#96 Post by admin » Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:21 pm

Sharlot,

Welcome to you, too. It sounds like you have a huge amount of experience with all kinds of footwear. Your experience and knowledge will be very welcome, I'm sure.

No, you didn't say anything wrong. and yes, it was in the right place. It's just that forums like these seem to get active in spurts and I know for a fact that last week several people (some of our most active members) were "out and about" and not "connected" so to speak.

Right now everyone is preparing for AGM, and, I think, saving their conversations for Delavan. You are going, of course?

I'm glad that you and Nasser posted in the Registry...it gives me something to do. Image

Emmett

shoestring

Re: The Registry

#97 Post by shoestring » Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:06 am

Nasser and Sharlot,

Welcome, and looking forward to your sharing and posting pics to the forum along with you alls knowledge and friendship.

Ed

hrst

Re: The Registry

#98 Post by hrst » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:14 pm

Greetings all,
My name is Ron MacIntyre, I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the East coast of Canada and I’m 51. I’ve spent many years working as a back stage technician in theatres in Canada and now have a small carpentry shop beside my home back here in Halifax. I have an appreciation of craft and art, a keen interest in history and an understanding that it’ll likely take me a long time to learn about this discipline. When I turned 50 I went to Toronto and took a five day introductory course in shoe making and left with a pair of slides. They’re pretty shabby I know, but to me they hold the promise of what I might be able to accomplish with practice. Two weeks ago I purchased (I hope) a book on the subject from and Australian gent named Tim Skyrme, through whom I was directed to The Crispin Colloquy. I applied and was accepted as a registered user, have been reading the postings and decided that it was time to jump in and introduce myself. I’m a complete novice to interactive networking so I expect I’ll make a few mis-steps in that area too. Thanks, Ron.

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Re: The Registry

#99 Post by admin » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:31 pm

Ron,

Welcome to the Crispin Colloquy. Glad to have you on board.

Not much to this business of posting and so forth...be sure to read the "Getting Started" section and the one on "Formatting" and I'm sure you'll have no problems.

If you do, don't hesitate to email me...I can help.

Emmett

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Re: The Registry

#100 Post by paul » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:34 pm

My hearty welcome to our newest members.

What a great time for you to join us. My hope is that you will enjoy our comraderie, and will share points as you go along.

Thank you Sharlot for your timely contributions to our heel discussion.

Nasser, You'll figure the picture formatting out in short order. Plenty of help available.

And Ron, Glad to have you with us. Mis-steps are good. It means you're not standing still.

I hope to meet you all at our St. Crispin's Day festivities in Delevan in a couple of weeks.

Again, Welcome.

PK

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