The "Whys" and Wherefores"

Was your Grandfather (or Grandmother) a shoemaker? Perhaps an Uncle? Or maybe just someone you knew and remember from childhood. Tell us the story.
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The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#1 Post by dw » Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:31 am

Why do we make shoes...or boots?

This question is kind of "philosophical" in nature but it comes up late at night, sometimes at AGM or other gatherings...when fellowship is high and everyone is comfortable.

So, here's a poll:

Why do you make shoes? Why do any of us devote our lives (or some portion) to what is essentially a 19th century (or earlier) Trade when we are living in the 21st century?

Why do we make shoes with techniques that have been superceded by machines and materials that allow production of a pair of shoes in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost it takes doing it by hand?

It can't be the money...can it?

So...no politics, no judgments...just curious. What's your take?


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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#2 Post by paul » Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:18 am

I'll bite? For me the question is eternal. At least it's never far off my lips. The answer is another matter. The first word that comes to my mind though, is intimacy.

Being a believer in the metaphysical point of view that we are all one, empowers me to believe I can make a personal connection with anyone. I'd like to think all of my customers are completely comfortable with being themselves in my shop. Sometimes it gives me great joy to observe this shift from the defensive masks we often walk around with. I try to validate and affirm everyone with whom I come in contact. Making boots or shoes, or any project I may be asked to do for someone, is a chance to become intimate with another child of God. I especially like being aware that I'm imbuing this or that piece or pair, with a part of me making a spiritual connection. I'm not going to try to tell you that I'm always in this frame of mind. I get caught up in the mania of service too often, but when I experience one of those moments, it gives me juice. It's a powerful thing to feel the spirit of appreciation for a thing done for some one else. It opens our hearts.

For me it's leather. Making boots is really just the current field of intense study, altough there is an undeniable element of intimacy in foot related services. I've often wondered about how it is that a child who wanted to be a minister, fireman, policeman and FBI Fingerprint Expert, should become a "shoemaker". But then of course I read about and identified with our patron Saint Crispin. I thought, how about that? A role model. Even explains the martyr rut I get stuck in sometimes. Shoe repair was a unique drop-out thing to do back in '71. It was adequate income for a newly married hippie couple back then. Raised my family, and always have felt lucky to be working in a medium, that others may have to put off until they retire, or have some other circumstance lead them to 'what we do'. Working with leather, and all the forms it brings up to work, is a life time study of a living resource, filled with opportunities. I'm excited to see where my skills might take me in the future. As I speak I hear the knock at the door with another direction to follow. In the mean time, knowing that I have people to serve, gives me an outlet for my purpose.

Thank you for asking this question, DW.

I'm starting to feel that mania coming on, so I'd better get to work!

PK

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#3 Post by dw » Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:51 am

Wonderful response, Paul. And thank you for taking the time. I hope others will continue this conversation...it's interesting--I think to all of us, if we allow ourselves to admit it.

My wife and I were commenting on some friends we have--long time friends--and she said, somewhat sadly, "they never tell their **good** stories." I thought that was a most insightful comment...and too common.

So, thanks for one of yours.


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P.Winthrop

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#4 Post by P.Winthrop » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:15 pm

I don't know of any more dedicated group of Craftsmen and Craftswomen than those that gather on this site . I can testify to how quickly questions from newcomers are answered .
Being proud of your calling dedicated to putting out the best product possible is helping to keep the trade alive. By all means everyone should sign every boot or shoe produced.
It would be a sad state of affairs if a child in the future asks'Whats a shoemaker"?

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#5 Post by shane » Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:21 pm

DW,
Look at ebay item 8226446612 if you havn't already. It looks like pledgerism to me.
Shane

tomo

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#6 Post by tomo » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:36 pm

DW,
I'm sorry to hear that, but copyright is automatically given to the written word as I understand it - writing is something I do, although I'm unpublished at this stage. I think you would have a very strong case. Universities here a seriously hard on plagiarism.
If I were you I would go talk to a lawyer, this is serious stuff.

More power to y'awl

T.Image

PS look at the problem we have copying earlier shoe making text books.

T.

tomo

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#7 Post by tomo » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:42 pm

At the very least I'd raise the matter with ebay and see if they can't jam him up.

More power to y'awl
T.

Craig Corvin

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#8 Post by Craig Corvin » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:59 pm

Here's some legal info that might prove useful from my girlfriend, a lawyer and arts law volunteer.

---

DW, first things first - In the U.S., copyright is created the moment you set artistic impression into a fixed medium; i.e., you record a song, draw a picture, write down a poem. So, you do have copyright rights in your book, assuming your writing and drawings are yours. Problem is, without registration of your copyright, your damages in a lawsuit are limited. Registration is not difficult; the U.S. Copyright office's page has great instructions for you non-lawyer, artistic types. Go to http://www.copyright.gov and check it out.

Many states have a legal organization dedicated to educating and assisting artists. (Note: for all the bad stuff you hear about lawyers, we have a long tradition and expectation to help the community by doing pro bono work). DW, the organization in Oregon is Oregon Lawyers for the Arts. Do a google search, or go to http://www.vlany.org for a list of other "Lawyers for the Arts" organizations.

Lastly, DW, since you own the copyright in your book, and Mr. Stealypants has copied and put it up on eBay, tell eBay that they are selling infringing works! Check out the eBay site to find out how to cancel illegal auctions.

Best of luck to you. Now, if only my guy would finish our house remodel so he can make me new shoes!

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#9 Post by dw » Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:39 am

Tom, Craig,

Thank you for the advice. I should have registered these books year ago. It never occurred to me that someone would steal my work if only because the audience is so limited.

I have contacted Ebay (and I made a pdf copy of his Ebay ad, just in case he changes it) and I am thinking about taking legal action. The diagrams appear to be a direct rip off as is the geometric patterning.

Beyond that the methods of assembly and the ideas presented very nearly have to be ripped off as well...the illustrations and the ideas go together. But the text? well, anyone can re-write a sentence or a paragraph so that although the ideas contain therein are the same, the wording is different.


Craig, tell your girlfriend "thank you" from me. She has my grateful appreciation...as do you for bringing it to her. I learned a lot and even though I now understand that I do have copyright on this material, I will register these book and my new one too.

BTW, Jim Kladder reminded me that "Big House" is somewhat dated jail house slang for the peneteniary...like "the joint." Some things never change.

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Tom Mickel

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#10 Post by Tom Mickel » Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:32 am

This is really weird but I bought my Landis L from this guy and he seemed pretty reasonable when I met him. BUT copying someones elses hard effort is just not acceptable.

I'm a hobby bootmaker and I started making boots from the book that I bought from D.W. a couple of years ago. I also bought Hockenberrys (Big House Daddy's) book and there is no comparison. I have spent hour upon hour re-reading D.W.'s book over and over because it is so detailed.

D.W. I would encourage you to seek legal advice because 1) you need to be rewarded for your hard work by getting paid for it without having someone else ripping it off and 2) we need people like you who are good at preserving part of history and a great art form. I have looked hard to find other written material that would allow a total novice like me to be able to make a boot and I don't think that any exists.

It would be terribly sad and it would be a great loss if you gave up educating us through your books and writings. I look forward to buying one of your Full Wellington books - it's the best way I can think of to thank you for your contributions.

tomo

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#11 Post by tomo » Fri Oct 21, 2005 3:21 pm

DW,
not trying to rub your face in it, but that jerk is even using your byline with a slant on it, "Keep your stitches tight"
...interesting to see who else he's ripped off.

Kia kaha DW - be strong.Image
More power to y'awl
T.

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#12 Post by dw » Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:18 pm

Thanks for all your support, everyone. It is deeply moving and deeply appreciated.

I spoke to Ken today by phone. He seemed reasonable and ready to accept the premise that there were critical copyright issues involved.

He has taken the Packer book off of Ebay and has commited to withdraw it entirely from pubic offering. He has further offered to commit, in writing, not to sell or publish this material or any other material relating to making packer style boots for a period of ten years. After which, if he continues to make boots, I believe anything he writes will be authentic enough and true enough to his own experiences that it will do credit to the Trade.

Of course, actions speak louder than words, but if he lives up to his side of the bargain, I will be satisfied. I want to believe that he is simply a little naive and perhaps a little too eager to emulate me...who he says he regards as a role model. Maybe it is I who is being naive, but I have no thirst for blood and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt...for the time being.

Naturally, I would appreciate it if anyone sees evidence that I am making a fool of myself that they would notify me as soon as possible.

thanks again

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#13 Post by marc » Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:17 pm

DW,
if it makes you feel any better, it's not just you.
# 8349445588 E-Book - Footwear In The Middle Ages

*mutter*

Marc

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#14 Post by dw » Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:37 am



Marc,

Sad, isn't it? When I wrote my books I knew in the back of my mind that there would be some people copying from friends, and I more or less accepted it--although it doesn't make it any less dishonourable. But at some level I wanted to put the information out there more than I wanted to glory in it. I wanted to "share" (how I hate that word!) I wanted to help others learn and find the pleasure I have from making boots. With that aim in mind, you can't hoard/hug the knowledge to yourself, and if it has any validity or the writing is any good at all, you can't expect it to remain wholly in your control. But, if I didn't want the knowledge to spread and gain currency, I wouldn't have put it out there in the first place.

That said, when you run across diagrams and text that are so clearly your own you could superimpose one over the other with no significant deviation from your originals, it's aggravating to say the least. More, it's aggravating when the purported author doesn't have the "time in harness," so to speak, to lend any kind legitimacy to the work. Nothing new is being brought to the table.

And frankly, it adds insult to injury when the copied book is being sold for a fraction of the original. The plagiarist doesn't have the investment in time or resources that the original author did, doesn't value the work to any degree, and every book sold is a slap in the face to the original author and a disservice to those who purchase it.

I think I have my situation solved. I hope you can get as happy a resolution as I did.

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#15 Post by marc » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:34 pm

I don't know - it's just getting murkier. The guy in question claims I gave him permission to make copies and sell them at cost, which is possible (although I don't recall doing so, and have no record of it). OTOH, I certainly didn't give him permission to change the name and sell them on ebay.

Ah well, we'll see.

marc

tomo

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#16 Post by tomo » Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:31 pm

Marc,
I don't believe you'd give the guy permission to make copies and sell at cost, it's not logical...
Hes negated any claim to 'being honest' by virtue of the fact that he changed your name for his (?)
I think you should follow the advice that was given to DW with regards to this, including contacting ebay.

What would happen if we all submitted queations to the site asking if this isn't plagiarized work, or questions to this affect?

More power to y'awl

T.

(Message edited by Tomo on November 09, 2005)

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#17 Post by marc » Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:26 pm

It's *possible*. I do give explicit permission on my website to print off and photocopy/bind copies and you can distribute those for how much that cost you (because 250 pages of photocopying and/or binding can be some money), but definately not to make a profit on.

I've got a message oput to him asking to see the permission letter he says he had. We'll see how that goes.

Marc

siskiyou

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#18 Post by siskiyou » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:14 pm

For DW,

I found this while looking for shoe making items on Ebay. I'm not sure if it is the same guy you have been talking about regarding copyright issues of your work, but I thought I'd pass it on.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Custom-Boot-Making-Immediate-Download-Available_W0QQitemZ823 2873781QQcategoryZ28133QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Cheers,
Terri

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#19 Post by dw » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:43 pm

Terri,

Thanks for the heads up. It is the same guy but although this book started off a direct rip off of mine, it has been re-written and changed sufficiently that any resemblance to my book is probably incidental or, at worst, derivative.

I spoke to the individual in question when I was dealing with the copywrite issues involved with the packer book. After some thought and some third party input, I don't believe that there are any significant copywrite issues involved with this book...as it now stands.

That suits me. As I said, I put the info out there for people to use and use as a basis for learning and growth. Over the course of time, that learning and that growing will nearly force a person to find their own voice and their own legitimacy..."pay their dues," in other words. That, all by itself, is probably the very best antidote to plagarism there is. And bottom line, that's really all that's necessary, as far as I'm concerned.

Again, thanks for your concern.

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tomo

Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#20 Post by tomo » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:46 pm

DW, Terri
I just tried to download the site and ebay said it's been removed or gone or something, that was like 2 minutes ago.
More power to y'awl
T.
YIKES! it is still there. I got through just now.
T.

(Message edited by Tomo on November 09, 2005)

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#21 Post by marc » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:52 am

Well that didn't go to badly.

He sent me a copy of the permission message, which I vaguely remember getting back in January. My answer suggests I was really distracted at the time, and not thinking about what he was asking for.

Apparently I gave him permission to distribute and copy the item for non-profit and I assumed he'd meant *locally* (which is usually what I'm asked for).

So no harm, no foul. He pulled the materials as asked, and I've made a counter suggestion that if he really wants to distribute on ebay, I won't be put in a position of looking like I've abandoned my copyright. I need to check with my copyright person first though.

Marc

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#22 Post by admin » Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:34 am

The forum has been down since Saturday night...and who knows why, but of course it always happens on weekends. If it happens during the week the webmaster fixes the problem right away. If it happens on the weekends it may take a complete reset of the system or even someone coming in to fix it.

In any case I got an interesting question regarding cookies in private email and I thought I would share my response....for what it's worth....anyone who wants to correct or add to my explanation, please feel free)
Over the last five, six years, websites have found it useful to know who is accessing their pages....and how often and from where--what IP, in other words. This can be for tracking purposes so that they can better tailor the content of their pages to their readership; it can be to better promote their products, or their political views; or any number of things--some entirely above board, some blatantly commercial, some even nefarious.

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Again, these settings and any restrictions...or vice versa...must be set in your browser.


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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#23 Post by gshoes » Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:43 am

WHY DO WE MAKE SHOES?

That is the question. Well for me it was to help a child that could not buy shoes at the store. I could not afford to have custom made shoes. As a single mother I began a quest for knowledge. If others were making shoes then surely I felt that I could too. So I found the Shoe School in Washington State and I was off to a great start. Having two children with special shoe needs I felt that surely I would pass this skill on to my children as they would need it for the rest of their life.

With an art background, I could see this as a profession that I may have been looking for, my whole life.

I hooked up with other local leather people and started carving leather and practicing other related skills. It has been a rough couple of years with leather, struggling with making a living and raising 2 teenagers.

After finding this website of great people I was encouraged to keep going even at my snails pace. I have learned so much and been given great instruction from many unselfish masters willing to share.

My daughter Danielle Rabey had Marfan Syndrome which caused her feet to be long and slender and flat. Standing 6'4" tall she stood out in a crowd and that is not always good for a young lady. She also had a serious heart problem. If that was not enough she was also a teenager. She made some bad friends. She listened to bad advice. She was encouraged by others to leave her loving home. She stopped taking her heart medication and she died on August 11 2009. It was her 19th birthday.

So now again the question. WHY DO WE MAKE SHOES?

For me, right now, it is to keep may daughter alive with me. We all know that Life changes us. Death changes us too. The question now is how much does it change us? Time will tell.

This is the last picture that I have of Danielle taken on July 4th 2009.

10183.jpg
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Geraldine Rabey

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#24 Post by dw » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:24 am

Geraldine,

Nothing I can say will ease your pain. My eldest left home when she was 16. The upshot was not near as tragic as for Danielle, but it was the most severe and emotional event that I have yet had to live through. Does it help to know that someone else has seen a little of the trouble you've seen? Probably not. Almost certainly not. But I feel for you and offer this thought--cherish the good memories and she'll live in your heart.

I'm not too good with this kind of thing...but my daughter loved turtles and frogs at that age too.

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Re: The "Whys" and Wherefores"

#25 Post by romango » Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:25 am

Geraldine,

I remember your determination to make nice shoe for your daughter, where we were at Shoe School. It was an inspiration to us all.

Sorry for your loss.

- Rick

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