Introduction to Shoemaking
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"Introduction to Shoemaking"

3 Day 1-on-1 Private Hands-on Workshop

Learn by doing... Experiential Education...
Start by Hand Making a Pair of Shoes for Your Own Feet.
Guided by Experienced Professionals.

This workshop is an Introductory Level Program that is designed to give people a simple, comprehensive foundation and fun experience in making shoes.

During the workshop you will make a fully lined pair of shoes for your own feet.

Nothing is pre-made or assembled from a kit. You will learn how to start from scratch to design the pattern and create all the individual pieces for your shoes.

Once you have a basic understanding of the principles, techniques and materials of shoe design and construction, you are only limited by your imagination.


Object of Workshop:

This program is the "Real Deal". In this workshop the Student Does the Work. There are No pre-made leather uppers, no pre-made patterns, no pre-made components, no pre-made kits for putting together a mule, a pump, sneaker, moc or a dress shoe.

We start with:
1. making the patterns,
2. cutting all the parts from raw materials,
3. hand lasting the lining & uppers,
4. molding heel counters and toe caps,
5. cementing on the soles.

NOTE: Its vitally important that you learn how to do every aspect for yourself if you ever hope to go forward on your own.

You will also receive a list of resources for machines, tools, leather, soling, shoe lasts, and the supplies you will need to go forward with your shoe projects.

Many of our students have gone on to study and apprentice with Master Craftsmen in Europe, North and South America, as well as other parts of the World. We provide the Knowledge and Foundation Required for going forward.


For those individuals that only want to make women's high heel dress shoes, or sneakers you should consider this point: It is vitally important that you learn the simple basics of all footwear construction, before attempting to make complicated patterns and styles requiring highly specialized structural components. During the workshop we will show you how to apply this basic knowledge to high heels, boots, sandals, etc..



NOTE: Due to the pandemic we were forced to cancel the Group Workshops. We now offer Private Instruction only.

We are moving forward with a new format for the future by offering the same quality "Introduction to Shoemaking" Workshop as a 1-on-1 experience. You can come with a friend and make it a 2 person program.

The basic workshop is a 3 Day Program with an Optional 1 Day available to review and expand the subject matter in more depth. It also provides an opporuntity for personal mentorship and consulting on a wide variety of issues, including Business Development for going forward.

Since the workshop is only available for 1 or 2 people it can be scheduled at any mutually convenient time.


The Foot:
The basic relationship of the foot to the rest of the body. How the foot works with an emphasis on how the foot relates to the function of the shoe.

The Shoe Last:
The solid form that a shoe is molded on is called a “Shoe Last”. The most important aspect of proper fitting footwear is the design, volume and shape of the shoe last.

Measuring & Fitting:
This is the first step to understanding the relationship of the foot to the shoe last and the finished shoe.

Pattern Design & Grading:
Learning to make patterns is one of the most important skills you can develop. We spend one whole day focused on Pattern Making so you will be able to go forward with creating your Shoe Dreams.

Insoles and Support:
One of the most important parts of a shoe is the bottom. This is the area of the foot that supports the entire weight and movement of the body.

Selecting Materials:
Each component is examined and analyzed, for proper application in regard to the function and style of the shoes being created. (upper & lining leather, insoles & outsoles, heel counters, toe boxes, etc.)

Sources for Leather and Materials:
We will provide you with current sources for leather and other components which are readily available, in small quantities, or larger quantities for production.

Hand Tools & Machines:
An opportunity to gain first hand experience working with traditional hand tools and machinery used to make footwear.

Resources for Tools and Equipment:
Finding just the right machines and tools requires some expertise. During the workshop we will demonstrate & share our insights and connections to help you invest wisely and achieve your goals.

Cutting Dies:
Steel Rule Cutting Dies are an essential element in the mass production process. They are an exact copy of the pattern drawing.



Morning - Agenda

Afternoon - Agenda

Day 1

Pattern Making
Drafting the Shoe Last Pattern
Shoe Pattern Design & Creation
Cutting with Steel Rule Dies

Leather Selection
Cutting Leather Pieces
Molding Heel Counters
Videos: Last Making, Leather Tanning

Day 2

Selecting Your Leather
Cutting the Pattern Pieces

Assemble Leather Pattern Pieces
Insert Eyelets
Complete Uppers
Ready for Hand Lasting

Day 3

Hand Lasting the Uppers
Review Outsole / Midsole Patterns
Outsole Material Selections

Make Outsole
Bottom Unit Assembly
Sock Linings
Finish Up

Machine Demonstrations

Daily Schedule 8:45 ....Workshop Opens
12:00 ....Lunch
1:00 ....Workshop Resumes
5:30 ....Workshop Closes



Student Interview Videos

Watch Streaming Video

See and Hear what the students have to say about their experience...

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