Shoe Making Classes

I teach people to reconnect with the ancient art of footwear.

The process of wrapping a protective layer of leather around our feet is 40,000 years old and, like fire, is one of the elements that defines us as humans.

What I teach is infinitely variable, though based on two fundamental styles. The main difference between the two styles is how the sole is attached to the upper.

The upper itself can be made in many variations such as the traditional flap and button closure, a more modern lace up shoe, or a no-flap slipper.

Both styles use rugged 9 oz. Bison leather with four colors to choose from. The classes take four full days and require moderate hand strength.

Shoe Making Video

Check out this quick shoe-making video. It shows the entire process start to finish and was shot during one of my shoe-making classes.

Shoe Gallery

Student Gallery

Styles & Class Schedule

Scandinavian TurnShoe Class Dates

Sept 17-20, 2020 (Thurs-Sun) (4 full days)

Location: Tryon Arts and Crafts
Cost: Price and registration coming soon.

Internal Stitch Down Shoe Class Dates

December 10-13 (Thursday – Sunday) (4 full days)

Location: West Asheville, NC
Cost: $400 which includes the materials fee

Leather Colors

Redwood, Tobacco, Chocolate and Black (left to right)

Upper leather is commercial chrome tanned 9oz. American Bison from the Hide House in California.

Leather Chocolate
Leather color - Redwood
Leather Tobacco
Leather Black

More Information

Echoview Fibermill, Weaverville, NC

Echoview Fibermill has quickly become my favorite teaching location. It has all the amenities that I need for a class, it’s clean and well lit, and it’s conveniently located just down the road from my home. I hope to be teaching here for many years.

John C. Campbell Folk School

I began teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School in 2013.  The Folk School Experience is so much more than just learning a craft.  It is engaging in community, making new friends, being exposed to other arts and crafts, letting someone else feed you,  and it’s slowing down into the pace of the Appalachian Mountains.  It’s like summer camp for adults.  I highly recommend everyone experience it at least once!

Tryon Arts & Crafts School

I always enjoy teaching at Tryon Arts & Crafts School.  The school lives in a retrofitted public school building with an artist shop, exhibition spaces, and separate studios dedicated to fiber, glass, lapidary, ceramics, jewelry, wood, welding and blacksmithing! Its a great place to go to get inspired!

Your Home – My class can come to you!

I am willing to travel, within reason, to teach shoemaking to your community.  All I need is a space the size of  two car garage, tables, chairs, students,  and an organized person to host and promote the class.  Email me to start the conversation: michael.ismerio@gmail.com

For some classes I offer work trade options at my homestead in Barnardsville, NC. The work trade I offer is all manner of homesteading work: building, landscaping, trail building, carpentry, farming, mulching, hauling, brush clearing

For the 32 hour Turn Shoe class I request 16 hours of work trade plus $80 materials fee. For the 36 hour Internal Stitchdown class I request 18 hours of work trade plus an $80 materials fee. Work trade hours must be completed before the class begins.

I am always open to Bartering. Things I need help in are:

  • Carpentry
  • Electrical Work
  • Marketing

Contact me for more info at michael.ismerio@gmail.com

I am available to teach private classes for your group designed around your schedule.  Send me an email to get the conversation rolling: michael.ismerio@gmail.com