Shoe Making Classes
I teach two styles of shoe making. The main difference between the two styles is the kind of rubber sole used on each shoe. The upper for both shoes can be made in many styles 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 for the uppers with four colors to choose from. Both classes take four full days and require moderate hand strength. Locations and prices vary but most classes take place at my home workshop in Barnardsvillle, NC just north of Asheville.
10th Century Scandinavian Turnshoe with Recycled Rubber Soles
The Scandinavian Turn Shoe is a 10th century style shoe with a thin leather sole similar to a moccassin. I often refer to this style as my “hiking slippers” due to their excellent ability to allow me to feel the ground beneath my feet and their great traction on rocks. They are my most comfortable shoes.
This shoe style is made inside out and then turned right-side-out so that the stitching ends up on the inside. The upper can be made in many styles such as the traditional flap and button, a more modern lace up style, or a no-flap slipper. The sole is a mixture of recycled rubber powder and rubber cement which is pasted on the shoe in whatever thickness you desire. This allows you to indefinitely add more rubber as the old rubber wears away. The upper is made of rugged Bison leather and if taken care of can last a lifetime.
The class is four 8 hour days with sewing home work on the 3rd day.
Only hand tools are used in the making of this style of shoe.
July 30 – Aug. 2nd, 2019
Internal Stitchdown Shoes with Vibram Soles
The internal stitch down is a more modern style of shoe that uses the same one piece upper and flap construction as in my Turn Shoe class but attaches to a commercial Vibram brand sole. This sole style gives you about a 3/4″ buffer between your foot and the ground which can be helpful in the winter months when the ground is colder. Sole styles can be chosen for traction on terrain, cushioning on cement, or even straight leather for use on the dance floor. The upper is made from rugged Bison leather and could last a lifetime if properly cared for. 4 leather colors to choose from.
The class is four 9 hour days with sewing home work on the 3rd day.
This class uses some power tools.
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July 30 – Aug. 2nd, 2019
Scandinavian Turn Shoe Making Class
Location: Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC
Cost: $480 plus $90 materials fee
Internal Stitch Down Shoe Making Class
I am available to teach private classes for your group designed around your schedule.
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:
- Electrical work
Contact me for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hosting a Class
If you live within a six hour drive of Asheville, NC and you can organize 6-8 people to take my shoe class then I might be willing to come to you. Let’s talk.
One on One Classes
If you are the kind of person that does not learn well in a group setting we can design a one on one class to meet your needs.
Are you interested in diving deeper into shoe making than one class allows? Let’s have a conversation about what an internship can look like.
Despite my current focus on shoe classes I do occasionally find time to make custom shoes for customers. Prices start at $450 and require two visits to my workshop. The first is to make a custom casting of your feet. The second is for a final fitting to make sure the shoes fit nicely. Shoes are made as I am able. If you are interested get in touch.
In my teens in small town California I dreamed of having custom shoes but at the time if felt far fetched and unattainable.
In 2007 I met a shoemaker named Jason Hovatter in Portland, Oregon who was not only making shoes but teaching shoe making classes as well. I instantly knew I would go on to teach this skill to others. I showed up to that first class taking incredibly detailed notes in order to replicate the process. In a relatively short time I was off and running.
I now have my own shoe making workshop near Asheville, NC where I teach roughly one shoe class a month.
Over the years shoe making has become about more than just sewing leather together. It’s become a process of connecting with the thousands of years of humanity who had to make their own footwear out of necessity. It’s allowed me to be a link in a chain of lineage.