|This intense 5-day shoemaking class is a must for all shoe lovers or for those who are meticulous and have a passion for a new skill. The course provides by a master craftsman of 45 years takes you through fitting issues, equipment, tools and leather choices. Alan and Jayne, who run the course, have taught students from all over the world and have quite a collection of supplies, hard-to-find equipment and examples of sandals, shoes, and clown shoes made over the years. (There's a pair of the original Ronald MacDonald shoes on the shelf)
By the end of the course you will learn how to design, make patterns and construct a pair of well-fitting shoes based on a beginning design. I wore them home on the plane I was so proud and plan on wearing them to work Monday. It will be a little scary doing my first pair solo, but I'm determined to give it a try. Handmaking skills and the use of home hardware store supplies are emphasized to make it easier for the new shoemaker to get started. Like any new craft, upfront start up cost are high but will be worth the investment.
There are 6 students per session which is offered 4 times a year at the Port Townsend, WA location. It was a beautiful location, great fun and I plan to continue the shoemaking skills I learned. I just returned home yesterday and have already orders shoe lasts (models) and leather. Room, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and basic tools and shoe materials are included in the cost of the course. Food was great at local restaurants.
Here are photos on my blog
The only disappointment I had with the course was students in my group. None of them had any basic sewing knowledge (didn't know what was a "seam allowance"), so basic concepts took a lot of time to explain. Unbelieveable, these same students wanted to started up their own shoe business...tomorrow. We were always behind and I felt perhaps I got a somewhat abbreviated version or not able to go over more advanced concepts. Because of this I was hammering away at the hotel until 12:30 am to get caught up. The garden club touring group at the hotel were entertained by our hammering at sewing.
Believe me, it was hard work and despite this I learned plenty of new skills and information. I would strongly recommend asking at the time of enrollment who else will be taking the course or enroll with a group of sewing friends for a retreat.