Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 31 May 2013

New Courses, Course Dates For 2014 And A Vintage Video

Welcome back shoe friends, both old and new. The reach we have around the world never ceases to amaze me. This week we have had a little spike on page views from the DRC! Fantastic. Makes me wonder how making shoes in the Tropics would be and what problems it would throw up. We would definitely have to adjust our thread wax recipe.
This reminds me that one thing we did do in Spain was to use canvas vamp linings to make the shoes less hot. Perhaps we would have to do that at least.

Anyway, on to other things. Our intensive shoemaking courses have proved very popular and, rather than turning people away, we have decided to run two extra two week classes during the year, giving more people the chance to learn this ancient and venerable trade

So, starting in October this year (from Monday 7th until Saturday 19th) we have an Autumn course. We are booking for this course now.

All of our intensive shoemaking courses run from Monday to Saturday, from 9.30am until 5.30pm, making a total of 96 hours in the classroom. In this time you will make a pair of hand stitched shoes from a pair of lasts,uppers and oak bark hide which we supply. You get to keep the shoes and a basic tool kit.
This is your chance to learn all of the skills described in this blog, from hand lasting to welting and sole stitching to building heels. All done by hand in the traditional way.

There is a maximum of 7 students on the courses to ensure you get plenty of 1:1 teaching.
Email us for a course outline and booking form

Moving on to 2014, this is our programme of intensive course dates in LONDON.

January 6th to 18th

August 4th to 16th

August 18th to 30th

October 6th to 18th

We will also continue our intensive shoemaking course in BROOKLYN, NY on the following dates

May 5th to 17th

If you live in or near to London, you can also sign up for our weekly shoemaking course on a Monday night. Running from 6pm till 9pm, we give three ten week terms throughout the year. The course outline is the same for intensive courses and the aim is to make a pair of handsewn shoes for yourself.

We are now taking bookings for the October term. The cost is £475 per term.

This week a student of ours sent us the link for an amazing video of Peal & Co which made bespoke shoes in London from 1791 until 1965. A family run business, they had a fantastic reputation for quality shoes and had shops in the West End and a factory in Acton. This is a compilation of family Super 8 films with a raucous intermittent soundtrack from a family screening - typical shoe folk, enjoying a drink!

It is long but has some very interesting footage of all sorts of steps in the shoemaking process.

Hope you enjoy it

That's it for this week. Until the next time, happy shoemaking!