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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking


First we decided that we want to announce only in the symposium, but then after a few weeks of hesitation we wanted to give a chance to those who want to be founding members to be there in this historic moment.

So, here is a little Q&A – more will come as I receive more questions.

1. Is there any chance to watch online?
No. This is something unique. You need to be there to participate. We want to move this huge online community out f those comfy chairs to off-line, meet each others, make friends, learn new things, share experience, have conversations.

2. Is this an annual thing?
Yes. We plan like that, although if you don’t come because you only want to come next year… we might end up with a lot of potential, next-year visitors and a very few actual ones – that might not inspire us to do it again. So, if you can come – come.

3. What is the purpose of the Guild?
We made a long way with this craft with this forum, which is – not enough. We have 5579 members as of now – most of them just plan to make shoes in the future, some of them don’t find teachers, materials, need some more support than an online forum. With a Guild we can help, organize and promote education on a good level. This is very important. From the dozens of courses I would only suggest a few. Helping education will be our most important job. We, as a Guild also can build contacts with companies, association, we can receive help, we can do steps to preserve our common knowledge and most importantly – dosomething more than just talk – things, what we could never do as an invisible online community.

4. Why do we organize a symposium?

Simply… because we need this badly. Yes, there are a lot of other conferences, symposiums, meet-ups, although those are not ours. Not about our problems, our chances to change the future – and as a matter of fact not even about our topics specifically.

For the record: doing this is a brave step from us. Moving out a bunch of online people to do something physically is crazy hard. This will kind of separate those who are really want to do something for our craft, who really belong to the craft from those who have other important things – no offense please.

5. Can I register to be a member of the Guild?

Of course, as soon as we found it, but not automatically. We take that whoever comes to the Symposium is a serious footwear maker, but we will filter the applicants later on – this will not be an Internet group, we don’t want to be just another patch on someone’s jacket.

6. What is the other big announcement?

Well, that is… oh, almost I fell. :) It will be really big, even bigger than the Guild, I promise.


Many years back, I was afraid that we will see the end of shoemaking as there is no more education, no more teachers and as a matter of fact – no more students. Well, good news – it seem to change slowly and steadily. Since then I taught several hundred students, shared a bit from my knowledge, my passion – so I hope I can claim a tiny little bit in that success. Even if not – that doesn’t matter. We live in a renaissance, which is great.

Now what? As this old chapter ended – that doesn’t mean that we made it. The boogeyman of extinction might have gone for a little bit from the new light of dawn, although new ones came. The next challenge we have: maintain the level of craftsmanship, the quality the diversity of our techniques. What made shoemaking so great and high level a 100 years ago? Not the great tools or great leather – simply the competition and the respect of tradition. Hate to say that: dogmas. I use this word “dogmas”, like the collection of those techniques, little tricks, what we don’t have enough time to test, “trial and error”. One or even 10 lifetimes would not be enough for them – simple as this: consider how many thousand shoemaker, how many years come together in the knowledge what we learnt – we could have learnt from our forefathers. This is one of the reason, why a craft hardly accepts newcomers, with great ambitions. Not like we don’t like NEW. We love new. This is why we use metal tools, modern dyes, modern chemicals, etc. Ambitious amateurs are not equal new. Let’s just agree on this, OK? The fresh, new revolutionary, blah blah aspect probably will come from a pro, who knows what to change, why – and most importantly – if it has been done already or not. Do not misunderstand me, and mostly: misinterpret me. I like students, I like beginners. I encourage them, guide them, help them – this is why I share my knowledge, this is why I am a teacher.

Our future is in the hands of newcomers. Their smart choice of their teachers, masters, their work.


Hi. I am so lazy with this blog, but you guys still read this. Thank you very much! I promise I will be more active in the future – more craft related posts. This week a ton of interesting stuff happens – details later. Until then let me paste here, what I am going to do in the summer:

Shoemaking Course 2015 – Ashland, Oregon

The much anticipated summer course this year will be held in Ashland, Oregon this year. Since we received so many requests for an advanced technique class, the construction will be english welted.

The course will be held in Ashland, OR and will lead up to the Footwear Symposium. The Footwear Symposium will be the first official event of the Shoemaking Forum. We have a great lineup with speakers, vendors, workshops, demos. Click here if you wish to learn more about this great event. Moreover, if you take part in the course, you can participate in the Symposium for free!

So if you wish to learn as much about advanced shoemaking in a short amount of time, come join us in Ashland for summer course with Koronya Shoemaking Courses and the first Footwear Symposium!

Email us at info(at)shoemakingcourse.com to register for the course!

Further important information:

Time:

  • 10th June to 17th June
  • The duration of the course  8 continuous days

Location:

 

Ashland, Oregon, USA

What you will be learning:

English welted construction – all hands-on, you will take home the finished pair.

Design, pattern making and upper making. However, due to time and space restraints, we won’t be able to make those uppers into shoes. You will work with the ready made ones provided by us.

All sorts of tricks of the trade, business tips, etc.

The Koronya intensive course experience:

 

The intensive apprenticeship course focuses on the construction. We will do our best to provide you with the size of your choice, but supplies are limited. The point is not making shoes for your own use, but to learn the techniques.

You may bring your own lasts and design an upper and make the pattern on them. But the final shoes will be made on the lasts in the sizes that I provide, simply because the uppers we use are specifically designed on these, so they will definitely fit.

When we say intensive, we really mean it! Making a pair of hand welted shoes in eight days while learning the process of design, pattern making and upper making is demanding. Absolute commitment is required.

All materials will be superior quality Baker leather – Soles, insoles, stiffeners, welts.

All tools used are genuine shoemaking tools and will be provided to all students.

The price and what’s included:

The course costs $1800 USD

Use of all the tools required in the process

Use of lasts

Patterns made during the classes

One pair of hand-welted shoes, made by you

Water, coffee


I have been extremely busy lately. But for all the right reasons! I’m happy to announce two important events that’s going to happen this summer.

Ashland Hills Lobby
  1. The long anticipated summer course will be held from 10th June to 17th June. It will be held in Ashland, OR. The technique I will be teaching is the English welt. It is an advanced technique, so more experienced makers are welcome to participate! I’ve been receiving requests for a welting course, and I’ve resisted for a long time. So this is a rare opportunity for all those wishing to learn a welted construction from me. And as usual, the course will be super intensive, hands-on, with a completed pair of shoes in the end. The course is 8 days long, and it includes pattern making and upper making demos (no hands-on).
  2. I started the Shoemaking Forum four years ago for the purpose of helping my former students remain in touch with each other and help them along their journey to become better craftspeople. And now, four years and more than five thousand member later, there’s no doubt that this beautiful craft has more enthusiasts than we ever imagined. So for the first time, we attempt to gather them together in a real life event.
I’m happy to announce that the organization of the First Footwear Symposium is well under way and it will be an awesome opportunity for all kinds of footwear professionals to meet and exchanging experience.
It’s going to be held from 19th June to 21st June, that means right after the shoemaking course. Registration is open, the participation fee is $125, which covers all the happenings during the event, such as workshops, presentations, vendor demos, expert panel discussions. You can find out more here: footwearsymposium.com
You’ll want to register as soon as you can since availability is limited and is already filling up fast!
So come and join me this summer in Ashland, OR for some shoemaking fun and knowledge!


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