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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

Author Archives: koronya

Emily – my only apprentice – is really active on my blog recently. It is actually good. I am a lazy blogger. Looking through the calendar, what WordPress provides – I post recently once in a month… in a good case. Well.

Luckily I have Emily here. You can learn all the detail from her posting – a little bit of coloring here and there, but more or less what happens. This is not a classic apprenticeship. She is actually more than that. I never realized, that my workshop is not well organized. I don’t spend enough time there, being a full time teacher. My time is hardly enough to run in, make my orders and run back home to my family, in a good case to dinner. Sometimes go back after my little son goes sleeping and do a bit more work. Things has changed since Emily arrived. She very respectfully reorganized the workshop, cleaned the shelves, interviewed me (more like forced me to tell) what do I use, or as she asked: “will you use this in the next three month?”. Then when I admitted that I don’t think so, she sent them to storage. A lot of boxes.

She reorganized my patterns too. I guess that makes sense. I had at least 3 different systems, depending on the time of the order, it was the high time to put them together in nice manila folders, labels (she is obsessed with labels. She actually bought a labeler machine), and organizer boxes.

About her work: “not hopeless” as I say. In reality, she is getting better and better. She is definitely not the typical Am… student, who only hears the”great” from the sentence, which is starts with a sugarcoating, like  “great job, but… “, Emily actually listens to the rest of it too. Positively. Even her skills are not enough for many steps – like with the super hard JR stiffeners. In those situation the elves jump in and do the skiving in the night. (I was always wondering if this is the explanation for the legend?), but her first shoe actually not that bad – making a pointy toe for the first cemented shoe is not bad at all. (Sorry I am not gonna use, great and other superlatives – I try to keep those for special times).

We have fun beside working hard. That is how a workshop should be. A fun, creative space, where people can work hard and they feel good and want to go back the next day. Every workshop should have an Emily.

I just invited my apprentice to contribute to my blog – so you can have another perspective to our professional life. My apprentice years are long gone. Let’s see how hers go.

There are changes with the high heel course, here are the details:


March 20-25
Savannah, Georgia

The 6 days program will cover:

  1. design basics
  2. pattern making
  3. clicking
  4. upper-sewing
  5. lasting and
  6. finishing

With a lot of hands-on and yes, you will walk away with your very own high heel. All the participants will receive the next DVD “High Heel Making – Shoemaking #3”. All the materials and tools will be provided and we will also give you a chance to purchase tools and additional materials so you can continue practicing.

We have very limited seats and it usually fills up pretty fast – but if you intend to come, send us a mail, so we can send you a registration sheet and details.

The participation fee:

6 days: 1495 USD

Please send your inquires:

I have not posted for a while. The reason is quite simple: time. I am not gonna get into explanations, on the other hand here is a few moment from my professional life – pretty much what keeps me busy nowadays.





Bespoke work. I have a shamefully long waiting list, so until I complete an acceptable amount I just don’t take orders.



Demo patterns for … let’s just say “something”. Really cool I promise – you will hear more about it, soon.





And of course classroom demos. What should I say, I love red. I think people should wear more of this.


As I slowly pack my workshop in Hungary, some treasures just pop up and gets my attention – probably a bit more often, then I would like to admit. Anyway, this are two awl blades. The left one is already smaller than the regular one, what you can easily use for a regular sole stitch – up to 10 spi. This is actually is a bit more than many “handmade” shoes can claim. Not if it does matter – it is not weaker or uglier. It is just the number, which can indicate the maker’s skills, so it more matters to the maker.

The right one although is way more interesting. That is the same shape, pretty much for the same job. The only, big difference is its size. So, what is the big deal about it, right?


Let me show it. The thread beside it is a sole stitching one….noooot. It is a thicker upper sewing thread. We make decoration stitches with it. As you can see its thickness is considerably close to the awl. Of course we use a different thread for sole stitches, although it is a great comparison. Long story short: this is a tiny-tiny awl. A little bit longer story: there are smaller ones.




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