Shoe Design Course – 2010 June, New York

Here is a schedule for the Design and Prototyping Course this summer:

1. Design

– designer and stylist

– outfit design

– styles and categories

– accessories and shoe parts in design

2. Drawing and design (hand on part)

– design process, 2D, 3D

– “drawing a shoe” tutorials

3. Pattern design and making

4. The upper-making process

Soon I will post more about courses.


So how it works with the apprentices? I will be honest – I am a hard teacher. We become good friends after the course, but definitely not before or during. I keep important to “build them up” – make a personality who is able to get training to be a shoemaker. I have my methods – the same ones I had been trained plenty (sometimes I feel too many) years ago. They must accept it – the world is not a friendly place for us anymore. No tools, no supplies and no technical support out there.

So how do apprenticeship courses go?

You have to come to experience it, but the main phases usually: arriving, realizing your real knowledge level, practice, practice, practice, realizing that you must work harder, practice, practice, practice, first shoes ready, start a new one (pushing up the bar higher), work harder, practice, practice, practice, realizing that you are still not there what you thought at arriving, the after a lot of work, loosing ego you get a second pair, which looks like a shoe from far, in a dark room.. 🙂 actually depends on a student, but I can tell: shoemaking just seems easy, it is not… but worth to learn.


Wholecut Week

Wholecuts are my favorites – nothing redundant on these shoes. Pure, simple lines, honest, clear finish. On the other hand – there is no room for mistakes (not if I would accept any).

Maybe.. one day.. I will have one.

Norwegian. Understanding the process of this construction can explain, why makers charge more for it (I don’t, but telling the truth spending double time with a shoe, like this generates some temptation for that). There is some really difficult step in this technique where you have one sloppy movement – then you can start over again. Norwegian is not a goiser, and they are not even that close to each other.


Statistics was never my best subject, but as Youtube does it for me, why shouldn’t I post?

This is not a surprise. I was sure that you guys in Alaska love shoes.. 😉

As I see spinning stitch didn’t generate so intensive interest.. 🙂

If a company’s income would grow like this..

I guess this just doesn’t mean anything.. or a least: cannot be exact.

Daily visits – sometimes more than 1000 per day – not bad from a shoemaker, hmm?:


Busy but fun. I have students in my workshop every day, with amazing own projects. I don’t just tech them, but sometimes learn from them. Well.. maybe you don’t wait this sentence from me, but I consider myself humble enough to recognize talented people. So.. Let me introduce Kristiana Rada here! She spent two weeks in my workshop, and I can tell: never seen anyone with so much energy, and creativity. OK, She is a professional shoe designer, so creativity is something what you would wait from her, but making a whole collection one night – that is something, no? Here are two works she finished in these days. Good work Kristiana!

Sandal prototype one.

Sandals and their creator (with a tiny little help)

Did I mention that I never made sandals? Not a big deal, just a perfectly different technique.. interesting stuff.

Worn by the designer/maker

Students in action – Jeff form the United States and Jon from Canada. Fighting with traditional pattern-lines. Let me quote Jon: “demanding” (that’s probably me 🙂 )