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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

Monthly Archives: April 2010


I couldn’t agree more:

“I’m sick and tired of self-appointed so-called experts and their know-it-all, arrogant attitude. Why don’t you people stay out of things you know nothing about?..”

Read the whole article here

Thanks for the link Ryan!


Here is the site, where you can registrate yourself to my shoemaking courses in New York, this summer.

http://www.rosenbaumsny.com/Summer2010.htm

I will post some photos about the new models we will make there soon.

So the advanced men’s shoe making course, the high heel making course and the design course will be held simultaneously. We’ll have a bigger facility, and it’s gonna be great :)! My co-teacher will be Reka Vago (those who where members of the late Koronya Students Community surely know her), who is a well-known shoe designer here in Hungary. She will be sharing her knowledge and experience of the trade, so it’s going to be a great opportunity for any aspiring shoedesigner.


with a dog in it.. Cute isn’t it? Her name is Mogyoró, which means Hazelnut.

And you can perfectly draw her face with three black spots.

Next time more about shoes.


I do:

– make shoes and boots

– teach students

– make educational videos and photo series

– keep courses

– enjoy the scent of the workshop every single morning

– wake up at 6 am to answer mails

– have good friends all over the world because of shoemaking

– continue my apprenticeship program

– ALL I can do to preserve my craft

I don’t:

– care anymore facebook or twitter or any other site – which are great, but… stealing my time from shoes

– continue Student Community on Facebook. 78 members looks lame, compared to “10.000 members before…” style ones. Not anymore.

– answer one sentence mails asking about my prices of my shoes

– pick or continue any fight on forums

– become a member of new forums, sites, web2.0 pages… whatever.



I have just seen a video about handmade shoes, claiming that the factory makes them handmade.

OK – DOES SOMEONE REALLY BELIEVE THAT THOSE SHOES ARE HANDMADE WITH THOSE DAMN HUGE, NOISY MACHINES?

Come on. We, traditional shoemakers created and built the image of “handmade”. How come that people accept to use it from factories? Moreover they talk about craftstmanship and craftsman, and you see a machine operator, who is obviously a kind person, but please.. not a craftsman. That means more than this.

_____

Sure, I admit, that  handmade shoes take a long time to finish, so not everybody can afford them, but I believe “handmade” is a kind of common brand name – it shouldn’t be used by other “brands”, right?


I heard a story about someone, who took a one week course in shoe making and started to teach. I really think that a craft worth much more than this, and it shouldn’t be allowed to anyone to teach.  You must understand my point: this is a dieing craft. Our traditions are fading away, knowledge goes to graves – so we must fight against this, if we want our grandchildren to wear handmade shoes. Amateur shoemakers are good – they make a market for leather stores, they make the craft popular, they educate customers about it. Half professionals are horrible – they stop at a so-called good level and don’t realize how bad this is to our craft. Why? Because they seem to be professional to a customer. If the customer just didn’t get the right products from them, she/he will think that our craft is that. It is not. These guys don’t represent the craft I learned from my masters, who made beautiful and unbelievable refined work for museums, had famous customers with good taste and knowledge about shoes. These half professionals just use their reputation, and this is sad.

So get back to the topic: teaching a craft.. what it means? A lot of things. I don’t want to make a list, but – consider this: as a teacher you shouldn’t be just a “bit” better than your students. You should prove that you are much-much better. If you can’t – maybe they made a bad choice. If you teach you have the responsibility to keep the traditions, the techniques, and not juts a few ones you like.

Don’t learn from fake teachers.