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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

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.

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