I guess one day, when I change my status from active shoemaker to ancestor, one of my grandson (hopefully I will have some, and hopefully they will continue my craft) will tell stories about his grandfather’s American tour. They will have good stories, all they have to do is research this blog. (yeah, I know some of you printed out ALL of my articles).
You just can’t imagine how difficult to organize a course in the States. I am not talking about the location – finding a place in summertime, that is nota big deal. Pretty much just walk in the street and choose the best option – and there are many. We found a pretty good location.
There are other difficulties, what you just can’t tell in advance, especially not if you are from Hungary.. simple things, like buying a piece of sole leather. Here you can get everything, you want – as long what you want is cheap, Chinese, mass manufactured crap or cars. That is not an issue. But imagine the situation, when I enter to a hardware stores and ask for something, then they ask:
‘what do you need it for?’ They ask, I answer: ‘I make shoes’ A second silence.. I see (then they think: “This is an idiot. Nobody makes shoes, they come from China”.
I did not talk about leather. I tend to NOT to try to get leather here. All you can get is old stock (And who wants to realize after lasting, that your upper cracks really bad all around the stitches?), or something what you just don’t know what is it for. I don’t mean, that you can’t get good leather here. You can. I just mean it is not easy.
Tools. It is a joke. Seriously. I believe my students are having fun showing my their new tools, because usually I just call them Barbie-tools. Why? Because they just look like “Cobbler-Barbie’s” new toys. Shiny handles, shiny metal and good for nothing. None of my tools are shiny, but hey just good and served many generations already.
Don’t worry – most of the stuff came from Hungary, uppers, tools, it was just difficult.
By the way. There is one more spot in the second course, so if you are playing with the idea to finish one pair with me – it is the last chance to register. You can do it.