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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

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.

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