Having played with the thought for a while, this is the day when I ultimately decide I’m going to learn the art of shoemaking – or at least be damned if I don’t try. I have absolutely no intentions or illusions about quitting my day job, and realize that even skilled shoemakers don’t get particularly fat from their trade. My initial goal is quite simple: I’m going to make at least one pair of handmade shoes that fit me well. Then… I’m going to walk around in them.
I’ve spent a couple of hours on research, and started to tally what I need in spreadsheets. When it comes to knowledge, the earliest sources of information that I find early on are:
1) “Handmade shoes for men” by Lazslo Vass and Magda Molnár – not so much a “how to” guide as a brief description of the history and basic elements of shoemaking. A great and obligatory read (at least at some point) for a general understanding of the craft.
2) “How to make a shoe by hand“, a practical video series by Andrew Wrigley on how to make handmade shoes using “knife, fork and spoon”, ie without all the fancy specialized tools. To be honest, I don’t think I would have started this project without the aid of Andrew Wrigley’s youtube series.
3) “The art of boot and shoemaking” by John Bedford Leno. This is a book that Andrew Wrigley references in passing in his video series, and it seems to be a book that every shoemaker must at least know about and have skimmed through at some point (much like “Handmade shoes for men” above.)
There’s obviously a LOT more out there, but this is where I start out. (For more updated sources, see the page “Links“.)