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Shoemaking with the Cordwainer Shop: The Pathfinder

Course Overview

Learn the age-old art of being a cordwainer. Using the original patterns designed in the mid-1930s by Paul and Edward Mathews of The Cordwainer Shop, Molly will teach you to hand-stitch and hand-lace your own pair of Cordwainer Classics of the same design worn by Hollywood legends such as Caesar Romero, Shirley Temple, Mary Pickford and the original Henry Ford. Class will begin with a brief presentation on the history of the business and the original designs. Then we will move on to leather and color selection, cutting of patterns, and hand lacing using antique hand tools. The uppers will then be laced to the soles, placed on shoe lasts and baked before finishing. Made of non-synthetic materials, your handmade, one-of-a-kind shoes will only get better with time and last a lifetime with care. Upon enrolling, students will be sent a foot outline form, with explicit directions, to be sent back to the instructor prior to class.  Students can choose to add a crepe sole or dress lightweight tread for an additional cost of $50. NOTE: Due to materials preparation needs and sizing, students must register for this course at least six weeks in advance.

Course Details

Length: 3½ Days