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Classes Gaza Bowen has retired and is no longer teaching.

Shoemaking Intensive I

SHOEMAKING INTENSIVE I offers the opportunity to build one pair of fully lined leather shoes in six days. These will be a relatively simple one or two piece pattern shoe. Attention is given to the beginning development of good craftsmanship and traditional skills such as knife sharpening, skiving, and finishing.

Students will customize a pair of lasts and draft patterns for this low heeled shoe. We will cover the proper use of hides as we cut out the uppers and linings, skive the pieces, and sew them together to form the upper. You will learn to build and attach toe boxes and counter stiffeners as you form the upper to the last. Shanks will be inserted, outer soles attached and heels of the proper height built.

Information includes:

  • measuring the foot
  • choosing and customizing the last (shoe form)
  • pattern drafting
  • upper cutting (clicking)
  • knife sharpening
  • skiving and sewing (closing)
  • forming (lasting)
  • toe box and counter stiffener construction
  • making and attaching outer soles
  • building a heel of the proper height and balance
  • use of hand and power tools
  • sources for all materials
  • a bit of the history of shoemaking

The class (limited to three students) is taught in Gaza's Santa Cruz studio about an hour and a half south of San Francisco. The six day class is scheduled for three two-day weekends or two long three-day weekends. We’ll be working from 9:30 am to about 5:30 PM.

The $1200.00 tuition includes a workbook, two basic knives, two sharpening sticks, the use of lasts, hand tools, power equipment and all materials used in constructing the shoes. Sources for tools, equipment, and materials will be given.

Once we agree upon a date for your class a non-refundable deposit of $700.00 will reserve your space. The balance of $500.00 can be paid at the first class. Additional information, including a motel list, is available.

Gallery See student work in the Gallery.


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