SHOES!! I have had dreams of becoming a shoe cobbler for a few years now. One (at least) of my ancestors was a master boot-maker, Benjamin Joseph Green. When I was about 21 or so years old I saw that a local shoe repair shop needed help, no experience necessary. I went in eagerly to inquire about the position. The woman working there told me I wouldn’t be strong enough because I was a girl. RAWR, eff-you! I was at my strongest physically at the time, too bad I didn’t have as strong of a will and enough conviction to convince them I would be worth the investment…! As a shy and easily discouraged 21 year old I left feeling betrayed and utterly disappointed. I knew I was strong enough! I assumed all other shops in Peterborough would react the same. Fast-forward ten years later and shoe cobbling comes up in my mind and in reality again! My sister talks to a shoe repair woman in Kensington Market and my mom finds a class offered at Haliburton School of Art in shoe-making taught by Jon Gray. I signed up for the course and have been in contact with the cobbler in Kensington Market. The following series of pictures shows just a few of the steps involved in making one pair of shoes over a six-day period of time, eight hours/day…enjoy!
So many nails to hammer in and pull out!
Lots of precision cutting…
Hard work and dirty hands
This group of people where very entertaining and mostly fun to be around :) It was the hottest week of the yea last summer and we had no air conditioning. It was kind-of insane-making.
One year later, trying my shoes on for the first time (it’s a long story)!!
Jon Gray, himself, re-training me in the art of shoe lace tying… :)