13 January 2012

American Cobbler Enthusiast


What comes to mind?  Cooper? Blacksmith? Do you think modern career, or one of those occupations that is no longer in existence? Perhaps if you know what a cobbler is, you may think Nike or some other big-name brand that makes shoes. (For those unaware, a cobbler is a person who makes shoes. Think fairytale Shoemaker and the Elves) But does one normally think of this as a viable occupation to pursue full time? No.

The point is, a cobbler is not a person you expect to be living around the corner making and repairing shoes for your town. These people, though still in existence, are rare and generally unheard of by the general population. It is a dying art for there to be handcrafted shoes in the world, unless you want to pay top dollar for them, and even then, they are likely to be handcrafted in China or Vietnam. 
 So. The point of this ramble? To proclaim my growing obsession in the art of cobblery, cobblering, cobblerness, whatever. For the past six months, i have been scouring the web for bits and pieces of wisdom to the ever increasing mystery as to how shoes are made. So far, I have completed a fully functioning pair of leather slippers (seen in picture, left), and various other slightly ill-fitting shoe-wannabes. The success story was a pattern modified from the Native American moccasin pattern typical to the Great Lakes and Iroquois tribe. I found instructions for this pattern HERE. I have lined it with wool and flannel for increased warmth and comfort. 

I plan to continue this hobby and hopefully grow my skill enough to make shoes suitable for outdoor use, but for now, I am still an enthusiastic amateur. Anyways, I thought since the internet is slightly lacking in good information of the art of cobblering-nessery, I could perhaps share with others my findings to make the road easier for anyone else who wanted to pick up an obscure hobby. 

So there. The End. ... to be continued!!!!

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