Up-to-date report from one of our students!
Course: Shoe Making
Program: Master Course
Period: Sept. 5,2016-Apr. 28,2017
I worked in Japan for about 10 years but my former job had nothing to do with shoe making. I simply liked leather working as a hobby. I used to make small items such as leather wallets on my days off. For this past 2 years, I studied every week at a shoe making school in Kobe, Japan. I totally enjoyed the process of how my idea became actual shoes, so I kept making shoes on weekends even though I was tired from my weekday’s work. It takes a long time to make 1 pair of shoes, but I just love the shoe making process itself.
I quit my job 1 year ago and decided to come to Florence to study shoe making. I took Italian lessons for 4 months from this May, and I am now taking shoe making lessons in Italian. There is so much I need to learn now, but I hope to enjoy this learning experience.
I tried dyeing leather pieces using leather dyes I brought from Japan. They turned out better than I expected, so I think will try making my next pair using these dyes.
On the weekend, I invited friends to my flat. I decided to cook meal together with a friend from Chef Training Course. Since I have this opportunity to live in Italy now, I would love to become a person who can cook a dish of good pasta or two before I go back to Japan.
There is a metal accessories shop called Senatori in a suburban area of Florence. This week I visited the shop with new students in the class, and bought myself a pair of small buckles for my next shoes.
A new project has started this month for the Master Course students. Today, we visited an orthopedic shoe shop. It is a made-to-order shoe shop for people with various foot problems.
This is the owner of the shop, Mr. Rossi. He told us about many cases of foot problems he had faced in the past. I learned a lot from this rare and valuable opportunity to hear such interesting stories.
These are shoetrees for a foot with lumps. Around 150 people per year visit this shop for their problems such as bunion. In some serious cases, people have hard time to even walk.
After setting the shoetree in a special machine, the attaching process starts. The heated cork becomes soft when heated, and then becomes extremely hard when cooled down.
You can remove it from the machine when it’s completely cool. It really was very hard. I heard a famous sandal maker was making their sandals with this method.
There are many people with lump not only in the back of foot, but also on insteps. The picture in the back shows the finished shoe. We learned a lot today about making made-to-order shoes.
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