We offer both group courses and private tuition
The group classes are one lesson a week for three hours run over 6, 9 or 12 week period depending on the course you are enrolled in (sandal, shoe, boot). As there are only 4 students per class it is a very one on one experience.
Private tuition is for a more intensive course, running over 3 full days (tue, wed, thu) of 8 hours per day, this allows interstate and international students to enroll on a shorter term basis.
All students will design and make a pair of bespoke shoes for themselves learning all aspects of the footwear factory.
Once upon a time when the shoemaking industry was more prevelent within the australian landscape the factories had 4 different rooms dedicated to each key shoemaking process. At the school of footwear you will learn about the elements of each of these rooms and then put them into practice.
These 4 elements include:
1. PATTERN CUTTING AND DESIGN.
All students are asked to bring examples of what they would like to make for themselves, (magazine,internet,preloved) so as we can start with some illustration design and determine the shoe you will make for yourself. Once we have chosen the design a pattern is made on the Last (i.e. the woodern block ). The last is taped to find the three dimentional shape so the design can be drawn on, the tape is then removed and flatened onto paper to get the two dimensional aspect of the pattern, all allowences are added for lasting folding and underlays. First we make a shell of this pattern and pull it over the last to make sure correct fit and balance to the design has been obtained and any modifications that may need to be done before the true pair of shoes is clicked out.
2. CLICKING AND LEATHER APPRECIATION.
Clicking is the name given to the cutting of Leather by hand or machine. Leather appreciation is a huge part of shoemaking and can take many years to learn. Choosing your leather and cutting the pattern pieces in the correct manner is of the utmost importance to the finished product, knowing all your different hides and growth movments so the shoe will close and last perfectly.
3. CLOSING AND EDGE TREATMENTS.
Closing is the name meaning to machine sew your two dimentional leather pattern peices together and close them into a three dimentional shoe form, this make the basis of the upper. There are several different industrial leather sewing machines used in the footwear industry ( post, flatbed, cylinder arm ) each of them doing a given process. Also in the closing room all edge treatments are carried out, skiving for underlays, folds and stichlines, gimmping punching and any broguing affects and all patten markers or balance points.
4. LASTING SOLING AND FINISHING.
Lasting is the name used in shoemaking which means to pull the stitched leather upper over the last (wooden block) and tack it into place on the innersole. Heel and toe stiffeners are incorperated to hold the shape of the shoe in wearing. the lasted shoe is then roughed along the bottem to the feather edge ready for the attachment of the sole. At the school of footwear we mostly use leather for soling and heeling with a topey finish on the heel for wearability but there are other materials to choose from such as rubber, plastics or other resins..