Clicking and Closing

It takes nice uppers to make nice shoes. Learn how to cut, trim, finish, assemble and sew uppers. This has traditionally been referred to as “clicking and closing.” Come learn how on May 23-24, 2015. Details on the Workshops page.

Italian Style

I will be giving a presentation on Italian leather and teaching a free introduction to shoe design on February 7, the opening day of the Portland Art Museum’s new exhibit “Italian Style.” Look for me downstairs in the “Crafting Fashion” area from 1pm to 5pm.

Red Derby

Red Derby (womens)These shoes were for a female client who wanted a woman’s shoe without compromises. She likes knitting and needlepoint so I tried to put something special into the design for her. This derby design with English quarters features an ornamental stitch similar to a wheat ear embroidery stitch on the wing tip toe cap and bottom quarter lines. Welted construction, Italian vegetable tanned dark red leather upper and vegetable tanned leather liner. Vegetable tanned leather insole and outsole. Natural finish leather heels. Braided outsole stitch.

Blue and Brown Derby

Blue Brown DerbyDerby design with French quarters. Welted construction, Italian vegetable tanned brown leather vamp and blue quarters. Leather insole and midsole. Vibram Gumlite outsole for a little extra cushion. Casual or formal? I think it’s right on the edge. The rubber sole and the more rounded curve of the toe suggests it’s more casual than formal.

The Art and Science of Shoemaking

18-Leonardo-da-Vinci-Measured-Study-of-Foot-ca-1490-92 Date: Sunday, March 30
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Location: Halo Shoes – 938 NW Everett St., Portland, Oregon

Learn about the interdisciplinary pursuit that is making shoes by hand. I will show how measurements lead to a last which gives rise to a pattern that can be made into a shoe. Along the way we’ll visit the diverse world of shoemaking including design, drawing, sewing, sculpture, biology, chemistry, physics and math.

Please feel free to drop in and stay for a while or stay for the whole presentation. I will make time for questions and answers so bring your burning shoe questions!

Brown Derby

Brown Derby Side View, Click for Top View

Classic Derby design with English quarters. Welted construction, brown Italian vegetable tanned leather upper, leather insole and Rendenbach leather outsole. Check out the natural color braided hand stitching on the welt. (Thanks for our friends at A&E for the hand sewing thread) Top line is extra high to allow for orthotic insert.

KOIN TV Life at Large

Tim Becker from KOIN TV came to talk with me about the process of making custom shoes and decided to try to capture the process from beginning to end. As it happened, I was just beginning work on a new design that would be the green and brown gibson boot. I really liked that Tim and his camera man Bill were so interested in the process. They spent a lot of time in my shop filming, but also learning and asking questions about the process. They would have had to film every day for a week and a half to record everything that goes into it. There are definitely some gaps and this is not really a step-by-step documentary, but I think they did a great job capturing the complex process that is making a pair of custom shoes and the complex feelings that go with it. Here is the piece they put together which aired March 5, 2013.

Note that even though the nice TV anchors suggest you take care of your custom shoes (which you should) and not wear them in the rain. Good leather shoes properly cared for hold up fine in the rain, including the green and brown boots.

Cement Construction

This is part of a series of shoemaking workshops. Take all the workshops and learn how to make shoes from start to finish, or just the one(s) that interest you.


There are many different types of shoe construction, the most common of which is using adhesives, also known in the trade as “cement construction.” You will learn how to form a shoe upper around a last (lasting), how to make and last the supporting components like heel counters and toe puffs, how to attach it all to the insole, and finally attach unit soles with integrated heel.

Date: Friday, Saturday & Sunday TBA
Time: 9am – 5pm
Price: $850

Space is limited, please register.