Shoe Making course – three day course

Duration: 3 days

Price: £270

Run by: Mark Wood
at Trading Places: Traditional Craft Courses

01933 460 985

Rockingham Forest Trust
Stanwick Lakes

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About the Course

3 day introductory shoe making course in the beautiful Stanwick Lakes national park. Make your own pair of leather shoes in our purpose built craft barn!

The Northamptonshire writer, H E Bates, recalled childhood memories of watching his grandfather at work. ‘He could, after the tradition of centuries, create a boot or shoe from the sole upwards, stabbing and stitching with his own hands. I am able still, to see him to perfection in the mind’s eye: shoemaker’s last between his knees, tossing handfuls of tacks and sprigs into his mouth, his awls, thread and leather, files, hammers all about him.’

This memory was formed at his grandfather’s workshop in Higham Ferrers – just a stones throw away from where you can now recreate that experience and make your own pair of leather shoes in our oak barn at Stanwick Lakes! The Nene Valley in Northamptonshire is renowned for its long history of making hand-crafted footwear and we are delighted to offer a unique course that helps to maintain the area’s proud heritage.

We believe this is the only ‘short course’ available in the UK that takes beginners though the complete process of making their own pair of shoes, including ‘clicking and closing’! You will start by selecting your leather and learning about the hides ‘stretch’, cut your ‘vamps’ and ‘quarters’ and then hand stitch your uppers and fix on the shoe last before cutting out and attaching the sole . You will walk away with (or in!) your own totally unique pair of shoes by the end of this 3 day course.

Please note that, unlike H E Bates grandfather a 100 years ago, we don’t allow participants to put the tacks in their mouths!!!!

The course is led by Nick Cooper, a Northamptonshire bespoke shoemaker. Trading Places is based within the beautiful surroundings of the Stanwick Lakes nature reserve, in the heart of Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley. All of our courses take place in and around our purpose built green oak Training Barn. Course places can be booked for one or more people depending on availability. However, if you are looking for a larger group booking (such as a work team building event, a group of friends or an alternative hen or stag 'do') we are very happy to discuss your requirements with you.

Click through above to book your place!

If your selected course is already fully booked please do contact us as we sometimes organise additional courses during the year to meet demand.

If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

Tools, materials and safety equipment are provided for all courses. Participants are simply asked to bring their own supply of enthusiasm and a packed lunch! (we provide tea and coffee during the courses)

For anyone who is travelling some distance and would like to look at local accommodation, please see our website for a list (under the Directions tab). Please note that these businesses are local to the site but are not linked to Trading Places in anyway.

Want to review this course?

I enjoyed everything about his course; Nick is a thorough and patient teacher (and lovely guy), the group was friendly and I am delighted with my new shoes! The location of the workshop right next to Stanwick Lakes makes for a peaceful setting. I had always wanted to learn about shoe making and would recommend this course highly - thank you Nick and Mark!

- - #8814

I thoroughly enjoyed my 3 days shoe making (mine are one of the pairs in the picture). Nick is a good teacher and knows about the sharp end of the business too and was very generous in passing on his knowledge. Expect long busy days; it's an ambitious course but set in the tranquil surroundings of Stanwick Lakes it made for a unique experience.

- - #5358

Good course content and instructor was well informed. However if I was going to give you some criticism - there wasn't enough tools / glue containers and heat guns for each person which.
Thank you for the course.
PS: Do you provide Certificates for the course as I would like one for my business and future plans.

- - #5350

This was a thoroughly enjoyable course, the time flew by and I learnt so much from Nick Cooper whose teaching was excellent. Well worth coming up from Somerset. I would like to do more shoemaking if a 'next stage' course was available.

- - #5345

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Course Start Dates

Friday 20th April 2018
Friday 21st September 2018

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