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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..." - Page 56

post #826 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Not at all.

Al Saguto. At CWF. He's the only American "certified" master shoemaker in the US...AFAIK.

So, who does the certifying, who are the examiners, etc? I've not heard of this before. You earlier indicated that it is federally recognized; what is the legislation or the administrative guideline and agency that created this program? Given the dearth of trained shoemakers in this country, it sounds surprising and unusual.

Any more details about this would be interesting.
post #827 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Not at all.

Al Saguto. At CWF. He's the only American "certified" master shoemaker in the US...AFAIK.


oh yea from Colonial Williamsburg. I remember him being referenced as master shoe and bookmaker, but I figured that was just from the writers of the articles about Al. Thanks for clarifying it. 

post #828 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoefan View Post


So, who does the certifying, who are the examiners, etc? I've not heard of this before. You earlier indicated that it is federally recognized; what is the legislation or the administrative guideline and agency that created this program? Given the dearth of trained shoemakers in this country, it sounds surprising and unusual.

Any more details about this would be interesting.


true. that would be good to know too. 

post #829 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoefan View Post

So, who does the certifying, who are the examiners, etc? I've not heard of this before. You earlier indicated that it is federally recognized; what is the legislation or the administrative guideline and agency that created this program? Given the dearth of trained shoemakers in this country, it sounds surprising and unusual.

Any more details about this would be interesting.

I don't really know. You should talk to him about it. Ask on the CC, maybe. All I know is what he told me and I also saw the five level skill chart he sent me. Oh, and that the program dates back to the 1940's, IIRC.

I know I couldn't meet the specs...22spi on the uppers by hand and by eye.
post #830 of 1710
Thread Starter 
BTW, I've known and respected Al Saguto for a lot of years. But it wasn't until recently that I knew about this. He's not a self-promoter.

But as Guild webmaster some of this kind of stuff comes to me for one reason or another.
post #831 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

BTW, I've known and respected Al Saguto for a lot of years. But it wasn't until recently that I knew about this. He's not a self-promoter.

But as Guild webmaster some of this kind of stuff comes to me for one reason or another.

 

Damn it, since no one is asking, I will ....

Given that the criteria for becoming a journeyman shoemaker is 22spi on the uppers and 16spi for outsole stitching..... what's the criteria for a MASTER shoemaker?

 

Also, after googling Colonial Williamsburg..... I realise that it is a living-history museum of some sort. I guess there is no element of commercial shoemaking involved? I'm just wondering then.... is Mr Saguto's specialty in re-creating / reproducing "historical" shoes?

post #832 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMarch View Post

Damn it, since no one is asking, I will ....
Given that the criteria for becoming a journeyman shoemaker is 22spi on the uppers and 16spi for outsole stitching..... what's the criteria for a MASTER shoemaker?

Also, after googling Colonial Williamsburg..... I realise that it is a living-history museum of some sort. I guess there is no element of commercial shoemaking involved? I'm just wondering then.... is Mr Saguto's specialty in re-creating / reproducing "historical" shoes?

I don't know the details or specifics, but Master Saguto has said that historically, in point of fact, once journeyman status was reached, becoming a "master" was often more a case of owning a shop and having apprentices than of passing a test or going before a board of inquiry. Saguto has suggested that this was the case in both the US and Britain.

I am, personally, somewhat nonplussed by that idea (maybe even a little resistant) but Saguto is also (as well as being a master shoemaker) a "professional" shoe historian of the first water--a protege' of June Swann. And out of respect, I don't argue...I listen.

He is also the head shoemaker at CWF and the head of the shoemaking faculty there. And yes, much of what he does is preserve the history and Traditions of 17th and 18th century Colonial America. But the shoe shop at CWF is a working shop and shoes are made on a regular / daily basis. AFAIK, he makes a few pair of "modern" shoes but is, of course, busy full time with historical stuff.

Sometimes he can be contacted / engaged on the Crispin Colloquy

edited for punctuation and clarity
Edited by DWFII - 2/29/16 at 6:32am
post #833 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I don't know the details or specifics, but Master Saguto has said that historically, in point of fact, once journeyman status was reached, becoming a "master" was often more a case of owning a shop and having apprentices than of passing a test or going before a board of inquiry. Saguto has suggested that this was the case in both the US and Britain.

I am, personally, somewhat nonplussed by that idea (maybe even a little resistant) but Saguto is also (as well as being a master shoemaker) a "professional" shoe historian of the first water--a protege' of June Swann. And out of respect, I don't argue...I listen.

He is also the head shoemaker at CWF and the head of the shoemaking faculty there. And yes, much of what he does is preserve the history and Traditions of 17th and 18th century Colonial America. But the shoe shop at CWF is a working shop and shoes are made on a regular / daily basis. AFAIK, he makes a few pair of "modern" shoes but is, of course, busy full time with historical stuff.

Sometimes he can be contacted / engaged on the Crispin Colloquy

edited for punctuation and clarity

 

Thanks DW, was just randomly browsing that forum, there's definitely some pretty neat stuff there!

post #834 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderMarch View Post

Thanks DW, was just randomly browsing that forum, there's definitely some pretty neat stuff there!

Yes, it is probably the oldest shoemaking reference cum archive on the Internet. It is a wholly sponsored adjunct of The Honourable Cordwainers' Company--a tax exempt Guild of shoemakers and allied Trades modeled after, and associated with, The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, an ancient London Guild.

The HCC--the Guild--was started more than 20 years ago by Saguto and other scholars and shoe historians for the purpose of "preserving and protecting" the Traditions and the Trade.

The CC--the forum--reflects that perspective and while it has in some ways been superseded by 'chat rooms' and more commercially oriented venues such as Facebook, it is arguably still the most comprehensive, authentic, and authoritative source for information regarding esp. Traditional techniques and materials on the Internet.

Proud to be associated with it.
post #835 of 1710
...as June Swann was mentioned, I must recommend her historical book called (who'da guessed it?) Shoes. It's simply the best damn well-researched book about the history of shoemaking and of several shoe models we still wear in Western cultures. Plenty of photos to boot.
post #836 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRaivio View Post

...as June Swann was mentioned, I must recommend her historical book called (who'da guessed it?) Shoes. It's simply the best damn well-researched book about the history of shoemaking and of several shoe models we still wear in Western cultures. Plenty of photos to boot.

fistbump.gif

I have it. You're right.

And the reason it's so good is that she is considered the foremost shoe historian in the world.
post #837 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


fistbump.gif

I have it. You're right.

And the reason it's so good is that she is considered the foremost shoe historian in the world.

I got it too. Bought it four month ago second hand but in good condition..

post #838 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I don't know the details or specifics, but Master Saguto has said that historically, in point of fact, once journeyman status was reached, becoming a "master" was often more a case of owning a shop and having apprentices than of passing a test or going before a board of inquiry. Saguto has suggested that this was the case in both the US and Britain.

Well, the operative word in journeyman is journey. After some three or five years of apprenticeship and having past his examination of professional competence, a journeyman would travel and work in his field at a variety of workshops for shorter or longer periods. The underlying idea was that experiencing different workshops and the different ways and techniques they used would widen his horizons and help him to find his individual way within his chosen profession. To all intend and purposes a journeyman was a qualified professional but was not allowed to open his own workshop and train apprentices. Only a master could do that.

To become a master (usually after at least five years as a journeyman), he would apply for membership into the guild and proving his professional standards through the presentation of his 'masterpiece'. That would be a very elaborate piece of work demonstrating all the skills he had learned.

Mortality was pretty high in the Middle Ages or Early Modern period and frequently workshops, where the master had prematurely died, were run by the widow with the help of journeymen. The best thing that could happen to a penny-less journeyman was to get his feet not only under the workbench and the dining table, but into the widow's bed as well, hopefully marrying her and ending up with a wife and a nicely equipped workshop.

Here is a German folk song that demonstrates the importance given to the travelling and learning experience:

Mancher hinterm Ofen sitzt
und gar fein die Ohren spitzt,
kein' Stund' vors Haus ist kommen 'aus;
den soll man G'sell erkennen
oder gar als Meister nennen,
der noch nirgends ist gewest,
nur gesessen in sei'm Nest?

Some sit behind the stove,
pricking up their ears,
no time away has ever come.
How can you recognize him as a foreman,
or even call him master,
if he has never been anywhere
just sitting in his nest?
post #839 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post
 

I got it too. Bought it four month ago second hand but in good condition..

I forgot to say that I heard of that book from DW long ago, but it was not until VRaivio mentioned recently I did not decide to purchase it.  It is very interesting so thanks you two.  Could you please recommend me another book about shoes with some interesting text and photos?. I enjoyed very much HM Shoes for Men from Vass too.

post #840 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post


Well, the operative word in journeyman is journey. After some three or five years of apprenticeship and having past his examination of professional competence, a journeyman would travel and work in his field at a variety of workshops for shorter or longer periods. The underlying idea was that experiencing different workshops and the different ways and techniques they used would widen his horizons and help him to find his individual way within his chosen profession. To all intend and purposes a journeyman was a qualified professional but was not allowed to open his own workshop and train apprentices. Only a master could do that.

To become a master (usually after at least five years as a journeyman), he would apply for membership into the guild and proving his professional standards through the presentation of his 'masterpiece'. That would be a very elaborate piece of work demonstrating all the skills he had learned.

Mortality was pretty high in the Middle Ages or Early Modern period and frequently workshops, where the master had prematurely died, were run by the widow with the help of journeymen. The best thing that could happen to a penny-less journeyman was to get his feet not only under the workbench and the dining table, but into the widow's bed as well, hopefully marrying her and ending up with a wife and a nicely equipped workshop. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Here is a German folk song that demonstrates the importance given to the travelling and learning experience:

Mancher hinterm Ofen sitzt
und gar fein die Ohren spitzt,
kein' Stund' vors Haus ist kommen 'aus;
den soll man G'sell erkennen
oder gar als Meister nennen,
der noch nirgends ist gewest,
nur gesessen in sei'm Nest?

Some sit behind the stove,
pricking up their ears,
no time away has ever come.
How can you recognize him as a foreman,
or even call him master,
if he has never been anywhere
just sitting in his nest?

 

That sounds awfully similar to the French system where apprentice/journeyman shoemakers does their tour around different workshops around the country before settle in one.  Experienced shoemaking workshops also adopts/earns talented apprentices through the program.

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