EarthDancer School of Shoemaking

EarthDancer School

Our custom footwear business has grown steadily every year since Mary founded it in 1986.  Back then we wondered where the next order might come from, but at this point we always have a year’s worth of work ahead of us, and know that we cannot shod every pair of feet.  In August of 2015 we opened the EarthDancer School of Shoemaking and Showroom at the edge of the small town of Crestone, CO., purchasing the former charter school building and turning it into a spacious work and learning center.  As we were given the opportunity to make comfortable shoes and make a living doing so, we decided it was time to share our knowledge.

Class Types

We keep enrollment small and personal-6 students or less for a 1 day sandal class, 3 day hiking boot class, and a 5 day knee high boot class.

Class Location

Students are 16 years and older-many accomplished persons looking for a fun break from their routine or a change in direction-come to us in the San Louis Valley to also take in the  Great Sand Dunes National Park, many hot springs, creeks, wild life refuge, dramatic 14,000 ft. peaks of the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range, dark sky and peace of mind which permeate the natural beauty of the area.

What You Get

We offer students instruction in all aspects of what we do; measuring, patterning, choosing and cutting leather, thorough instruction on the use and care of industrial sewing machines, a set of tools to take with them, access to all of our suppliers and 30 years of know- how, and follow up advice and consultation after completing a class, including the practical side of making money with a hand crafted item.

A Brand New Pair of Shoes

Of course students come away with a fine new pair of shoes they can proudly say they made themselves under our close guidance.

Shoemaking is a Living Art

Over the years we have heard people marvel at our showroom display and some have said, “Shoemaking is a dying art”.  We have experienced the opposite; shoemaking is a living art with no end in sight.  Not only footwear, but many hand crafted items are being made in this country to an ever increasing standard of quality.  It will not be many more years until ‘hand made in America’ is synonymous with the finest of its kind in the world.  Since the turn of the millennia, we have witnessed our clientele become more discerning in their purchasing behavior, choosing quality over quantity, and more often using money they actually have rather than credit cards.

This involves a maturing attitude including delayed gratification, the discipline of saving for and then taking care of fewer “things” in life, and in turn those items serve as a great expression of how a person authentically presents themselves in society.

Also, custom footwear is cool.   Wearing it is likely to get you better service in restaurants, fill your dance card quickly, and even pull a lower # at the DMV (results may vary!).

Any skill takes practice which is why Mary recommends making shoes for family and friends after taking an EarthDancer class so you can see how they wear and get plenty of feedback as you make necessary adjustments and gain confidence. You will be surprised by how many people will ask ‘where did you get those shoes?’ followed by ‘can you make some for me?’ when they see you sporting your self-made footwear.

If you go this route we will be glad to assist you. Either way, you will come away from class with a new set of skills in enjoyable surroundings, and a pair of shoes you can be proud to have made.

Have any other questions, or want to get a pair made for you?

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