Without shoes, audiences would cringe at dancers' gnarly toes and Michael Jordan's superhuman athleticism would need a government alibi. Swath feet in handmade mystery with today's Groupon to Chicago School of Shoemaking. Choose between the following options:
- For $35, you get a class on leather jewelry-making (a $75 value).
- For $399, you get a beginner shoemaking class (an $895 value).
The cobblers at Chicago School of Shoemaking reveal techniques for working leather into unique accessories and footwear. To begin the two-hour jewelry-making class, instructors furnish groups of up to eight students with leather, tools, and know-how to complete up to three projects. Nimble hands may concoct a necklace for pairing with a favorite outfit, then fashion a gift pouch for a mother kangaroo with twins. During the beginner shoemaking course, groups of up to 4 pupils spend two full days forging a pair of lace-up shoes by hand, choosing from eight colors of leather and ending with a new pair of kicks. The process involves cutting out each component from patterns based on individual shoe size and length of extendable steel talons, then hand-stitching the uppers and gluing the soles together.
Sewing machines and wooden tables await eager hands in a tidy yellow and blue workroom, which boasts an exhaust hood to keep air fresh. Visit the website to check out the school's class schedule or determine your infant shoe's zodiac sign.
Chicago School of Shoemaking
Sara McIntosh—the master cobbler behind the Chicago School of Shoemaking—draws on more than 35 years of experience in her craft. Among the things that make the school unique is that they teach their own version of the out-stitch shoemaking technique. Preferred by artisans who prize sustainability over industrial methods, that approach adapts easily to smaller shops with very few elves.
Sewing machines and wooden tables await eager hands inside the school. While an exhaust hood keeps the air fresh, students work away at footwear ranging from moccasins and sandals to desert boots. Instructors also teach leather-working techniques that produce stylish jewelry and handbags.