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The Journeyman Shoemaker


In days gone-by Shoemakers were trained by Master Shoemakers. Apprentices would spend years gaining skills and improving their techniques under the watchful eye of their Master.

Once the apprenticeship was complete, the apprentice could take a test to become a Master Shoemaker. However, Master’s put their own interests first and were reluctant to promote more competition in their area. Instead, shoemakers would be sent off to work free-lance at other workshops as ‘journeymen.’ These journeymen would tour their local areas working for other Masters, picking up new skills and learning how to make different styles of shoes.

Inspired by and as a homage to those that went before me, I am embarking on a new project - The Journeyman Shoemaker. I have spent six years in training for other ‘masters’ and making my own footwear. I am now embarking on my own journeyman phase. I will be travelling and taking inspiration from the places I find myself in. Using local materials and skills, I will craft footwear that is unique- taking my design cues from the places I go and the people I meet.

Travelling cobbler C.1930, Devon, UK

Travelling cobbler C.1930, Devon, UK