Bootmaking Schools

Additional resources
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“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.”
— Matsuo Basho

If you have been reading Tyler Beard’s  Cowboy Boot Book, you might have gotten to this page looking for more information about the  bootmaking school at  Oklahoma State University at Okmulgee. Sorry. It’s gone. Closed.  (For a time, the Shoe, Boot and Saddle Program had moved to the Green Country Technology Center, but that program too has closed. )

If you want to learn bootmaking there are experienced bootmakers who are wiling to teach you.

24 October 2015 (updated)

GROUP CLASSES

Alden’s School of Leather Trades (Rogue River, OR) Classes are offered in boot making, leather carving, holster and chap making. The Western bootmaking class is 3 weeks long and limited to 3 students at a time.  Call (541) 659-1260 or email: info@leathercraftingschool.com

Chappell Bootmaking Seminars. Carl Chappell (Saint Jo, TX) is a second generation bootmaker, who offers 2 week intensive group classes and one-on-one seminars. Consider taking a group class — working along side other students will provide you with an opportunity to see a wider variety of boot making techniques, and will provide you with a start to your professional network. Class size limited to 6 students, offered a few times a year. You’ll also receive a set of DVDs and  at the shop’s “Boot Book” as part of your Basic Boot Making seminar.  Contact: CT Chappell Boot Shop (940) 995-2600 (or write: chappellboots@gmail.com)

Dan & Keni Schwarz This father-daughter team teaches 2 week courses in bootmaking in Dillon, Montana. Students spend all of their time in a working  boot shop and gain a basic understanding of the boot business. Affordable housing available locally. Contact Schwarz Custom Boots at (406) 683-6652, or email schwarzcustomboots@yahoo.com.

Lisa Sorrell (Guthrie, OK) teaches very small boot making classes, which often fill quickly. Fortunately, Lisa also teaches larger seminars away from the shop on special topics, like leather inlay and overlay. Contact Lisa Sorrell for her year’s calendar and consider buying her boot making DVD while you wait.  Call (405) 282-5464.

 

ONE-ON-ONE

Blucher Custom Boot Company in Beggs, OK is the oldest custom design, made-to-measure boot company in America. Bootmaker, James “Smitty” Smith will take one student at a time. Call (918) 267-5393 for details. — new listing!

DeWitt Custom Leatherworks (Henryetta, OK) Mike DeWitt taught at the Oklahoma bootmaking schools for many years. He now teaches one on one custom courses at his shop, tailored to the needs of each student. Call (918) 304-4231 or email: Mdewittsaddles@gmail.com

Frank English. Teaches 2 week beginner courses near Taos, NM. Call (406) 260-1179 (or email at frankenglishcustomboots@mail.com.)

David Espinoza (Phoenix, AZ) teaches bootmaking and boot repair, with over 40 years of experience. Coursework customized to student needs.  Call (602) 263-8164 or visit espinozabootmaker.com

D.W. Frommer II (Redmond, OR) offers three week seminars in the classic western boot–no plastic, no paper, no nails. All seminars take place in a “working” bootshop. D.W. is the author of three books — full tutorials, really — covering the construction of different styles of western boots. The first of those books, Western Bootmaking: An American Tradition, has also been made into a 27 hour instructional video. D.W. Frommer recently won the Will Rogers Bootmaker of the Year Award from the Academy of Western Artists …an honor bestowed by a panel of his peers for a “Lifetime of Achievement.” Call (541) 923-3808 or email:  frommer@bootmaker.com

Roberto Herrera School of Bootmaking (Tijuana, México)  Offers a Classic Shoe and Bootmaking intensive Workshop. One student at a time. Spanish not required. Learn how to make a pair of classic shoes or western boots with Roberto Herrera. His workshop and home are located in quiet neighborhood near UABC university, where there are nearby beaches, cafes and local shops to visit when you are not working on making your boots.  From California or other US States call (408) 217-3147 (Local Tijuana B. C. Mexico #: 664-607-1688 ) or email: sjkroberto@yahoo.com

Dave Hutchings offers top to bottom bootmaking instruction. Call “Hutch” at (303) 289-6726 for more information and class scheduling, (or write: 8410 Garfield Way, Thornton, CO 80229)

McGlasson Custom Boots (Spokane, WA) Gary and Clara McGlasson take one student at a time for private bootmaking classes that last 2 or 3 weeks. Call (509) 891-1756, or email the shop at  gmcglasson1@msn.com …new listing!

McGuffin Custom Boots (Albuquerque, NM) Deana McGuffin offers two different types of one-on-one teaching. 1) Enjoy a two-week learning vacation in historic Albuquerque, New Mexico and make your own boots!… or 2) Get personalized coaching and instruction for those with a serious interest in the bootmaking business. Call Deana McGuffin at (505) 550-1113 or email: bootwoman@mcguffinboots.com. Deana also teaches courses in California @ Sewing Arts …see below.

[Note: Mr. Jack Reed (Burnet, TX) passed away in Fall 2004.]

Learn Bootmaking from Tex Robin. Learn bootmaking from a 2nd generation bootmaker with over 40 years experience. Two week courses — one student per course. Contact Tex Robin at (325) 691-5700 (or write: 2081 Sayles Blvd., Abilene TX 79605). E-mail: trboots@sbcglobal.net

Al Reynolds (Wickenburg, AZ) teaches bootmaking when he feels like it… and only teaches people he enjoys spending time with. Call him at (928) 684-3134

Jack Rowin taught bootmaking in Manton, California for a very long time. Jack passed away in 2015. He is very much missed.  Click here for a student’s Video Tribute (It’s wonderful.)

Private & Semi-Private Boot Making with Deana McGuffin at  Sewing Arts in Santa Monica, California. In consultation with Deana, you’ll schedule 10 days of bootmaking. All supplies and tools provided. No more than 1 or 2 students will be scheduled at any one time. See website for details and pricing. — new listing!

Woodward Custom Boots offers a 2 week start-to-finish bootmaking course in Boulder, CO (…only 30 miles from Denver.). For more information contact, John Woodward at (619) 504-5867 (or email him through his website at http://johnallenwoodward.com.

TIP: For bootmaking supplies, tools and helpful expertise visit the Custom Cowboy Boots & Shoes Forum.

(Please note: Illustration on this page courtesy of D.W. Frommer II)

Custom made, vintage and popular cowboy boot brands. Advice from author & expert, Jennifer June (& others) about buying cowboy boots online.

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