For the last few years, in Lastmaker House the home of Crispinians Limited, Steven Lowe and Dominic Casey - two craftsmen with over 60 years of experience with London’s west end boot makers - have been teaching Last making courses in the heart of Eastbourne. Steven is continuing with these courses as Lastmaker House now as the teaching arm of his company Crispinians. Following Dominic retiring from last making teaching, we are pleased to introduce a new tutor, Michael Semple, to work alongside Steven to deliver the highest standards of last making training with the same long standing level and experience in the trade of over 30 years. The design of the course is to be an introduction into the craft over a 4-day period with each participant producing their own pair of wooden shoe lasts that they take home at the end of the course. Last making is highly skilled and physically demanding. Help will be given from the tutor where necessary. However, in this time available, it is not possible to train participants to become commercial last makers which takes a number of years of concentrated study.
Our courses will cover:
- An introduction to Lastmaking tools and their use including the last makers vice.
- Taking measures. Drawing the outline of the foot and the detail needed.
- Interpreting the measurements in to a wooden shoe last. This will include pitch, toe spring, back curve and toe shape.
- At the end of the course each participant will take home a pair of bespoke wooden shoe lasts.
- There will be an opportunity to purchase a set of tools and lastmaking vices.
Steven, now with close to 40 years in the trade, trained at John Lobb Ltd, London as a Lastmaker and traveled extensively in the USA for 21 years, measuring clients, making their lasts and fitting bespoke orders. Overseeing all aspects of the process of shoemaking for quality control.
Steven established his own footwear business and established Crispinians Ltd in 2012 that provides services to footwear companies as well as individuals, last and tree making for shoes and boots and has been involved in a variety of development projects.
Michael has worked in the bespoke shoe trade for over 33 years. He originally Studied at Cordwainers college ( Now within London College of Fashion ) on a 3 year footwear technician course.
Michael then progressed in to the world of bespoke boot making travelling to Italy, Germany, Japan and Hong Kong conducting trunk shows, fitting and last making. With a broad knowledge of the shoe making process, Michael has always found time to assist students along the way helping apprentices in all aspects of the trade.