April 18, 2008

La Bottega Della Scarpe

Cortona is a walled city in the Tuscan region of Italy. This doorway led to gorgeous handmade shoes! I'd never seen a real cobbler work until I stepped inside. La bottega della scarpe means "shoe workshop."

The artigianale, or artisan, was working at her little table (which may have been a simple wood box) and I asked if I could watch for a while. She was hand-cutting a zigzag pattern into white leather bows to decorate black shoes. Once the embellishments were cut, she used a flame to finish stray bits.

She spoke some English and we chatted. When I asked how she learned her craft, she told me she spent two years in school in Florence. It seemed she'd been making shoes for three years since finishing her program. If there was anything in the store that I wanted in my size, it would take about three days to complete a pair.

I told her that I, too, am an artisan and love to visit workshops, and she said she understood why -- because we can understand how another works by watching. I love finding a stranger who is on the same page with me.


Sarah said...

WOW.... as an extreme lover of shoes.. this would be fierce to watch this artisan in action!

Tzotsy said...

See Lauren, you can find ppl to visit for your new Show. I may have to tag along for hair/makeup and entertainment. LOL