The Art of the Shoemaker

Lately I’ve been trying to improve my Italian. I’ve a bit of free time on Mondays and this lets me go to our local school with about eight other students and formally study and hopefully improve my ability to speak and communicate.

In one of these classes we were talking about jobs and the vocabulary of different types of work.

The word calzolaio (shoemaker) cropped up and before we knew it we were taking about the disappearance of traditional skills and crafts.

We chatted about the last time any of us had our shoes repaired and if cobblers or shoemakers still exist in our respective countries.

I was able to say that I’ve a pair of shoes I would definitely repair before throwing out, that as far as I know there are still shoemakers (cobblers) in Dublin, that there’s at least one shoemaker in Loreto Aprutino (possibly two) and we all agreed there was at least one (possibly two) in Penne also.

The conversation reminded me of a photo I’d taken a little over a year ago of a shoemaker in full flow in his shop in Penne.

I was passing by and I asked if I could sit and watch him work and maybe take a picture or two.

He agreed and I tried not to be a nuisance or get in the way as he went about his business in his very tight dark shop.

When I left I felt I might have taken at least one good shot.

I had.

Here is my favourite.

Handy Work by Noel McCarthy on 500px.com

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