I have been in the wholesale business over 15 years, manufacturing / line building / sales you name it, I can say I have done it all. I have always wanted to learn how to make shoes. I did not want to go Europe to learn, but wanted to learn American Shoe making. I stumbled upon a few people teaching but I chose Bill's school. The main reason - there are very little pre-made parts. You have to make everything from scratch and pieces of leather.
You are completely on your own with the watchful eye of a Master Shoe Maker. The major benefit you will learn is how to correct your mistakes with a completed shoe at the end. I thought I knew it all until I took Bill's shoemaking course. I have made 10 different shoes on my own after taking his class. I now have the right to call myself a "Shoe Maker" only after taking "Bonney & Wills School of Shoemaking & Design".
Bill it was an honor to learn from a Master Shoe Maker. Good luck and keep up this lost art!
— Pete Julienne, Orange County, California
If all my teachers had taught like you, school would have been an entirely different experience for me. Learning from you was the best experience of my life.
— J.P., Talent, Oregon
Coolest thing that I've ever done.
— Zachariah leBaron d'Avignon, Portland, Oregon
Great place to learn how to make shoes and boots! I'll be back again no doubt!
— Mike Forbes, Boulder, Colorado
Best class ever, enjoyed Bill's instruction's, expertise and attention to detail immensely. Bill is patient and very precise with his teaching skill's, he also has a great sense of humor and sense of being.
Thank you Bill for allowing a rookie like myself to feel like "I too can make shoes".
— Michael Svencicki, Asheville, NC
Priceless. If you want to learn about shoes, this is the type of education you will be taking away. Simply priceless. Thank you Bill and Julie!!
— Terri Malerbi, Palmdale, California
I chose to attend class at Bonney & Wills (Men's Classic Shoes) as the course material covered making a shoe from measuring through wearing what I made. We were going to design our own pattern, sew our custom pattern, last our own shoes, sew on the welting by hand, the whole nine yards.
Bill Shanor is a generous and patient teacher. He kept us moving efficiently through the process. And when I couldn't remember something, he would be right there to help. We got a lot of practice on sewing on leather as well before we did it "for real". Just from an instructional perspective, Bill has laid the class out in a logical manner. Shoe making has a lot of stuff to cover.
We used top quality materials. The sheer amount of equipment in the shop is staggering. No one ever had to wait to use a sewing machine, lasting stand, tools, etc. Bill shared sourcing information for tools, materials, trims, machines, etc. Between sessions, he did a lot of the 'behind the scenes' prep that made the class run really smoothly.
Bonney & Wills is a class act. Good instruction, materials, tools, location, people. I am glad I took my time to spend time learning to make my awesome shoes (my friends are amazed at how awesome they are and so am I) from Bill, a master boot and shoe maker. I am looking forward to my next shoe making experience at Bonney & Wills.
— Susan Parker, Memphis, TN
Bill taught me the intricate craft of shoemaking in a miraculously short time. It was by all accounts an absolutely fabulous experience. Thanks to Bill I make high quality shoes with my bare hands and now belong to a rare breed of professionals. What a gift!
— Temitope, Houston, TX
In your class I felt like I experienced what it is like to work on shoes for the first time all over again. You provided me with a foundation of knowledge that goes well beyond the basic practical skills of putting a shoe together, and you took the time to make sure everyone had a chance to really let the information sink in. I learned a lot of things about the materials and tools involved in making shoes. Thank you for providing us with so much knowledge and sending us home with more resources than I could have imagined were available. It took a great deal of the mystery out of shoe making.
Thank you for the way you have chosen to live your life and teach your trade. I felt a sense of freedom not only to ask questions, but also to make mistakes. I knew you could dig me out of most of the holes I might find myself in, but more importantly, I came to understand that no mistake I made would be met with anything short of a gracious, understanding and ultimately educational response. This opened the doors for me to really try to do good work and even to start to trust myself with new challenges.
Thank you for being a great instructor and a great person. I know you are opening up a world of fulfillment to aspiring shoemakers looking for answers. I will remember your class as a peaceful and joyful experience, and I’m sure many others feel the same. Thank you for showing me how exciting and satisfying the trade can really be.
— Greg Lamont, Oregon
With lots of joy i think back on the days as an apprentice back in 2006. I highly recommend being Bill's apprentice. Having all the steps explained so clearly and patiently I really was able to learn how to make western boots, something not available in my home country Holland. Without all of Bill's teachings I could never have gotten where i am today. Thank you!
— roswitha van rijn, amsterdam, the netherlands
I just finished Bill's shoe making class and made a wonderful pair of navy Mary-Janes. I loved this class -- every thing was very 'hands on' and Bill is so knowlegable and experienced. He is a true master craftsman. We worked with all of the equipment and had a great time. This was truly one of the best classes I have ever taken. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!
— B. R., Medford, OR
Since taking Bonney & Will's Moccasin course my fiancee and I have developed a veritable infatuation with the shoes we then created and the craft in its entirety. The breadth of Bill's knowledge as a shoemaker and human being is immense and inspiriting. We feel eternally grateful and fortunate to have found his school and absorbed a slice of his expert instruction and hospitable company.
— Dustin Lyons, Ashland OR
Bill and Julie are some of the nicest most patient people I have met.. They worked with me multiple
times to figure out what we needed to! I will be seeing them both again very soon.
— Dominic Theshoesurgeon Chambrone, California
So wonderful I wasn't ready to come home! Now to gather all the goodies I need and make more shoes... The class was well worth the price - if you want to learn, this is where you need to go.
— Rachel Realmling, Casper, Wyoming
I highly recommend Bonney and Wills moccasin making class. I have not been known for my skills as a physical craftsman or artist. Bill on the other hand is both a master craftsman and teacher in the art of making shoes and teaching people. He met me exactly where I was and then gently coaxed me into the different aspects of the art as we made our moccasins.
— G.A., Phoenix, Oregon
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