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
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
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
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
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
I’ve been showing off my boots to everyone I meet and bragging about you and your workshop. Bill is such a good teacher, leading you through the shoe making in clear steps, guiding you to produce a quality moccasin that is also comfy to wear and beautiful. I loved the non-competitive feel of the group, and that he waited for all of us to be at the same step before going on. How reassuring to have such a master craftsman be one’s teacher.
— H.M., Ashland, 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 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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