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Defining a Dying Art

Jun 13, 2012

by Chappell Ellison

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Professor and blogger Michael Leddy points out something interesting: within the past few months, there’s been at least five different stories about the dying art of shoe repair, each centered around different shoe repairmen who feel their profession is dwindling. More than just a bizarre, heightened interest in cobbling, Leddy’s observation shows the media’s love for stories about an art’s waning days.

Today, practically anything can be a dying art; apparently, stick-shift driving and noodle making are going the way of the dinosaurs. Within just the last month, the different articles have put butcheringjazzcalligraphybarberingnavajo sheep shearing, gem polishingfruit and vegetable carvingsausage makingUkrainian egg artchair caningcar chasingorgan playinggrammarletter writingagriculturememorization,  and courtroom sketching on the death watch, too. It’s difficult to know the truth behind these morbid pronouncements. How can we tell if an art is truly dying or if we are just caught up in our own nostalgia-skewed perceptions?

When the modern realities of today get us down, we have a bad habit of mythologizing the past. In an article for NPR, jazz musician Keith Ellenberger notes our tendency to forget the bad and only remember the good: “Beethoven had money problems, Mozart died broke… [and there were] incredibly talented and influential jazz musicians of the last 75 years who needed benefit concerts to pay for medical care and funeral expenses as they entered middle and old age.”

Some crafts undoubtedly suffer as times and tastes change. But there’s no reason to assume that the art of today will never be as good as what came before. In his own profession, Ellenberger points out that because of improvements in digital music distribution, there have never been so many new and rich jazz recordings available, created by extremely talented, promising musicians. The challenge for today’s artist and craftsman is to figure out how to adapt his or her skill to the modern-day needs of a highly digital society.

Publications will continue to eulogize various dying artforms, because they give writers a chance to make sensational assertions about society. Today, the art of conversation is dying. But according to The New York Times, the funeral began in 1961. With so many eulogies, it’s hard to keep up.

Art Category

4 Featured Comments

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 4 years ago Featured

    Conversely, it's interesting to see what manages to defy death. I thought letterpress was a goner, but now there are a bunch of talented artists -- many here on Etsy -- who have kept the art alive and well. Hopefully the rumor of shoe cobbling's death also is greatly exaggerated.

  • EpicallyEpicSoap

    Epically from EpicallyEpicSoap said 4 years ago Featured

    I don't remember anyone caring about crafts -- soap-making, handmade jewelry, gardening, and cooking to name a few -- in the 80's and 90's when I was growing up, and now they're seeing a lovely resurgence. You never know when a dying art will come back.

  • channingtaylor

    Channing Taylor from channingtaylor said 4 years ago Featured

    We are certainly living in a throw away culture. But as technology presses on these skills, I hope that people will start to see how valuable it is to support the small businesses, the makers, the craftspeople; we have been so immersed in quantity that we forget quality. Not only that, but higher education has become so aggrandized by our society that even special skills like plumbing or welding are taken for granted when these are exactly the kind of professions that make all of our lives easier. That's why I like Etsy! I think many of us here do not so easily take these skills or conveniences for granted. We make the inanimate intimate by connecting objects to the skilled people who took the time and passion to create it.

  • sandboxcastle

    H Wang from sandboxcastle said 4 years ago Featured

    I certainly hope shoe cobblers don't go out of business! Who else is going to resuscitate my favorite pairs of black leather ankle boots?!?!? Seriously though- I agree with a lot of the comments about how many things have "resurgences" later on. Maybe its just going out of fashion - not truely on its least legs.

87 comments

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose said 4 years ago

    What an interesting read!

  • kh1467

    Kelly from KikuPaper said 4 years ago

    For good or bad, that's life - always changing, evolving and some may say improving while others sing the praises of what was.

  • stoneycreekmerc

    The Sheps from stoneycreekmerc said 4 years ago

    I used to love getting new tread put on my combat boots. Too bad I guess.

  • Waterrose

    Rose Waterrose from Waterrose said 4 years ago

    Recently a shoe repair shop opened nearby and I took a few pairs of shoes and a bag to get some repair done. I've been looking for years for a local shop and it just didn't exist.

  • ArtsyFlair

    Michaela Bowles from ArtsyFlair said 4 years ago

    Interesting read! Thanks for sharing!

  • silversamba

    Alana from silversamba said 4 years ago

    I agree, hard to keep up

  • TheGroovyBaker

    Lisa LaConfiseuse from PamplemousseSucre said 4 years ago

    The day grammar dies is a sad one indeed :(

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 4 years ago

    I find it worrying that so few people can drive a car with a manual transmission, they don't know what they're missing! As for cobblers, I only buy hand made shoes, so I take them back where they were made for resoling until there's not enough left of them to be able to sew them together again! In my rural area there are many skills that are thriving that are supposed to be dying out: hedge laying, dry stone walling, thatching, upholstery, bookbinding & repairing cob buildings, to name a few. Skills that there is a demand for will always exist, & new things will pop up to replace the skills that are lost over time... 50 years ago there weren't many folks with a skill in computer programming, 20 years ago there were few who could build a website, who knows what skills our children or grandchildren will be learning in order to make a living? All learning is driven by a need for the skill, so if folks don't employ traditional butchers, fishmongers & cobblers they will die out. All the more reason to buy local & handmade!

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine from TipsyTimeMachine said 4 years ago

    My niece, who is 9 was just telling me that she had a penpal and loves getting letters and photos in the mail. However she still types her letters on the computer, and then prints off a copy of the letter to mail. I really miss letters, now it's hard to even get people to write a proper email! Instead they want to send a 1-2 line text from their phone. I don't consider that real communication.

  • everythingok

    everythingok from everythingok said 4 years ago

    I don't really take stock in these sorts of things. It makes for a compelling read, I suppose, to begin by declaring that something is dead or dying. How many times has rock and roll been given this treatment? (I blame Nietzsche for starting this trend in the first place.) I suppose it also lends the reader a masochistically pleasurable sense of guilt that they aren't doing more to keep, say, shoe repair or sausage-making alive. When I was younger and more angry about the world, as you often are at that age, I would moan about the decline of language and this forgotten art and that, but really, it's not death, it's evolution, regeneration, regrowth. Something that our generation has run out of time to attend to in our daily lives will be revived by the next looking to rediscover something of a past they don't remember, and that's quite beautiful. I wonder when we'll see an article declaring the death of articles about dying cultural phenomena?

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons from TigersandDragons said 4 years ago

    Recently I went to my local shoe repair to have my vintage backpack repaired. It is canvas with leather straps and I bought it in a second hand shop 25 years ago. I doubt I could ever find anything like it, so it was well worth it to pay to have the leather harness re-sewn to the canvas. With the low cost of shoes today, I can understand why people don't bother to have them repaired, but I have a few favourites that would be worth fixing.

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    Love this post!!!

  • VintageChinchilla

    Emily Jones from VintageChinchilla said 4 years ago

    I don't know what I'd do without the shoe repairman! Buying quality vintage shoes is such a good investment for your wardrobe! :)

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 4 years ago

    I love how grammar is listed as a dying art! I'd agree I'm sure in part down to electronic communications.

  • VintageChinchilla

    Emily Jones from VintageChinchilla said 4 years ago

    I don't know what I'd do without the shoe repairman! Buying quality vintage shoes is such a great investment in your wardrobe! :)

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 4 years ago Featured

    Conversely, it's interesting to see what manages to defy death. I thought letterpress was a goner, but now there are a bunch of talented artists -- many here on Etsy -- who have kept the art alive and well. Hopefully the rumor of shoe cobbling's death also is greatly exaggerated.

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery said 4 years ago

    I live in the Chicago area, and the Chicago related forums all have an offer to take shoe-making classes in the discussion thread! I think shoe-making might be making an upturn in general consciousness! And I hope with all that I am that grammar follows suit by being important again!

  • bagladybooty

    bagladybooty from bagladybooty said 4 years ago

    Fortunately, we have an incredible "sole-saver" in Bennington, Vermont. He happens to be an old Italian man named Tony. Recently, he mentioned that he's tried to find young apprentices, but no one wants to learn his dying trade. We hope, however, that he'll live to be a 120! The "art of conversation," has been replaced by texting, tweeting twits. I feel sorry for contemporary kids. They don't know what life was like, before incessant, cell phone sounds.

  • samsnatural

    Sam's Natural from SamsNatural said 4 years ago

    Great article ~ we still have a few cobblers here in New England going about business the old fashioned way and succeeding!

  • EpicallyEpicSoap

    Epically from EpicallyEpicSoap said 4 years ago Featured

    I don't remember anyone caring about crafts -- soap-making, handmade jewelry, gardening, and cooking to name a few -- in the 80's and 90's when I was growing up, and now they're seeing a lovely resurgence. You never know when a dying art will come back.

  • WingedWorld

    Vickie Moore from WingedWorld said 4 years ago

    Many time-honored skills do appear to be fading away, but at the same time, innovative venues like Etsy provide the impetus for makers to put their skills to work. I do tiny paintings on obsolete library card catalog cards that I've rescued from local libraries that digitized their holdings. The irony is not lost on me that I then turn around and sell my painted cards via Etsy — a digital marketplace that was unimaginable a few decades ago. I'm sure that Etsy embroiders, quilt-makers, leather craftspeople and woodworkers have that same sense of old-meets-new.

  • PopLoveCouture

    Shai Wallach from PopLoveCouture said 4 years ago

    I have so many beautiful pairs of shoes that I love, I can't imagine what I would do without a good shoe-repair. I know there's a surplus of disposable fast-fashion out there, but I do my best to buy quality whenever possible. The beautiful thing about that is in the end, you end up spending less and having much more style.

  • lcarlsonjewelry

    Liesl Carlson from lcarlsonjewelry said 4 years ago

    I agree that many things go the wayside but they will always be. They will get hard to find, but there will always be a need.

  • CreativeTherapy

    Stefanie van den Brandt from CreativeTherapy said 4 years ago

    Most preceding comments sum up my feelings on this subject, and they are a bit divided. It's sad that so many arts/skills/traditions are dying out, but as has been pointed out, other new skills are replacing them, and some make a comeback, whether in the same form or a more modernised form. I like everythingok's wording: 'it's evolution, regeneration, regrowth'. Nostalgia quite often lets us forget that. What does make me sad though, is that the art of creating quality and taking pride in a skill, regardless of the type of skill, is dying out. Using the cobbler example, there are plenty of cobblers where I live, who, from looking at the piles of plastic bags filled with shoes, seem to have plenty of customers, but I have yet to find one that doesn't do a shoddy job on my shoes. Although there are signs that people have started to care more about quality and skill again (hence the success of Etsy for example), the vast majority of people cares more about the lowest price which usually goes hand in hand with poor quality and an intentionally short lifespan.

  • LabyrinthLeather

    LabyrinthLeather from LabyrinthLeather said 4 years ago

    There are 2 old shoe repair stores in my town - after they leave there will be no one to replace them :( As a young leather worker I do actually find myself wondering if there will be someone that I can pass the craft to when I am in my twilight years.

  • WhisperingOak

    Quality Handmade Items from WhisperingOak said 4 years ago

    How fantastic that Waterrose has a new shoe repairman in town. Ours was an old man that retired at almost 80. His charming storefront is now housing a seamtress that is kept very busy mending and adjusting clothes.

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 4 years ago

    Interesting! I sometimes think I'm the only person left who wears leather soled shoes.

  • spappert

    Steve Tul from obsoletetool said 4 years ago

    I saw a shoe repair the other day and thought to myself that I can not understand how it survives. I would actually be interested in buying a retiring cobblers tools as long as he offered a little apprenticeship, but I don't have any illusions that I will be selling handmade shoes. Think how expensive they would have to be! Think how much time it would take to make a pair! You couldn't even buy the materials for less than a pair from China. It is dead.

  • 9design

    Paul Coyne from 9design said 4 years ago

    Interesting but here in ireland there is many crafts dwindling in numbers because the younger generation are not choosing skilled trades... Professions like roof thatching, weaving, and even hand engraving which is something I would love to get some expierience in for the sake of my own business but time is running out.... These are all skills worth saving.... People's opinions need to change and consider a career in craft.... As for grammar it's not my strong point.

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 4 years ago

    Interesting!

  • FalconandFinch

    Lynelle Miliate-Ha from FalconandFinch said 4 years ago

    I'm a passionate darkroom printer, and I have watched film and paper stocks disappear forever from the shelves of my local supply store. Every film processing lab in my area have closed down or turned to digital processing only, leaving only a small handful of working film labs in Greater LA. I see that my art is dying and I feel a true sadness. Not only is a masterfully made print of a better quality than most digital output, but there is something so meditative, so pure and beautiful about bringing that print to life with your own hands. I feel for anyone who loves a dying art: it's painful to see something you love fade away, and it's lonely to not have a community to share that thing with.

  • BurkeHareCo

    Erica from BurkeHareCo said 4 years ago

    Very cool!

  • CrumpledDance

    Kimberly Snyder from CrumpledDance said 4 years ago

    As a vegan, I'm glad to see some of these things are disappearing. Sheep shearing, butchering, and sausage making are all part of a greater global disaster, and I hope a movement dissolves all of these practices. It is however unfortunate that some of these arts are dwindling, like cobbling and organ playing - I've loved organs since I was small. Hopefully with the help of handmade marketplaces these things will still exist as long as people have a passion to do it. Good article.

  • Pickseeville

    Siobhan Haines from Pickseeville said 4 years ago

    Love this...

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets said 4 years ago

    Thanks for bringing attention and giving a sense of urgency to keeping these valuable skills alive. The concern is that the type of skills that are dying out are leading us in a direction of dependence on institutions and government, rather than independence, community, a.k.a. taking care of ourselves. While the death of buggy whips may not be a tragedy, the death of agriculture is.

  • beadstylin

    beadstylin from beadstylin said 4 years ago

    Grammar a dying art? Say it isn't so!

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 4 years ago

    Ah, dying arts, I miss a lot of them.

  • BlueBrocade

    BlueBrocade from BlueBrocade said 4 years ago

    Shoe repair is dying? I don't think it is dying---less common than 50 years ago, certainly, making them less easy to find, but they are still there. We live in an age of disposable shoes, and so I suppose there is less of a demand for them. But they are still very important, and there seems to be a resurgence in hand made shoes and boots (I instantly think Fluevogs, or a quick look pointed me to MAGS Boots here on Etsy!). In my experience you can find shoe repair men and women in most shopping malls and medium sized cities in Canada, you simply need to look for them. I use them all the time---its much better than throwing out a pair of boots I love, knowing they will just be in a landfill forever. If you buy leather shoes, they can be repaired or resoled almost indefinitely, and are worth it I think!

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin said 4 years ago

    a bit divided on the subject ~ though Grammar...? uggg I think I'm going to go cry in a corner.

  • leatherprince

    Beon from leatherprince said 4 years ago

    I used to be a cobbler in Singapore.

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty said 4 years ago

    Great!

  • carinenadia

    Carine said 4 years ago

    What a great read! I went to Ghana in last February and I was amazed at the craftsmanship. My flip-flop broke and a lady walked me to someone who was able to fix it in a few minutes using basic every day instruments (and I assume no huge professional training). I think that, sometimes, it's not so much a question of a dying art, but an evolving art.

  • shuqi

    Emily Lim from shuqi said 4 years ago

    Interesting story:)

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 4 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • peshka

    Peshka from Peshka said 4 years ago

    Thanks!!

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly said 4 years ago

    We still have our shoe repair shop in town from when I was a kid so he must be doing something right to stay in business all these years. When you have that favorite pair of shoes that you just cant part with it pays to have them prepaired instead of just going out and purchasing new ones.

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    kathy johnson from ShoeClipsOnly said 4 years ago

    He also repairs tarps and such so the evolution of his business is what keeps him going

  • FranceGallery

    France Gallery from FranceGallery said 4 years ago

    I remember going to our local shoe repair shop when I was a kid. It has been gone for years now.

  • jewelryrage

    Aaron Kish from JewelryRage said 4 years ago

    Interesting there is not one shoe repair shop anywhere in my town.

  • cloud8

    cloud8 said 4 years ago

    As I find it hard to find shoes that I like I make sure that they are always repaired when they need it, while I carry on my search for the next pair of shoes which can take years. There are plenty of cobblers here in Yorkshire. I tried to get a newish umbrella repaired though and had no luck. There is only one place in England that repairs umbrellas and they'll only do it if they sold it to you in the first place. That's a shame and it's annoying as it was a very pretty umbrella.

  • Wudumaer

    Wudumaer from GrandpasBarns said 4 years ago

    And let's not forget knife grinding. Just recently I had my kitchen knives reground because they couldn't keep an edge, but it took some doing to find someone who does it! As for shoes, well, if you aren't buying higher end retail or handmade, shoes are of very poor quality, consisting mostly of man made materials. They don't last, nor are they meant to, and can't really be repaired. That would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. We're living in a disposable society that doesn't value craftsmanship or longevity of a product and the skills that support repair or the creation of something that will last 50 or 100 years.

  • AmberHeartOfTheFinch

    Nicola Hart from StarlightSilverUK said 4 years ago

    I can assure you, stick shift driving is alive and well in the UK. I have my test in one tomorrow (eep!) Then I'll move on to car stalking...

  • customizeBaby

    Custom Baby from customizeBaby said 4 years ago

    AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE ARTICLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • shoutrinse

    shoutrinse from PinchBailEarwires said 4 years ago

    @everythingok above "I wonder when we'll see an article declaring the death of articles about dying cultural phenomena?" Those were my thoughts exactly. The dying art of determining dying arts.....

  • mythunderstood

    mythunderstood from mythunderstood said 4 years ago

    Car chasing a dying art? That'd be a good thing : ) Great read, thank you!

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown from blainedesign said 4 years ago

    If all these arts were really dead, there couldn't be an Etsy! Sometimes I think there is enough collective skill and creativity on Etsy to rebuild the world from scratch.

  • paramountvintage

    kristin from blackmoonsky said 4 years ago

    i hope the art of shoe repair never dies! i take all of my boots to the cobbler. what would i do??? this article brings up a very sad reality of a disposable culture.

  • C3L35T3

    Celeste from C3L35T3 said 4 years ago

    Thes art only die if you let them! I only by shoes that can be resoled and I have to drive two towns over beecause the cobbler in town passed away from supplys used to reapir shoes!

  • isewcute

    June from isewcute said 4 years ago

    These dying arts have to be flexible enough to keep up with the changing times. Likely when a shoe repair business started up over 100 years ago repairing things like harnesses, workboots, & shoes...they couldn't possibly have forseen that cars would replace the horse & buggy or that shoes would eventually be made from vinyl & plastics rather than leather. Some shops can keep going strong today by reinventing the application of their skills & work on things like orthopedic buildups, leather handbag, & jacket repair.

  • TeepetalsDesigns

    Tee from TeepetalsDesigns said 4 years ago

    Wonderful read!

  • CTCosta

    Chris Costa from CTCostaPhotography said 4 years ago

    Nice article, leaves me pondering the past and the possible future.

  • Parachute425

    Terry from Parachute425 said 4 years ago

    Grammar - sadly, yes. Jazz - never!

  • channingtaylor

    Channing Taylor from channingtaylor said 4 years ago Featured

    We are certainly living in a throw away culture. But as technology presses on these skills, I hope that people will start to see how valuable it is to support the small businesses, the makers, the craftspeople; we have been so immersed in quantity that we forget quality. Not only that, but higher education has become so aggrandized by our society that even special skills like plumbing or welding are taken for granted when these are exactly the kind of professions that make all of our lives easier. That's why I like Etsy! I think many of us here do not so easily take these skills or conveniences for granted. We make the inanimate intimate by connecting objects to the skilled people who took the time and passion to create it.

  • GoldenSpiralDesigns

    Lola Ocian from GoldenSpiralDesigns said 4 years ago

    "How can we tell if an art is truly dying or if we are just caught up in our own nostalgia-skewed perceptions?" This is such an important question to ask! I was just talking with my boyfriend yesterday about observing with caution to make sure our reality isn't skewed by observing only what we expect or want to see. On the other hand, like anything, there is a wax and wane of evolution. Languages die, species die, arts die. Let us hold hope that as our need for nostalgia impels us to mourn these losses, novelty returns. It seems that modern society has a tendency to shun those who walk the outer edges, aberrant and driven to adventure. But aren't these people the true geniuses? Are they not the ones who are bold enough to dream what has never been seen before?

  • myvintagecrush

    Kathleen from myvintagecrush said 4 years ago

    Great read, keep the dream alive :)

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom said 4 years ago

    I'm not sure that people want to get their shoes repaired when it is easier, possible cheaper, and more accessible to just buy new ones. Cheap, mass produced items are affordable, and when something goes wrong with a shoes someone thinks to buy a new pair, not to get them repaired.

  • spiderbunny

    Jessa Cady from Spiderbunny said 4 years ago

    Thanks for posting! This was interesting ^ . ^

  • scattered

    scattered from scattered said 4 years ago

    My cobbler is closing his doors. I thought to buy his business and learn the trade but the fumes from glues etc kept me away. Now, I will knock on his door instead to see what vintage treasures await instead

  • scattered

    scattered from scattered said 4 years ago

    we are also in the middle of choosing our next vehicle...I can not get anything I want in stick shift! this is just bizarre to me. I hoard items I find in the garbage and at value village though I have no use or space for them I just want to make sure thy don't end up as garbage.

  • piecesofelises

    Elise from piecesofelises said 4 years ago

    I was just thinking of going to a shoe repair shop to fix a purse I've been wearing out. I'll give them some business :)

  • vegasblingrocks

    Judy Murphy from vegasblingrocks said 4 years ago

    Paul Coyne's comment about "roof thatching in Ireland a dying art" amazed me. Who in the USA would ever think about that "dying art". I had not realized this is a global issue, we take so much for granted ......... Re grammar, kids writing letters with "computerese talk", I have a rule with my grandchildren. When we email each other we use punctuation and proper spelling because I feel it carries over into school work. Besides, I don't even know what half those goobleygook characters mean! omg lol bfn k

  • rivahside

    rivahside said 4 years ago

    Interesting and thoughtful article. There was a very popular book series in the 1970's called "Foxfire." They were written by college students who wanted to document the lost arts and skills of their families and people in rural Georgia. Some of the things they documented were: how to construct a log cabin, how to shear sheep, how to find a bee tree and get the honey from it. Other skills were: how to make a wagon wheel, how to do tatting, how to identify wild greens and cresses. The books are a fascinating look at skills everyone possesed before mechanization and electricity.

  • sandboxcastle

    H Wang from sandboxcastle said 4 years ago Featured

    I certainly hope shoe cobblers don't go out of business! Who else is going to resuscitate my favorite pairs of black leather ankle boots?!?!? Seriously though- I agree with a lot of the comments about how many things have "resurgences" later on. Maybe its just going out of fashion - not truely on its least legs.

  • FreshRetroGallery

    Elizabeth Knaus from FreshRetroGallery said 4 years ago

    The art of conversation is changing, but not dying. Opportunities are multiplying through internet. Even so, an example of a conversation that was really worth remembering was an afternoon sitting in my great aunt’s living room with my mom’s cousin, my mom and my daughter. I learned some wonderful things about our family history. We were there because we were waiting for a car to be fixed—which is proof that blessings can be found even through situations which seemingly are unfortunate.

  • csburdick

    csburdick from callmebrazen said 4 years ago

    On a recent trip out of state, I was getting ready to go to dinner and as I walked down the street I noticed my foot was sliding out the side of my favorite leather boots. I continued on to my destination, but thought, as soon as I get back to town, these need to got to my cobbler! His work space is completely jammed with shoes awaiting restoration. The cycle of what skill is being lost, forgotten, or restored is constantly in flux. I'm thankful for that. So are my boots!

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties said 4 years ago

    Because technology and media keeps growing, people want the next big thing and so all the old arts and trades are dying because of it. Whenever I get the chance, I always take many steps backwards to live how people used to: get my shoes fixed instead of buying a new pair.

  • designedforyouink

    Bonnie Skjonsberg said 4 years ago

    Interesting reads. My biggest concern is that we are not buying from the local business and small enterprises and, in the end, they are forced out of business. And, we are forced to shop online. Remember it is the small businesses who move, and are the bread and butter of our great country. So, hopefully, we will all strive to shop at our local businesses. It also reminds us how important it is to be talking with people and sharing our thoughts and ideas. We are so glued to email, cell phones, text messaging, etc. Social skills are so important in our lives and the examples we pass on to the next generation.

  • StuffByKim

    Kim from StuffByKim said 4 years ago

    I wonder how many high school counslers advise our youth to take up things of this sort. Butchers, cobblers, electritians, plumbers, hairdressers just to name a few. These are all things that cannot be outsourced to other countries. How about all the jobs that it takes to build a home or any building. Some call it improvements........but what are we allowing to happen to ourselves?

  • ritagayle

    Rita McDonald from SassyGs said 4 years ago

    I agree with Bonnnie Skjonsberg! Great response :)

  • suew43

    Art to Heart Photography Sue Wickham from Art2HeartPhotography said 4 years ago

    This read certainly hit home, my favourite shoe repairer has recently retired. His business was run in one of the original shops of a local town, with just he and his Wife. They were a beautiful couple, and as much as the wonderful repairs he did to revive my shoes, and the special "extra touches" like the metallic toe tips and the colouring of the shoe where it was rubbed, it was the friendliness and the warmth on my visits that I will miss the most. Yep, I will definitely miss them both.

  • reflectionsjewelry

    Emily Delfin from reflectionsjewelry said 4 years ago

    I work next to a shoe repair shop, and let me tell you---it's REALLY hoppin'! Why? BECAUSE it's a "dying" art, and no one else around does it! Things have a way of coming around again.................

  • LeslieGallery

    Leslie Galluzzo from LeslieGallery said 4 years ago

    i do chair caning and my mom does calligraphy. It's amazing to response I get when people see me cane chairs are sales. The allure with these, shoe repair and other "dying" arts is the handmade quality. I believe that's why people like to buy from etsy because they know they are getting something personnally and professionally made. i'm happy we still have a shoe repair in our local mall :)

  • lauraslastditch

    Last Ditch Laura from LaurasLastDitch said 4 years ago

    I believe the one about grammar. Ugh.

  • CalligraphicArtisan

    Jude Billings from CalligraphicArtisan said 4 years ago

    A great Light Bulb Moment for me too (Great Message) I'm a Calligrapher (fancy lettering) and though computer has given everyone so many options with their 'fonts', I still hand scribe everything. This week Schools said they are considering 'eliminating children learning Cursive'...a thing of the past?.... I'll just keep writing. Thanks for the article.

  • liddysopretty

    liddy sopretty from liddysopretty said 4 years ago

    Good article.

  • metroretrovintage

    metroretrovintage from metroretrovintage said 4 years ago

    Chappell, you cover the best topics and are definitely my favorite writer on the Blog.

  • ellisisland123

    Karen ELLIS said 4 years ago

    Cursive writing. Interesting article.

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