During my time at arsutoria, I learned a lot. i learned how to pattern make and construct different variations of shoe styles, from sandals, pumps, boots, derbys, oxfords, loafers, and moccassins. i even learned different type of constructions, from strobel sneaker, hand stitched tubular moccasins, to understanding different types of sole constructions, such as blake, goodyear, sol california, and san crispino. i learned a lot about materials, characteristics of each shoe last style, calculating measurements of the foot and sizing, grading, and calculating cost consumption of materials. the class learned details on constructions of uppers, lining, soles, insoles, types of trims, and finishings. the class got to take trips to visit factories, such as in tuscany, kenda farben, and martinoli's in vigevano. the class also visited showrooms, such as micam, lineapelle, and also the mudec museum. in the past 3 months, i have learned so much, even a bit of italian.  but my most memorable moments at arsutoria, are with my classmates. spending the past 3 months, everyday from 9am-5:00pm+, my classmates have become like family. i will cherish the memories we made, the laughter we shared, the nights we had fun, and the study sessions we held together. i am truly grateful to have made such wonderful, talented, and kind friends!

First day

my first day, i was nervous. i did not know what to expect. i got art supplies and wodden lasts, provided by arsutoria!


during this week, we are already familiar with pattern making, therefore, we started to make patterns in full and send them into envelopes for production. 

pumps & flats

the first style we got to pattern were woman's pumps and ballerina flats. we familiarized ourselves with the last by taping it to get the base pattern. we then made many paper trials. practice makes perfect!

BOOTS (my favorite)

some say making patterns for boots are difficult. yes, but that is what makes it my favorite pattern to do. i love dealing with technical details and patterning for boots involves a lot of technical steps, patience, and precision. 


when we moved onto mens shoes, we learned how to pattern loafers. 

strobel & MOCCASINS 

we also learned how to do patterns for strobel construction, and moccasin construction! these were the two types of styles we got to do a quick prototype on.


SEPTEMBER 3-6, 2016Micam is the leading international footwear fair, promoted by assocalzaturifici italiani, the association of italian footwear manufacturers. the event is held twice a year in rho fiera, milan. it was the first fair/ show that i got to go to at rho fiera. the event fell on a labor day weekend, so the students got to go to the fair on our own time. i explored the fair for a while. there were so many footwear brands, showing different styles of shoes, which experimentation on materials and colors. it was really interesting to see the latest footwear trends!


SEPTEMBER 20-22, 2016Lineapelle is the most important international exhibition dedicated to leather, accessories, components, synthetics and models for footwear, leather goods, garments and furniture. Launched in 1981, it has become the most qualified international exhibition of leather and accessories, components, synthetics for footwear, leather goods, garments and furniture. The event takes place twice a year, in February for the summer and September for the winter collections, at the Milan exhibition centre. our entire class took a day trip to rho fiera, where linaepelle is held. since our professors: richard & shao-wei, went along with us to the show, we were able to visit popular leather companies, such as stefania conceria, bonaudo, gruppo mastrotto & more! it was a great way to familiarize ourselves with materials, from kidskin, calf, synthetics, and exotics.


mudec, The Museum of Cultures of Milan is a center dedicated to the interdisciplinary research on the world cultures. Taking inspirations from the civic ethnographic collections and in partnership with our communities, we intend to create a place where to dialogue on contemporary themes by the medium of visual, performing and sound art, design and costume. a few students and i decided to pay a visit to the museum, to see the latest fashion trends. the products were super cool, especially the shoes, as well as the visual display of the overall room. 

factory visits



Oct 10-11, 2016: this is the first time arsutoria has offered the students a two day trip to visit tanneries in tuscany! we visited factories, under, also known as The Pole Conciario. It promotes the specialization of technical personnel engaged in the skin of the industrial chain with multiple activities that aim to train and upgrade the different skills used in the tanning industry. Constant study and research through targeted investments and ability to ensure the highest stand. the trip was wonderful and a great learning experience. we got to see the entire tanning process of leather, including different types of finishings. to read and see more photos, click on the // tuscany title!



november 11, 2016: the entire class visited martinoli's footwear factory. Manufacturer cesare martinoli-caimar, produce shoe of top quality and precision, specifically producing shoes for manolo blahnik, since 1944. They are "subject to rigorous procedures and strict controls, all in spirit of the oldest true artisan tradition." we got to see the factory construct high quality shoes, mostly of manolo blahnik. they supply these shoes to department stores such as saks, nordstrom and many more. the class got to see the types of leathers they use, the types of machines they use for netting and cutting leather, as well as cutting dyes for soles. we got to experience first-hand on how the factory communicates and work together as a team, from the stitching department, to the technicians, to the pattern makers, and quality control department. there IS EVEN AN EMPLOYEE WHOSE JOB IS TO CUT THE EXCESS LEATHER OFF THE BREASTED SOLES OF THE SHOES. UNFORTUNATELY, we were not allowed to take photos in the factory. THEREFORE, THE ONLY PHOTO I COULD PROVIDE, IS THIS GROUP PHOTO OUR CLASS TOOK DURING OUR RIDE TO VIGEVANO! IF YOU HAVN'T ALREADY NOTICED, OUR CLASS LOVES TO TAKE GROUP PHOTOS TOGETHER! 



Kenda farben is one of the leader companies in manufacturing adhesives, varnishes, and finishing products for any type of materials, such as skin, leather, sbr rubber, pu, pvc, tpr, and more. the class took a trip to vigevano, where kenda farben is located. we took our final prototypes (including the gea gomma protos) to kenda farben, so that they could perform different types of finishing, such as wax, polish, dyes, and more. some students needed to dye their protos, while others just needed to polish with wax!