Healing Shoes


In kindergarten I had a pair of red and white saddle oxfords. The saddle was red patent leather. I wore them everyday. One day the teacher asked us all to stand in the middle of the room. Then she said “all of the people wearing black shoes, go stand over there,” and then “all of the people wearing brown shoes, go stand over there.” There I was, standing alone in the middle of the classroom in my red and white shoes. I was embarrassed and shamed. I made these shoes for the little girl in me, the little one who the teacher tried to quash the artist out of. I don’t know where that teacher is, if she’s living or dead. I don’t remember her name, but I thumb my nose at her!!! I’m going to wear these shoes with pride and confidence. She did not succeed in making me conform.


Enrolling now for January shoemaking classes

Toe River Studio Tour advertisement
See page 10 of the Autumn 2022 Toe River Studio Tour booklet

Reserve your spot now for my beginner shoemaking classes that start in January. See the Toe River Studio Tour booklet that is out now for the Autumn tour. My ad is on page 10.

Class size is limited to five. Let me know if you have availability for other days of the week. I will open additional sections for the class as the seats fill. Early registration recommended.

Shot of the Week

sandal class, shot of the week, shot of the year, sandal making
Delia capturing the class output


Shear delight to teach sandal-making at the John C Campbell Folk School. My students were a fascinating bunch of talented, hard workers. The campus is gorgeous and enchanting. It was my great good fortunate to teach in the well-appointed wood carving studio, updated over time and built nearly 100 years ago. The school staff was welcoming, generous and genuinely helpful. My housing was oh-so-charming. I have so many stories to tell. I am on the schedule to teach sandal-making next August too.

The Madonna of the Lasts

I got some publicity in Mountain Xpress for Deborah’s School of Shoemaking. I recently dreamt up this image of me posing as the Virgin of the Guadalupe and using lasts as the light rays from my halo. I’m so pleased Mountain Xpress used my photo and what an honor for my new school to be featured. Check out my School page because classes are forming all the time. Gather some friends together and we can have a class time whenever works for you.

Around Town: Local workshops teach shoemaking skills