Did You Know? How to Carve Wooden Shoes

Did you Know? Wooden Shoe Carving Demonstration

Did you know that live demonstrations abound in library land? It’s the newest craze! Just go on the web. You’ll find libraries offering demonstrations of meat butchering, blacksmithing, fly fishing, stone carving, and everything in between. Adult programming has gone to a new level.

APL will be hosting a live wooden shoe carving demonstration on Wednesday, May 22 from 4:00-5:00 pm on our main floor. Luke Traver, Oostburg, Wisconsin, will be our guest presenter. Luke is an apprentice to Bob Siegel, a klompen maker. Bob is considered the last master wooden shoe carver in America. He learned his craft in the Netherlands starting in 1975. He was featured on the PBS TV series, The Woodwright Shop and in Fine Woodworking magazine.

Over the past five centuries, in the lowlands of Europe, wooden shoes evolved from the sandal because solid wood keeps feet dry and clean. They are called klompen in the Netherlands because of the klomp klomp sound on the brick streets, holzschuhe in Germany and sabot in France. Three million pairs are still made each year from hand-carved models of aspen, a biodegradable and renewable resource and about a half million people wear klompen each day.

Hand-carved wooden shoes and miniature wooden shoe key chains will be available for purchase at the conclusion of the demonstration. The Friends of Appleton Public Library generously funded this program. For further information, contact 920-832-6173.

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