Historical Shoemaker

Graziano Dal Barco

Pitch, bees wax, boar bristles, awl, leather, linen thread.

These are some of the words in Graziano Dal Barco's world, a man who has turned a passion for history into the prestigious job of medieval shoesmaking craftman. Surely the smell of leather which I smelt when I was young and I entered my parents' shop was the origin of the passion for this job that is based on centuries of history and traditions patiently handed down from generation to generation.

For years now I have been dedicating myself to this activity of craftman cultivating a great interest in the ancient and prestigious Italian footwear art. Making a shoe is not easy and recreate a historic one is even less easy; in time I realized that being a shoemaker is more an art than a job.

The historical footwear production in my laboratory was born a few years ago when I started a course of historical study which, combined with the knowledge handed down from my parents, allowed me to the creation of models that cover several centuries.

Since the very beginning my intent was to produce in the most faithful way as possible examples of shoes found in archaeological excavations and now kept in various museums all over Europe, or represented, in a more generic way, in paintings and frescoes.

I found and used with great care the materials and techniques typical of each period, I have chosen leathers tanned with natural substances and linen threads skilfully woven and pitched to make the hand stitching that holds together the various components of the shoe.