Learn the age-old art of Cordwainer shoemaking.  Choose your color and make your own pair of Squire Desert Boots from scratch! This Cordwainer Shop staple is a simple but classic leather boot: ankle high with a toe cap and laces.

Instructor: Molly Grant

A Cordwainer is an artisan skilled in the craft of creating leather shoes and boots from drafting the pattern, to cutting the leather and stitching the uppers and soles together. Since Edward Matthews started the Cordwainer Shop in N.H back in the 1930s, its mission has been to preserve the craft of handmade boots and shoes. Molly Grant has already taught students to make Cordwainer Classics at Fiber College, but this is the first time she’s offered the chance to make boots. Class will begin with a brief introduction to the fascinating history of the Cordwainer Shop and its original designs. We’ll then move on to leather and color selection, learn to make a basic pattern and how to properly lay the leather. We will proceed to skive, fold and glue the uppers together to create a fully leather-lined boot upper, which we’ll then hand sew to your custom-sized leather sole.  We may use industrial sewing machines to complete the upper sewing toppling, but a hand sewn option is available. We will last and burnish the sole edges and finish the boots with a sock lining. Don’t be deterred because you’ve never made a pair of shoes before! You can absolutely do this as long as you have the strength and dexterity for hand sewing.

Please note: This class starts Thursday morning at 9 AM

Class and Retreat fee: $980

Materials fee: $250

bio with dog Grant Shoe Class (1)

Molly Grant


Molly Grant began leatherworking in her early 20s, first by working on her own and then by apprenticing at the Black Swan Leather in Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, NH. She first encountered Cordwainer Shoes when she was ten years old at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair, known nationally as the oldest craft fair in the nation. She became a juried member with that same craft league in 1989 and participated in showing her line of handbags. There, she had the opportunity to meet Paul Mathews, maker of those same glorious shoes. Within a few months, Molly was traveling to craft shows nationally to assist Paul, and learning the art  Cordwainer craft. Molly still makes handbags, but her main business is teaching shoemaking workshops at craft schools across the country and designing, making, and showing  her handbags at galleries nationally. 

Touchstone Retreats Schedule


Settle into this magical world

8-12 Introduction to Rug Hooking, Squire Boot Class begin (We'll be in the garden with warm beverages at 7 to guide you to your class)

12-2 A la carte lunch in the campground

12-1:30 Registration and Juice Bar

2-5 Class

6-7:30 Cocktails, snacks, introductions and instructor show & tell (included for everyone)


Dive deep into your passion

8-9 Breakfast (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

9-12 Class

12-2 Garden Lunch and Open Botanical Printing Station (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

2-5 Class

Friday: Dinner on your own, studios will remain accessible and we'll have a campfire in the garden for your pleasure

Saturday: Dinner and live music around the campfire (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)


Re-emerge Gently

8-9 Breakfast (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)

9-12 Class

12:30 - 3 Lunch, book signing, special shopping, pictures and goodbyes (included for everyone, veg & GF friendly)