Centre for calceology and historical leather works
“Marry because you have drank with the king,
And the king hath so graciously pledged you,
You shall no more be called shoemakers.
But you and yours to the world’s end
Shall be called the trade of the gentle craft.”
Gentle Craft is a private research facility for archaeological and historical leather artefacts, created in 1993 in Lausanne by Serge & Marquita Volken. Our field of action is the documentation research and preservation of archaeological and historical leather artifacts. Our services are addressed mainly to public institutions such as archaeological services, universities, research institutions or Museums. For our 10th anniversary we created a public access to shoe history with the opening of the GENTLE CRAFT Shoe Museum in 2003.
Conserving a material and immaterial human patrimony, in our case those shoes that carried our civilizations through out history.
Researching the evolution of shoe technology, fashion and pattern making throughout history as a source for typological dating of artefacts.
Creating an accessible Information Source for historians, archaeologists, researchers but also re-enactment, theatre, the movie industry and finally as a source of inspiration for the current shoe design in crafts and industry.
Centralizing information on archaeological shoe and leather finds throughout Europe in a coherent Database for comparative Analysis.
Sharing information and transmission of knowledge through our Museum, travelling exhibits and publications.
Teaching the coming generation of specialists.