Hartmut Seidich (*1962) and his son Dustin Seidich (*1994) have been hereditarily “inculcated” to the craft, since the Seidich family has been making uppers since 1928. Both grew up with the “fragrance” of rubber cement between lasts and leather and enjoy the purely traditional handcraft method, which is still largely corresponds to their grandfather’s methods.
The Seidich upper workshop has long been an “inside tip” for those who want uppers with an unusual design or are searching for a solution for difficult orthopedic fittings. Customers include orthopedic clinics as well as discerning bespoke shoemakers from many countries.
Hartmut Seidich learned the trade from his father and completed an apprenticeship as an orthopedic shoemaker and passed the Master shoemaker examination in 1987. Since then he has been leading the family business where 5 – 7 pairs of uppers are made by hand every day. From 1987 until present, the Seidich family and their small team have made over 45,000 pairs of uppers. Their workshop is one of the few that has survived all the uppermakers’ crises, from the introduction of pre-made uppers, the BSE (mad cow disease) crisis to today’s “outsourcing” of upper orders to low-wage countries. Hartmut Seidich along with his wife Tanja Seidich (*1971), who is also a trained uppermaker, have been teaching uppermakers since 2004. He is a lecturer for uppermaking at the Academy of Crafts in Düsseldorf, teaching Master students of orthopedic shoemaking technology.
Their son Dustin Seidich completed his apprenticeship as a shoemaker and uppermaker together with his brother-in-law Jan Droste (*1990) and passed the Journeyman’s examination in 2014. While Jan Droste’s focus is on everything to do with leather and clicking, Dustin Seidich mainly designs upper patterns and creates his own designs. Since 2018, Dustin Seidich has also been teaching upper design as a Lecturer at the Academy of Crafts in Düsseldorf.
The authors have been working on this book for more than ten years and are revealing a large part of their specialist knowledge here. The Seidich family also shares their expertise in lectures at home and abroad. They promote professional exchange and offer uppermaking courses in German and English in their own workshop.
In individual chapters of the three volumes, other experts have made contributions or were involved in the preparation of the texts. This is indicated respectively by chapter.
Please note the acknowledgments at the end of the book!
For the first time, the craft of uppermaking is completely presented in these three volumes, which total approximately 600 pages, with hundreds of photos and graphics. Nevertheless, each of the three volumes is a standalone text and comprehensively covers its respective topics.