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Ugg Boots
George Koleff was born in Bulgaria in 1924. His family were small farmers struggling for survival, so George learned to do his share of work on the farm at an early age. When he was 14 he was sent to the city to become a shoemaker’s apprentice. For the first year as an apprentice he received no pay and was supported by his parents.

After serving for six years as a full-time apprentice together with four years of special trade school training, he gained a Master Shoemaker diploma. Koleff then started his own shoemaking business in Bulgaria. Soon after Koleff had to serve a compulsory two years in the Bulgarian armed forces. He managed to leave Bulgaria in 1947 going to Austria where he lived for several years. After learning the language, he worked as a fashion shoemaker.

He next migrated to South Australia in December of 1950. He worked there in the automotive and refrigeration industries, in the construction industry, and as a carpenter and cabinet maker. In 1972 he moved to Alice Springs where he started his own carpentry and cabinet making business, and taught evening leatherworking classes, including sandal making.

Koleff moved to Adelaide in 1980. In 1982 he started his own shoemaking business in the Jam Factory where he conducted evening classes in leathercraft and shoemaking. He taught both enrichment-level leather and sandal making at the Brighton College of Further Education. Later he also taught shoemaking at Marleston College.

Unfortunately, in 1983 George suffered a heart attack and had to temporarily suspend all teaching activities. In mid-1984 he was able to resume small classes in shoemaking in pursuit of his aim of training as many people as possible in the art of traditional shoemaking in hopes of preventing his craft from dying out. As a part of this aim Koleff began writing a book on the geometric method of shoe designing.

In 1986 George underwent triple bypass heart surgery. After recovering from the operation, Koleff continued to write, producing the three volume directly available from Walrus, the Lasts Designing and Making Manual, Shoe and Boot Designing Manual and How to Make the Ugg Boot: The Manual.

Sadly, George Koleff passed away in 2002.


Walrus Shoe & Leather, Co.,
Manufacturers of the finest Period and Theatrical Footwear, by Larry Waller, Delavan, WI USA
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