As part of the Ballarat Heritage Festival, Wootten will open its doors on the two Sundays during the festival for Workshop Tours with bootmaker, Jess Wootten.

Join the tour to gain an insight into the workings of one of Australia’s last remaining shoemaking workshops. Wootten was founded in Adelaide’s iconic Jam Factory arts collective in the mid 1970s surrounded by Australia’s leading craft practitioners. The generational tradition of handcrafting boots and leather goods continues from their repurposed WW2 munitions workshop in the historic city of Ballarat – Victoria.

Learn about leathers and their tannage, the machinery and processes used and the importance of all the bits you don’t see. From the structural leather used to the difference between a hand welted construction to a goodyear welted construction through to the unique McKay welted construction used by Wootten.

Head bootmaker Jess Wootten will take you through the process from start to finish, sharing insights from the business’s nearly 50 year operation, and explaining what to look out for in modern production shoes. This informal walk-through will involve a ranging conversation centred around provenance, durability and longevity.

Tours will take place three times each day and bookings are recommended.

Content: Wootten

Accessibility Information

  • Disabled access available, contact operator for details.

  • 19 May & 26 May

10am–11am | 12pm–1pm | 2pm–3pm

Wootten Ballarat Flagship Store

20 Elizabeth Street, Delacombe VIC 3356

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Accessibility Information

  • Disabled access available, contact operator for details.

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Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.


© 2023 Ballarat In The Know. This initiative is funded by the City of Ballarat and Tourism Midwest Victoria.