Friday, January 21, 2011 7:30pm
at The Women’s Building San Francisco

Bootblacking is the art and science of caring for leather goods, and is a vital part of the “Leather” community. If you have ever felt the urge to learn about bootblacking, want to experience what it is like to sit in a bootblack’s chair, or if your heart skips a beat when you see a pair of perfectly polished boots, don’t miss this program!

The best way to learn a new skill is to do it, so this program will be interactive and participatory. If you have a bootblacking kit and/or leather in need of care such as pants, chaps, skirts, vests, corsets, or boots, bring them. We’ll go over the different types of leathers, how to do a simple shine, what a boot-black’s kit includes, and how to provide basic leather care.

In addition to learning “how-to” care for leathers, we will also discuss topics such as the difference between a shoe shine and a bootblacking, why some-one would want to become a bootblack, and how bootblacking can be an act of service.

We’ll start from the very beginning, but don’t be deceived; basic doesn’t mean boring. We’ll let our kink out!

Presenter – Amathyst

Amathyst is a single dyke submissive, a hopeful slave, and one of the newer members of her local group, the Sacramento Valley LeatherCorps. While talking with her mentor about submissives’ skills, she learned about bootblacking, and her interest was instantly piqued. From the first time Amathyst had her hands in boot polish she was hooked. She found the bootblacking community welcoming, supportive, and helpful in teaching her the skills she needed to become a first rate bootblack. Amathyst learned her skills from many well-known and esteemed bootblacks, and quickly earned her bootblack hanky. She has volun-teered her services at many events, including SF Pride, Dore Alley, Folsom Street Fair, ACLC events, and Exiles’ events.

Amathyst is 2011 Treasurer and Community Brunch Co-Manager for The Sacramento Valley LeatherCorps, Exiles member and volunteer extraordinaire, and is working on becoming a member of the SF Girls of Leather. Some of her other passions are cooking, baking, cleaning, organizing, and learning the traditions, protocol, and history of her communities. She is proud to keep many community members’ boots and leathers looking sharp.

Program Meeting Info

  • Programs are on the 3rd Friday of the month at the Women’s Building in San Francisco (3543 – 18th Street at Valencia) [map]
  • All women (and those whose gender self-identity is other than male) who are over 18 are welcome.
  • We have sign language interpreters at all of our meetings.
  • Door fees are $4 for members and $10 for non-members. Please have your membership card or ID ready to speed entry.
  • The program runs from 8:00 – 10:00pm and the doors open at 7:30pm.

Directions to The Women’s Building

Public Transit
BART: The Women’s Building is close to 16th street BART. Special note: one side-effect of gentrification in the Mission is that there are a lot of people on the streets between The Women’s Building and the BART station – all nice safe people going to one of the many new local restaurants. You’ll probably feel safe walking the few blocks from 16th Mission BART and The Women’s Building.

The 22 Fillmore runs down 16th Street. Get off at 16th & Valencia and walk two blocks to The Women’s Building.
The 14 Mission runs along Mission Street. Get off at 17th or 18th and walk 1-1/2 blocks to TWB.

Driving Directions
Driving from Marin County –
Take the Golden Gate Bridge (101 South) to Lombard Street.
Turn right on Gough (if you get to Van Ness, you went 2 blocks too far).
Take Gough all the way to Market Street. Stay in the center lane.
Turn right onto Market, then a quick left onto Valencia.
Go to 18th Street and look for parking, or continue to 21st for the parking garage. (For fewer hills but more stop lights: from Lombard Street, turn right onto Van Ness instead of Gough, and follow the directions above.)

Parking Garage
Street parking is difficult in this neighborhood. There is an inexpensive locked parking garage available on 21st St. between Valencia and Mission and 16th and on Hoff St between Mission and Valencia.