Inspired by a very beautifully decorated shoe from the 1890's (see: http://stephaniesmart.wixsite.com/stephaniesmart/single-post/2018/10/25/Shoes-across-300-years) and this drawing of Doves, which I came across as part of my research into illustrations of birds by early 19th century artists, I've added another shoe to the timeline of The Glittering Wings Collection, part of The Regency Collection due for exhibition May 2020.
Martinet, François Nicolas, 1731-1800 from 'Histoire des oiseaux peints dans tous leurs aspects apparents et sensibles'
Making the shoe:
I started drawing doves...
...I then shaped the paper of the shoe itself over a shoe I own (and wear!)...
I tend to start this way, by searching through my own collection of shoes for one that's close to the shape of the shoe I'm looking to make.
I then tweak the shape of the paper further later on, when the base I've made using papier mache/paper tape has dried.
Having a sole that's cut to the correct shape is important, as I then shape the paper skeleton I've created, in order to make the toe more pointed etc...
Keeping on looking at the sketch of the planned piece is vital as indeed is looking regularly back at the image(s) of original shoes that served as inspiration (in this case see: shoe from the 1890's on: http://stephaniesmart.wixsite.com/stephaniesmart/single-post/2018/10/25/Shoes-across-300-years)
however...every piece changes in the making and flexibility is equally vital.
For example, I began imagining the background would be apricot and then gold.
But in the end the impact of a dark background (as is the case of the Victorian shoe I was inspired by) contrasted against and behind the white birds proved much more effective.
The end result is something other but, I believe better, than my plan. It's also closer and yet further away from that original Victorian shoe.
Following the exhibition at The Regency Town House in May 2020 more images (with titles dimensions etc) of all the pieces in The Regency Collection will be visible on stephaniesmart.net
This project is being supported by:
Arts Council England, The Textile Society and Great Art