Saturday 29 March 2014

Workshops - Making Papier-Mâché Shoes

Papier-Mâché Shoes 
workshops this year - details to follow 
I make all sorts of different kinds of things with papier-mâché - I like to experiment and push the boundaries of what might be possible. 
For example - papier-mâché shoes - copies of historic foot ware -
The shoe above is Delftware, made in the 18th century. They were often given as gifts between friends and lovers.
Or the above - a brocade shoe from the 18th century. in point of fact a pair of Marie Antoinette’s shoes - below, in green and pink striped silk sold at auction in 2012 for £39,500!
It would be interesting to make a papier-mâché version and at the same time look into the history, not only of court shoes but also the shoes of the shoes of the revolutionary working women and make a pair of these -
Incidentally, a blog, called Two Nerdy History Girls can be found here
I like to recreate interesting shoes in papier-mâché and shall be running workshops showing how to make them, starting later this year, also I will post some tutorials on My YouTube Channel
My photos to follow. 
But now I shall divert my attention to the extraordinary world of Isabelle de Borchgrave, in this instance making some of her own quite wonderful papier-mâché shoes.

(The above photo is from Isabelle de Borchgrave's studio.) 
I nearly always paint on paper or card and then cut into strips, sometime I then crumple it and smooth it out. This technique is great to use on shoes - just as I do in my jewellery making. This gives lovely details and helps to do the more delicate work needed on shoe making.  I also paint on Japanese rice paper, tracing paper
and blotting paper etc - in fact too many to mention in detail here. I will compile a list sometime - the point being - they all have different qualities to explore and develop.

Inadvertent shot of my apron! I usually begin by gathering together my ideas - colours, textures, moods etc from all my references from when I'm in my favourite places - Venice, Paris, London, Côte d'Azur, Capri, Pompeii,
Cornwall and when mooching around at home in Devon. I have sketchbooks, notes, photographs, videos, samples of papers,
fabrics and endless curious and found objects. They are all to hand in my studio.
I recently saw this sash on a dress by paper artist Isabelle de Borchgrave on YouTube - if, by chance you have never heard of her - click on her link and explore her quite incredible skill. 
This is a section a sash from one of her pieces -
It reminds me so much of a detail from some of the many paintings I've done over the years and also of one I'm working on at the moment. I often start off by painting in acrylic size then adding silver leaf or silver foil first of all - it's painting 'blind' in many ways and brings an added degree of freedom that I like. After gilding, I paint the blues - indigo, cerulean, cobalt and turquoise around them, on top of chalky and titanium tinted whites. I work often with acrylic inks - they over paint nicely on top of foils and resist silver leaf. These remind me of the full moon on the Mediterranean at night. I am in fact working on a collection - The Full Moon in Springtime. There's rather a lot of synchronicity going on in my life at present.

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