Pleased with my success of the handbag I am now working on what else is important to my mother-in-law. Exercise is important to her and is a daily preoccupation of hers during lockdown. Now that we have moved her down to London, we are able to see more of her, which has its pros and cons. She is very dismissive of anyone who struggles with mobility and feels it’s their own fault they are less mobile. It’s a surprise to her that she can now no longer walk as well as before but being housebound for so long has taken its toll. That and the lack of chiropody appointments. She herself has not noticed that her toe nails are far too long and therefore make her shoes uncomfortable. There is only one pair of shoes that she can wear in comfort.
I am now going to make a pair of shoes that I can also dip in porcelain, modelled on the unworn shoes that she can no longer tolerate.
The first design
I have made a pattern and cut them out. After a few problems with broken needles and clogged feed, I eventually rustle up a shoe. Except it looks nothing like the original. I decide I have to start again and look at how the shoe is put together. Then I draw up another pattern and start again. This takes a lot longer as the padded material is much bulkier when it is heavily sewn into. The seams also become much harder to work with as they get bulkier and overworked so I have to resort to hand sewing some pieces. This becomes very time consuming. I eventually have one shoe finished, and although it doesn’t look too much like the original, there is enough similarity to work with, and the whole point is that it translates when fired in porcelain.
Not that this is going to happen any time soon. I have been looking at kilns for sale and the smaller ones that I can afford and have room for only fire to 1300C. Porcelain needs to fire at between 1200 and 1400C. Although I think that the kiln at university only fired to 1300C, so I could maybe give it a go.
The original shoes and the new pattern
This has been a labour-intensive process and I still need to make another one. I need to look at what else I can do that doesn’t take quite so long.