The Beaded Shoe

Before I start my November BJP page, I wanted to finish this beaded shoe. I studied dance for many years as a young girl, but unfortunately due to orthopaedic problems I was not able to continue. A shattered right metatarsal requiring surgery was the first of a long string of orthopaedic procedures that has left me with feet that look quite a bit like those of mummies dug up in ancient Egypt. When I learned of an art call for an altered shoe, a little light went off in my head about the beauty and pain of ballet and I began work on this shoe. Well, first I had to find a shoe. Pointe shoes are not inexpensive but I found a source for used ones (for decorative purposes) on eBay. The shoes I am using were practice shoes from a ballerina in the Phoenix ballet. It amazed me how different shoes are now. When I was dancing, the toe box was a chunk of wood - we danced with our toes directly onto the chunk of wood - with a bit of lambs wool for cushion - the new shoes seem not so torturous, though the shoe was still a trick to bead with its' leather supports and solid wood (?) toebox. I broke many a needle pushing and pulling it through the leather with pliers - not quite the image one thinks of when imagining someone sitting and beading a lovely satin slipper and my fingertips are like pin cushions as I have yet, after 53 years on this round earth, learned how to use a thimble. The shoes are almost done. I have to let them sit on the work table for a bit before I'm ready to finish them - but since the deadline for submission is looming, I can't let them sit too long.

But here is the almost finished shoe - I tried to portray the rigidity and formality of ballet juxtaposed with the randomness of injury - I don't know if I 'got it', but I certainly enjoyed trying. The completed shoe will be up in a day or so but for now here is the work in progress.

1 comment:

KV said...

Oh, Diane -- this is a gorgeously done project!

Don't feel bad about not learning how to use a thimble. Never could stand using one myself . . .

Kathy V in NM