Did you know that miniature shoes are BIG?
I learned that tiny little shoes are quite popular when I began to research ideas for the challenge proposed by CréationFimo's Tewee. Today, on the francophone blog, Parole de pâte , you can see the many creations of those artists who participated in Tewee's miniature footwear challenge.
I am not a miniaturist in any sense. Usually I work big, think big and create BIG. This challenge was totally not in my comfort zone, but what better way to learn than jump right in with both feet?
First, I looked for examples of tiny shoes. I learned that some artists do nothing but make miniature shoes. After this I looked for regular sized shoes that would inspire me. I found some delightful sites: If you like shoes made of flowers and veggies this is the site for you! How about fairy shoes? I watched a helpful video about how to make shoes with fondant cake icing. Someday I would love to make a necklace like this one.
Next I set about making little feet for my shoes to use as a support during curing. I sculpted these little feet with Apoxie Sclupt epoxy clay.
I made these little shoes on the black epoxy clay feet, but they were not easy to remove after curing. I did cover them with corn starch, but that wasn't quite good enough. They stuck and I had to carve away the back portion of the shoes.
I decided that making a Barbie foot would work best since they are made the right shape to play dress up - easy to put plastic shoes on and off Barbie's feet.
I messaged my friend, our next-door neighbor, asking to borrow one of her daughter's Barbie dolls, but she wasn't at home. She is so kind; she promptly called her husband with my request. Within minutes her hubby came to our house carrying a Barbie doll for me. My 21-year-old son answered the door, and I have to smile thinking of how two men must have looked passing off this beautiful blond Barbie.
I continued to think that I needed to cure the shoes on a "foot" and I knew better than trying to bake a Barbie, so I made a mold and polymer leg cast for both feet and legs.
As you can see, the left foot stuck in the tiny boot I made and had to be extracted in pieces. Since my idea of having little feet to cure the mini shoes on was working so poorly, I decided to try again using no feet at all.
I decided I needed a metal surface to use as a support during curing. I have oodles of little cookie cutters, so I came up with a combination of shapes wired together that would support an arched, high-heeled shoe.
The cutter above on the left used to be a half circle, but I bent it to accommodate high heels. The smaller cutter is a tulip shape. I could have made my own form from scratch, but this was a quick and easy fix for me. Here is how it works:
|I drew the imaginary shoe on the photo above and right.|
The first shoes I made on these cookie cutters were simple slides.
I also wanted to make some butterfly sandals. So I began with the sandals here:
I used small round glass beads to hold up the ankle straps while curing. You can see the small indentations left by these beads where the heal of a Barbie foot could be placed. To these sandals I added butterflies from a cane I made a year ago.
And, then I wondered what to do with these little shoes. I embedded metal figure-8 wires, that I could use to attach these butterfly sandals to some sort of jewelry. Here are the earrings I put together with each of my tiny shoes collection: