Coming soon... Shasta Daisies (above), Echinacea, garlic scapes, raspberries and tomatoes!
In the mean time - more busy bees
Not the basil, no no, the thyme - that is the good stuff. He seems to be satisfied with his little garden.
Now! - on the the new obsession -
To sum up:
1. I want to make my own shoes.
2. I don't want to ruin any I currently have.
3. I think this will be very involved.
4. I made molds, lots of them, of my feet.
5. I'm working on making usable lasts.
6. Plaster is fragile, but whaddayagonnado?
I made a lot of casts of my feet:
Plaster casts from the Alginate mold (the one where I could stick my whole foot in and still get it out!) But I also decided plaster is too fragile to try to use a hammer on it.
Next I cast these with some other miracle material that is a combination of paper pulp and plaster. These were made from the plaster wrap-molds I made of my feet (where I had to add the heals). Sounds good right? No. The stuff never dried even after a full day of letting them sit in a 200F° oven. They are finally starting to harden a week later. hmf. While not fragile, it is not going to stand up to any kind of beating.
Also! The thought has occurred - making a pair of shoes from feet-shaped lasts doesn't seem right. I don't want my shoes being the shape of my boney feet - I want them to be nice and smooth.
On to the next bright idea!
Find a pair of shoes I didn't mind sacrificing to the last-god. I wish I hadn't taken apart the clogs with the torn toe from the previous post. But as I am now obsessed with this project, what about casting in a protective way from shoes that I really like?
The lovely red clogs would be perfect. They fit - I like the shape they are comfortable - problem solved, except for how to keep them from getting ruined by plaster.
Makes perfect sense, right? Fill a balloon with plaster, like a water balloon, it will expand and as you fill it up you can just put it into the shoe and it will take the shape!
I still didn't want to ruin the red ones - or the pink ones - on the off chance my balloon theory was a bust. Rummaging in my closet and vast shoe collection I stumbled on a pair of my favorites - the brown ones in the middle. I bought these - goodness knows how many years ago - in Seattle - 15 at least. But they have seen better days. The leather is cracked and flaking and they just look generally shabby. I don't wear them anymore because of how shabby they look.
Ergo - they are perfect for this project.
It actually takes quite a bit of pressure to fill a balloon. Just pouring plaster into it isn't going to do it. I experimented with pouring water into the balloon and had to pull on the balloon to "inflate" it with the water. Conclusion #1 - this is either impossible or at the very least, a 2-person job. Conclusion #2 - inflated balloons that are let go are fantastic cat toys!
And you can forget the cling wrap altogether. It doesn't cling to shoes.
Final Conclusion: I must sacrifice the shoes entirely, in the name of my art.
First I coated the inside of the shoe with a mold release agent. (I suspect it's just a glycerine dish soap. Sure smells like one.)
Then I lined the inside of the shoe with plaster strips I could press in place. This is much more difficult that you'd think. It takes a lot of patience and a rubber spatula.
But as always there is a learning curve and the first one I made just wasn't quite right. The second one (the left one) was much better. I had no choice but to cast that right shoe one more time. Thank goodness I hadn't already demolished it to get at the wooden base.
Here they are! All three.
And here are all the other trials - all six (seven).
I have salvaged the bases of the clogs for future use. They need a lot of sanding.
But I think, it can be done.