Alice in Wonderland...the shoe!

A few years ago I bought a pair of oddly shaped boots from a clearance rack. I just knew that the shape of the shoe would make a great sculpture someday and I've been saving them for a project ever since.

After covering the shoe with plaster strips I found that I had a little "shelf" built into the top of the shoe. I had originally planned to create a coral reef inside there but inspiration hit me one day when I saw some images from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie.

I've been working on the Alice shoe for a few weeks now. Here's a little bit of the progress...

I started by covering the toe with a black and white diamond pattern to mimic the tile floor seen in some of the Alice in Wonderland shots.

© 2012 Eve Lynch
Keeping the pattern straight along the edges of that toe was tricky. It reminded me why I don't normally work with geometric shapes!

I also sculpted a caterpillar using polymer clay to one side of the shoe. His eyes are small dichroic glass bubbles that I sculpted into his head.

He had several different looks before I settled on this one, including horns and just two eyes instead of the three that are pictured.

I also sculpted a large mushroom on the other side of the shoe. I was inspired by a movie poster that showed Johnny Depp (as the Madhatter) standing underneath a giant mushroom.

© 2012 Eve Lynch
The weird little creature sitting on top of the mushroom will be a caterpillar that has morphed into a butterfly...similar to the one on the other side of the shoe.

I have always been inspired by fantastical worlds where mushrooms and plants were gigantic and people or animals were living among them.

The movies Fern Gully (my favorite!) and Avatar have more than enough inspiration to go around in this department.

I have to admit that I am NOT a big Alice in Wonderland fan. I've never read the books and barely sat through the Tim Burton movie without wanting to run out. The story is incredibly blah to me but the imagery created for Tim's version of the movie inspired me to become interested.

I found myself focusing on the details of the plants and the characters rather than paying attention to the storyline. Besides, the debate over the meaning of the story irks me. LSD trip or fairy tale? I mean, come on, who cares?

Painting the sculptures takes a long time because there are layers (and layers) of paint that have to be applied before I get to the point where the creatures look realistic. This is after a few hours of layering. Still looks pretty flat here.

© 2012 Eve Lynch
I kept working on it until I had much more depth and then I sealed the finished sculptures with floor wax. I have used acrylic paint sealer in the past but it ends up feeling tacky in the end and I had to scrap the practice.

© 2012 Eve Lynch
© 2012 Eve Lynch
© 2012 Eve Lynch
Here's my favorite part of the shoe so far...the caterpillar! He looks like a grumpy old (sweaty) man.

© 2012 Eve Lynch
I wanted to fill the area around the sculptures with millefiori so I bought a bunch of white assortments and mixed them together to get something that looked like it would be found in a garden. I even found the coolest (and tiniest) skull murrini slices on Etsy.

They are pretty hidden amongst the rest of the millefiori but when you look hard enough you'll find them. I kind of like the way that they are "lost" in there.

I surrounded both sculptures with the white millefiori and plan to fill the rest of the space around them with black glass. Here's a close up of the caterpillar body...

I still have to complete the heel - I'll be using black iridized glass for some punch and then I have to fill the rest of the shoe.

I had a whole little vignette sculpted out for the top of the shoe. A mix of hearts and weird plants and things but it was out of proportion with the rest of the shoe so I scrapped it. I sculpted some teetering tea cups that fit the space better. They just need to be painted and affixed to the "shelf".

The caterpillar will have some colorful hairs sprouting out of his back and some green grass will hopefully be appearing here and there if I can find a suitable source for faux fur...or something similar.

The shoe is tentatively sold to a client who is wintering in a colorful locale. Can't wait to finish this baby! It's going to be hard to part with it!

1 comment:

  1. See, this is what I am talking about--you are bent and brilliant! The caterpillar is a cool old soul. You have a rare talent and the world will see someday!


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