Tuesday, June 14, 2011

To the Invisible Girl, in-progress - Part One.

Welcome back. I've been working on a neckpiece, still unfinished at this moment... But by the time we get to part two I should be done. 

Let's take it from the top.

The launch-point:
A tiny Victorian leather boot.

 I make the decision early on to view it from the sole (soul?). A lens is found that will be inserted into the heel.

 Ripping the seams a bit gives me a set of wing-like leather flaps to vignette the sole.

Now the toe will house a fused-glass image I did previously in the kiln. This is a daguerreotype image of a girl from 1840.

 Tacked into place. I will drill the glass out later and tie it in.

 Now I'm adding eyelets to secure the leather sides in a splayed position.

 So as not to put too much stress on the old and brittle leather, I create a frame out of 8-gauge steel to line inside the shoe.

With a curved upholstery needle, I sew it into place with heavy waxed linen thread.

 On now to work on a way to protect the heel-mounted lens. This very old drawer-pull has the perfect circumference to frame the lens while offering protection.

 But first I'll need to grind off the riveted base.


 Since the swivel would place the handle too far out from the shoe, I decide to cut it down lower. But first, this rusty steel pin must get ground and punched out to release the handle.

 Tapping the pin out...

 Slow work, but it's coming out.

 Ready to cut down to a thinner profile.

 Holding it up to see the fit.

The hole is drilled out, the pivot-point pushed through - and a nasty surprise reveals itself - because the heel rounds off in back, it throws the drawer handle out at an angle - no way to sit it flat against the shoe.

Stay tuned next time for the workaround...



  1. I cant wait to see what you do with this project It gives me goose bumps cant wait to see the finished art work

  2. wow ... sir!! you are truly a master in found-objects-smithing! the fact that you even thought of using the sole of a shoe this way totally floored me ... *someone please peel me off the floor!!* ... like Jen, i cannot wait to see what masterpiece comes out of this!! thank you for sharing ... even your techniques :)
    Luthien :)

  3. And I thought Ferris Bueller was a righteous dude!

  4. I can't wait to see what you do. It's very interesting to see the step by step like this.

  5. I got goose-bumps about the thought of the little girl wearing those shoes... love it! Can't wait to see how you resolve the issues left.

  6. Love the concept of a child's shoe. And the play on the "sole" and seeing inside the "sole"...how extraordinary! I can hear your creativity guiding you, and your mastery and patience is awesome! Can't wait to see where it goes. It is a thrill to watch it unfold and to know your thoughts and intentions as you go along!

  7. you ARE the man!!!

  8. Incredibly, masterfully creative!

  9. Fab work, KLB. No one else could take a shoe as a starting point for jewelry! You continue to inspire and amaze.
    Glad to see you ran into a little unexpected problem. it will be interesting to see how you go about solving it.

  10. This is going to be a superb piece, as all you do Keith.
    Really enjoy watching you process, you are for sure a great inspiration.

  11. You sly dog, you...you knew just exactly where to leave us hanging in order to set the stage for your next "ta daaaaa!!!" Not only are you a master at stuffsmithing...you are darn good at keeping us on the edge of our seats! Job well done Keith...can't wait to see the grand finale!

  12. Excellent! Can't wait to see how you problem solve the rest! You talented thing you.

  13. Fascinating! When I first started reading...i was totally confused. Now I am just partially confused. Definately staying tuned!