After spending so much time on the 'front' of the piece, which is the bottom of the shoe, I flip it over to look into the boot. I find a choko nut case that nestles perfectly into the oval presented by the heel. Note the black velvet in place below it for the glass image on the opposite side.
16th-century paper to line the nutshell.
My girl is found, in the form of this lovely little 'gem' tintype.
Shaped and tension-fit - I'm about to do a resin-pour to trap her in the shell with a few other things. I'll also sign and date the piece now by scratching the emulsion above her head.
A fountain-pen nib in the bottom, resin is poured over it all and the bubbles encouraged to remain.
Now the split in the leather toe is to be sewn up. Holes are punched...
...and sewing commences.
Tacked into place with glue. When the glue is dry, I will connect it mechanically.
Antique copper tacks are pushed into creases and crevices.
The choko is riddled with tacks for a final securing.
Now a shoelace is about to be woven to anchor the brass name plate, and, at the other end, the hanging element.
Gauging the length as I go.
This is the same old rayon thread used for the neck strap. I love the bright ivory color in contrast to the rich blacks and browns of the boot.
The hanging elements - old spiral-shank nails.
Bent, polished and ready to go.
Finaly, they are sewn into place at the top of the boot.
Resting for a minute on the second side...
My beloved waxed linen tying it all off.
As a link to ascend from the spiral nail, I fabricate spiral links out of 8 gauge square brass stock.
Patinated and ready for use.
The brass ring makes a good visual lead from nail to Celtic money-ring.
Now to the last step: the clasp.
Removing the outer tines.
And cutting it down.
Annealing this heavy nickel silver fork is necessary to get it to bend the way I'll need it to.
The initial form.
Creating a waxed-linen ball to adorn the hook's end.
The attaching end is twisted to the side to allow the hook to lay flat against the body. A final polish and the piece is there...
To see finished images of To the Invisible Girl:
Or, for those with more possessive tendencies:
It's been a real journey - hope you've had some fun.