Walking in Beauty

hand stitched,embellished,felt shoe covers,depicting night and day and the theme of walking in beauty
Dream Shoes

Last year I was commissioned to transform a pair of orthopaedic shoes;  to create something that would enhance not only the shoes but the feelings of limitation and lack of style in having to wear them.

The concept that came to mind instantly was that dreams and imagination free us allowing us to travel limitlessly to realms and wonders, to adventures and mysteries, that are totally unencumbered. Dreams also give us powers and the power to take that dream and act upon it, to follow our dreams and colour our lives.

At first I considered creating covers that dabbled into fantasy creating perhaps an underwater realm or mythical character till I laid out the felt. A delve into the box of delights revealed a piece of handmade felt, (my first). It whispered  “Starry, Starry Night”. Oh my! that song popped up and played and replayed as well as bringing up memories of my grandmother who so loved Vincent .

Starry night shoe made from handmade ,"wet", felt,embellished with glass beads,an owl button,metallic threads,sequins
Starry Night Shoe Cover

At first tried to work from sketches, and in the end just let it all go and allowed the materials on hand to lead, to be the concept and  followed free exploration and expression.

side view showing sequins and bead stars embellishing handmade felt shoe cover
Stars in the night sky

The next “shoe” was still a total enigma. Then another dip into the felt stash turned up a piece of hand painted felt found. It spoke of  day,  ” A Bright, Sunshiney Day”.  Sunshine and Sunflowers.  That strong connection to Vincent eluded at this time and it was only  well into the project that did that awareness come to attention.

Sunshine Shoe made form hand painted felt, showing theappliqued sunflowers on the toe and "grass" border
Sunshine Shoe

In my imagination I was creating a perfect balance of night and day, of lunar and solar, of emotion and action, of feminine and masculine, of yin and yang, of heaven and earth, as well as  alluding to “as above so below, as within so without”. But I now most excitedly and wondrously am aware that a dominant influence would have to be Vincent, peering over my shoulder whispering love for Nature and Her astounding palette and infinite source of inspiration and beauty.

one side of sunflower shoe showing detatil of vine with flowers,butterfly and snail, the other side has the vine and a spider web
Nature revealed

When the shoe covers were finished the impact of what had transpired, dawned. In creating them the message of walking joyfully in balance and harmony with nature, with all that is, had become a visual interpretation of a walk in beauty.

Walking in Beauty is the beautiful, Dine (Navaho ) Blessingway Prayer. When I first read it many years ago it impacted deeply, so deeply it inspires and motivates me daily. The original link I do not know, but this version is similar http://silveropossum.homestead.com/Prayers/index25.html

In Beauty may you walk, with Beauty before, behind, above and below you, and as you walk may birds sing beautifully and may your steps grow lighter and stronger .

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5 thoughts on “Walking in Beauty

  1. Oh, there they are. Amazing! I so want to rub them and turn them over and over in my hands. Interesting. About this time we always have to come with a theme for the next year. My idea was DREAM. Dream Rejoice Excel Achieve Marvel What can you dream in 2013? So glad to see such outstanding crafting and expression.

  2. You are a fabulous fibre artist. I particularly admired the homemade felt. I make mine by knitting or crocheting, then felting. Yours looked different…like you used another technigue. I have tried manipulating roving to felt it, but wasn’t happy with my finished product.I loved the color shading in the felt…is that the felt itself, or did you paint it?
    I love shoes, but after a lifetime of standing in my line of work, my feet cannot tolerate the lovely creations I still want to wear. Your transformation of those sensible shoes to art just makes me happy….although I would be more likely to sit them on a display table than ever wear them again! 🙂

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