This was my afternoon in the studio - I left it a mess of shoes, glazes, brushes and other tools on my table. I should really have cleared up before departing but sometimes I just need to LEAVE. I'm in the process of doing the very tedious, meticulous painting of glazes around highly patterned parts of my shoes - using no less than a size 0 paintbrush - aaaaagh
So here I've taken some sections from the photo above to show how each of these shoes has impressed patterns over the toes (and other areas, but it's the toes I'm working on at the moment) and these patterns have already been coloured, glazed and fired. Now I'm painting the glaze around these fiddly flowers, leaves and fleurs de lis. Some of these glazes need 6 coats to give a good finish - that's 6 coats with a size 0 brush. It's mindnumbingly boring so to relieve the pain I listen to the Sh**ged Married Annoyed podcast with Chris and Rosie Ramsey which is brilliant and makes me laugh - though I have to be careful not to make a mistake and jog myself when I do so. (Once upon a time I used to listen to Radio 4 in the studio but some of the programmes, particularly the political ones, would annoy me and it's all so 'worthy'.) I downloaded all the podcasts when it first came out but am only now getting round to listening to them. Two episodes gets me through a couple of hours of fiddly painting and then it's time to unwind myself from my cramped painting position and 'go home'. I think it's because these Marie Antoinette shoes are the most complex that I've ever made; they are so smothered in detail which is why they are, at this stage, such a pain to work on...but it's what she would have wanted; she'd have loved to spend the money on shoes that were so time consuming that inevitably it made them horrendously expensive and therefore utterly exclusive...and that's what I must deliver.