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  • Writer's pictureKate Hopkins-Searle

Lasts for George Barbier shoes

I should really be starting to make some mock-up Marie Antoinette shoes to test out the last and make sure that the heel fits, however, since I've been making lots of Plaster of Paris sprig moulds I have plenty of plaster that needs using up before it goes past it's use by date, so I'm modelling some new lasts which will be for a series of shoes based on George Barbier fashion plates. The photo on the left shows the start of the modelling and carving of a last that I feel will give the right shape for the shoes in the plates. Naturally, the models are all very thin and elongated (for elegance) and the shoes are (or would be in real life) extremely high, much higher than many actual shoes from the Art Deco era, and this is all part of the joy of making ceramic shoes rather than real ones, for the fantasy of fashionable form over function. Anyway, the cool, wet weather is perfect so that the clay doesn't dry out too quickly. Once the clay forms are firm I need to keep them at the same level of dampness so that they don't shrink too much more before I can make moulds from them.

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