This project is an extension of the newspaper shoe that I made for a friend.
A visit to NY inspired me to find the ‘best’ paper suppliers. At Kate’s Paperie I chose Lama Li Handmade Jazz Fabric Paper in Granite. This flexible paper has the appearance of leather on one side, fabric on the reverse and evokes strong animal qualities. Once home it brought to mind a sheet of handmade marbled paper brought in IL Papiro Florence, 1985. The design of this is aptly called Peacock (or Bouquet) Pattern and is the most popular and famous pattern in marbling. It’s colours, browns intermingling with olive greens, brought to mind a peahen. I began to see how both papers could work together and I set out to create a shoe that had the grace and beauty of a peacock.
It is never my intention to create a replica when I begin a new project but rather produce an essence of the original idea through colour, texture, layer and pattern.
The marbled paper is the main focus, it’s pattern suggesting the contour feathers with fine cuts to emphasise the barbs. An under layer, was made from the Jazz Fabric Paper. Layering papers soon became integral to the design, adding textures but also mimicking the layers of feathers, it also creates movement.
The plan was to create a heel with the tail feathers standing proud and upright at the back, but the prototypes were not as I wished and I could not afford to make mistakes. I settled for a flat design with the magnificent peacock tail built up from different papers. I added a velvety vintage crepe paper in turquoise bought from Hopkinson 21, Nottingham, to add vibrancy.