This project is an extension of a newspaper shoe 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, made in Nepal, has the appearance of leather on one side, fabric on the reverse and evokes strong animal qualities. Once home, I rediscovered a sheet of handmade marbled paper brought in IL Papiro Florence, 1985. The design, aptly called Peacock (or Bouquet) Pattern, is the most popular and famous pattern in marbling. The browns intermingled with olive greens, brought to mind a peahen. With these papers I set out to create a shoe using colour, texture, layer and pattern that had the grace and beauty of a peacock.
The main focus is the marbled paper, 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 created movement.
The intention was to create a heel with tail feathers standing proud and upright, but the prototypes were not as I wished and I couldn’t afford mistakes. I settled for a flat design with the magnificent peacock tail built up from different papers including a vintage crepe paper in turquoise bought from Hopkinson 21, Nottingham, to add vibrancy. The result was a tail that was light and flexible. A tail that moved and floated, creating shadows and highlighting colours and textures as it caught in the breeze.