30 April 2008

My Venetian shooze

I’m quite fond of using the scraps on my worktable to make paper shooze (as opposed to “shoes,” which are functional), usually in my own size, although sometimes I make them as gifts for others. I have produced caffe latte-inspired espadrilles and Carmen Miranda wedgies with 50s-style cocktail pick fruit adornments, even pink floral baby-girl Mary Janes for my mother. It’s an exercise in structure and problem-solving as well as an opportunity to daydream and decorate, just a pure, mindless craft with a pretty pay-off. Often I get bored with them before they are finished, and I discard them. I hadn’t made a pair for a long time. Until this week…

Here’s a pair of shooze I’ve just completed. Distinctly Venetian in spirit and with more than a nod to the paper footwear of Isabelle de Borchgrave (see an earlier post entitled Un Mondo di Carta). Yes, I confess hers were in the back of my mind. In fact, these were made with de Borchgrave cocktail napkins. But I honestly think mine are just as beautiful, and perhaps even more carefully finished, and anyway I was making paper shooze years before she was!

Clearly these shooze weren’t “made for walkin’.” I think that’s why they materialized here… to remind me that I’m not walking. I’m stuck. And more than a little lost.

I don’t know where I live anymore. I don’t know where I belong now. I don’t know where I will be after September. My time in Venice is speeding by; my money (thanks to the brutal exchange rate) is disappearing faster than I ever dreamed possible, despite my thrifty efforts to conserve.

To make matters worse, I believe I am on the right track but very far behind where I would like to be by now. There are so many things I feel absolutely driven to do – in Venice, in the studio, in my personal transformation. I know I need to make some decisions and take action. I know I need to figure out what’s next for me, and how I will pay for it.

But I’m stuck.

So these shooze will do just fine for now. I won’t even scuff their gilded serpentine toes…