Original source behind Lotus shoes
In response to my first post regarding these lotus shoes, there were some who questioned the authenticity of my shoe design on the grounds that the top part of the shoe is Han while the sole is Manchu-two different traditions and cultures. Although I have absolutely no problem with taking liberties with historical accuracy for the sake of achieving the highest expression of creativity possible, this particular project was actually entirely based on a real, authentic lotus shoe. And now I give you the source for my inspiration. Behold this antique beauty!
This picture is from a book written by one of my favorite authors, Beverly Jackson. It’s called “Splendid Slippers: A thousand years of an erotic tradition”, and this photograph is from page 106. Here is an excerpt from the text:
“Exceptionally rare silver couched, pink slipper, length 4 inches. Although made for a bound foot, the shoe sits on a Manchu-style mid-sole wooden pedestal painted white, height 1 1/2 inches. It probably belonged to the Han Chinese concubine of a Manchu gentleman, thus explaining the unusual fusion of styles.” -Beverly Jackson
It’s a wonderful book which is one of my prized possessions. I bought it a couple of years ago and as soon as I saw the picture of this little shoe, I knew I was going to make it. It’s just so exquisite. I’ve actually recently had the honor of becoming personally acquainted with the author, which is an interesting story for another time.
And here is more silver shoes. I had them gold plated and painted with synthetic-based enamel. I really enjoyed playing with colors, but it’s actually really difficult to lay the paint on evenly on such a small surface and then get the shades of color to come out right after thermal stabilizing aka, baking. You may think that your blue is the blue you want, but the temperature changes and distorts the tones, which makes it difficult to guess what it’s going to end up looking like in the end. Also, they are really tiny shoes and, well, let’s just say I cursed a lot while painting them.
But I’m more than pleased with the results. Which one is your favorite?
This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 at 8:13 pm
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