It’s easy to figure out the function of a mug or bowl. Put food or drink in it, consume, wash, repeat. It’s even fairly simple to sort out the possibilities for a wall-hanging made from clay, such as one of my fish or suitcase fronts. You just treat it like a painting or plaque — find a wall that fits the proportions and the statement, and hammer in a hook. But 3D sculptural works are often challenging to incorporate into your home décor. And if the piece in question is a boot or shoe, it can be downright mind-boggling.
So here are some options if you are thinking about what you could do with a shoe:
The possibilities go way beyond pencils: pens, crayons, cotton swabs, toothbrushes, chop sticks, cooking utensils… When I presented my sister with a clay work boot, she made it earn its keep by standing her art paintbrushes in it.
Most of my shoes and boots are completely sealed with glaze and therefore waterproof. The glazed boots are beautiful for displaying long-stemmed flowers. Small closed shoes, such as baby boots, make nice vases for short flowers, even dandelions picked by a young admirer.
Boots and shoes make good planters, even outdoors, as long as they are protected from frost. My work boots are unglazed, so the clay remains porous, making them a good choice for filling with soil and planting up. A small pot of ivy or succulent may fit into one of the glazed shoes. I have used my clay high heels, Birkenstocks, and baby moccasins for air plants, just hot gluing the base of the tillandsia into the shoe and dressing it up with a bit of dry moss.
You don’t normally keep your shoes on your desk, but in this case an interesting piece of clay art can hold your paperwork in place even when the window is open.
My personal favourite—I have a ducky and a work boot to hold my bedroom doors open when I’m airing the room out.
These are a few ideas if you are considering purchasing one of my boots or shoes. Maybe you’ve thought of something completely different — let me know in the comments. Or maybe you’d like to treat your shoe as art and give it a place of honour on a shelf or table. That would make this clay artist very happy indeed!