Duck Shoes

Or, I should say “sandals.”  Having finished her plumage, it’s on to her costume as the Lady of the Lake’s attendant.  Because I would like much of this painting to show she’s most likely to be wearing only a whimple (medieval head scarf).  So she definitely needs some other little touches to keep up the visual interest.

To solve this problem, I came up with the idea of shoes.  I think maybe they would have worn sandals in those days, and I must say it was fun to design a sandal for a duck’s foot!

I used Ultrasuede, the plastic from a Cool Whip lid (such a sacrifice that I had to finish the Cool Whip so I could use the lid!), embroidery thread, and small metal buttons.

My first step was to trace the outline of the feet onto the plastic and cut them out as stiffener for the soles.  I then cut two pieces of Ultrasuede for each shoe, about 1/16″ bigger all around than the plastic.

I made twisted cords from the embroidery thread for the ties.  And I also used thin strips of Ultrasuede to made loops on the soles near the heels to run the cords through.  After gluing the Ultrasuede loops and the two cord ends in place on the plastic – the Ultrasuede loops on either side of the heel and the cord ends between the front toes – I dabbed a bit of glue on either side of the plastic and pressed the Ultrasuede sole pieces in place sandwiching the plastic between them.  To give the sandals a finished look and keep the Ultrasuede/plastic/Ultrasuede sandwich firmly intact I whip-stitched all around the edge with two strands of the same embroidery thread I used for the cords.  That’s what the 1/16″ margin on the Ultrasuede pieces was for.

I threaded the two cord ends through the shank on the button, then ran one through the loop on one side of the heel and the other through the loop on the other side of the heel.  Then I could slip the sandals on her feet, wrap the cord ends around her leg, and tie them in place.

Doesn’t she look stylish?  I think these sandals were quite successful.  The only improvement I can think of is to give the soles a slightly raised heel – perhaps of paper clay or polymer clay.  But her feet would have to be shaped a bit differently for that – not perfectly flat – so I’d have to plan for it from the sculpting stage.  And planning ahead doesn’t seem to be my strong suit…….


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