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Artful Shoes. AP Studio Art 3D Teacher – Jeannette Clawson. What’s the Idea?. Use the shoe form as a structure to convey an idea. Cut away, add-on, manipulate the original shoe. Stay with a main idea, theme, or concept. The goal is to transform the shoe in three-dimensional space.

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artful shoes

Artful Shoes

AP Studio Art 3D

Teacher – Jeannette Clawson

what s the idea
What’s the Idea?
  • Use the shoe form as a structure to convey an idea.
  • Cut away, add-on, manipulate the original shoe.
  • Stay with a main idea, theme, or concept.
  • The goal is to transform the shoe in three-dimensional space.
  • Consider painting the shoe. Acrylics would work great. You might need a primer coat of acrylic or Gesso first.
  • Remember that just changing the surface design is considered work in 2D – like you’re wrapping a flat design around the shoe. That’s not enough. You must change the overall form.
  • Create at least 5 sketches before beginning the project. Push yourself. Take chances.
  • Craftsmanship will be very important to a successful design. We should not see glue or tape.
  • Give yourself enough time to play around with your selected materials so that your concept can evolve.
  • You will probably need to work in stages to allow dry time for paint and glue.
Lady’s Shoe Car

Perhaps a bit smaller,


Penny Woofer

Jesse Draper

Watercolor on Arches Paper


What a great idea.

What materials could you combine or repurpose to create a similar idea in sculpture?

  • Jesse Draper
  • Watercolor on Arches
  • 2004
Flower Shoe

Michel Tcherevkoff

What principles of

design do you see?

Look at how the parts

are fully integrated with

the shoe form?

Silk flowers, a stripped

down pump, a great

eye for detail and…


Okay. The idea of

wearing an actual fish on

my foot gives me a

scaly tingle.

However, what a brilliant

idea in terms of merging

two unlikely forms

together in a way that

looks so unified.

House Boot

by the Pendragon Boot


This screams of the Old

Lady Who Lived in a


Could you turn a boot

into a building?

Could you select a fairy

tale or other literary work as

a source inspiration?

Of course, you couldn’t sew

leather together as seen

here. However, you could

achieve great craftsmanship

with planning and an eye for


High Tide Heels

Paul Schietekat

Consider merging the unusual, creating hidden seems with paper mache or Crayola air dry modeling clay. Sand, prime, then spray paint to unify.

Art Shoe

Cheryl Riello

Consider repurposing an

existing textile. This reminds

me of a little cradle.

Make a paper pattern first to ensure

the overall design works.

Michel Tcherevkoff

Joann’s Fabrics has an excellent

selection of fat quarter quilting

squares. A stroll passed the

display wall would yield endless


The trick here is to wrap the cloth

around thin cardboard. The raw

edges can be glued down and

hidden from the viewer.

Pendragon Boot Company

Notice how a traditional boot form is

altered sculpturally.

Kathryn Meyers GilbertWhat could you do with a limited color choice, some tissue paper, and a little glue?
A great example of what I am NOT looking for.

Please completely avoid the supreme tacky quality resulting from gluing on a bunch of glittery junk.

Yes, this piece screams of childhood dress-up days when everyone could be of royal stature.

There’s definitely a place out in the creative world for this shoe, but steer away from this look for your portfolio.

Just for fun…

Here are a few other

shoe related images.

Shoe Dog

Vinti Andrews


Alexander McQueenHigh style design. There’s a waiting list for some of these shoe designs. His designs sell for hundreds of dollars; some even over $1500.00.

“Pinch yourself as this is possible. The pricey artistic cutting-edge street wear demands a whooping sum of $27,945.”
  • “Crafted by Mai Lamore, don’t degrade them by tagging them as mere shoes as they are no less than a work of art.”
  • “The 18 karat gold heels are quite sensuous when complemented with the hand dyed silk petals. Well, considering the price tag and beauty attached to it, I would love to buy this pair and won’t dare to carry it. It would be my luxurious installed masterpiece. If this precious gold heel gets success in winning your heart then try saving some bucks right away. Of course, it is far cheaper than the world’s most expensive sandals.”
  • Via Luxury Portfolio
I had to include this image for the pure “cringe” effect. Someone got a little carried away in Photoshop.
altered shoe sculpture
Altered Shoe Sculpture

Cut shoe

Plaster wrap around wooden figure


Altered Shoe Sculpture

Materials: boot, acrylic paint, cellophane, chain, wire, felt, nails, and round cardboard base

You can use your own old shoes or visit a thrift store. I am not asking you to destroy a good pair of your own shoes. I know it could be a bit unsettling to work with someone else’s shoes, but you’d be surprised how many thrift store shoes are almost brand new. I’m not asking you to wear them, just sculpt with them. -- So don’t go for the yucky ones or wear gloves when designing. Really.
  • Strongly consider removing the heel and replacing it with one that you make. Study the design and make a plan to separate it from the shoe so that you won’t pull apart the entire shoe.
  • If something doesn’t work out the first time, get out your sketchbook and try again.
  • You will present one shoe, so you have a back up if you need it.
  • Most of all, have fun with it. Think conceptually. Take a risk.