Monday, February 11, 2008

Make a mosaic shoe (or lots of them) testing process 2008 by Sandy Robertson Mosaic Teacher & Artist

Part 2: Sandy's shoe adventure:

Just finished thinsetting and meshing one shoe (white thinset, but white is not really my thing LOL). Looks great; I will put a very thin layer of smeared thinset over it again later on (perhaps) when it's dry and that's when I can change the colour for the base if I want to.

The most important thing to me was keeping as little as possible in the thinset rendering process on the shoe, so the shoe still looks fairly elegant, althought that won't matter later when all the "stuff" goes on, but would for some ideas.

Weird thing is the pair of shoes I am starting with were given to me by a girlfriend and I can see the shape her foot made in different parts of the shoe and it's weird! I remember Janis wearing these shoes and loving them......I can't wait to give them back to her (maybe LOL) - So the test here is that these shoes were fabric(ky) and flexible and I will report on their state of dryness later tonight.

Now I am going back to work to get my workshop ready for Thursday- I should be in the naughty corner but the break out was worth it.

more later, pics and video snippets coming soon.
Sandy Robertson

Part 1 Shoe beginning

I just had to stop sorting my studio (Himself will be after me!!) and trysomething new re shoe making - and want to share these tips with you:This post is on using thinset (rapid set) (any colour) and mesh for theshoe prep.

I have taken pics will get it all together soon.

tip 1: Stuff the toe if necessary with a grouting sponge or dense sponge!Cut it to fit or stuff it in! Works a dream! Keeps the shoe nice and firmand easy to remove. Wrap it in cling wrap if mess is an issue (not me!).LOL.

tip2: Sift the grout or thinset powder base for your thinset (I used whitetoday, to show results againt rigidwrap but will do lots of other colourbases as I will do lots in black) so that there are no lumps.

Use a sifteror old colander (pics coming of my quick method - Popette videoed it lastweek here but she couldn't get here today).

tip 3: I pre-sealed the first shoe as it's fabric, felty sort of finish - Idid shoe one with diluted Weldbond the other with my pre-sealer fromLaticrete. They are drying at the moment and I will report onsuccess/failture on the fabric/felt shoes - Only do this on shoes thatabsorb water and if you intend to use thinset to make the mesh shoe.

tip 4: I have an incredible fibreglass mesh here that I sell for $3 permetre that is very, very fine fibreglass mesh and it's 10cm wide. It's justperfect. Sits and really behaves. My mesh man and I are having fun.

tip 5: If using the standard fibreglass mesh, I cut it into really ittybitty bits and put on the shoe and smooth over with the thinset...just keepputting it on and smoothing and layering. Nancy, this makes the standardmesh flat and I mix the thinset into a nice mix, not sloppy.

(tip 4 above is better though if you have the fabulous tiny hole mesh (no - its not flyscreen!)).

tip 6: spread the thinset with a tiling sponge (a bit of it) and if you arewearing gloves, of course you have your hand washing system set up, so youdon't waste gloves. Lightly dampen the sponge and continually rinse andwring out the sponge, almost dry, if you need to. I love the way the spongeglides and smooths. You will get the feel of it.

tip 7: I have lovely smooth shoes in the making, strong and waterproof. tip8: If you are going to grout your shoe eg in black, make your thinset might like it non-grouted and the push in method with thinsetcomes in handy! LOL. If it's a decorative shoe and for indoors try drops ofpaint to colour and you can do the glass over coloured thinset base orpaper, strings, sequins etc or use grout colourants or oxides if foroutdoors (to stop fading).

tip 8: the whole process so far took just half hour. I will add bits as Iam preparing my studio....shouldn't be doing it but I am taking photos ofevery step.Best thing so far: spreading the stuff with a bit of sponge for smoothingover and stuffing with sponge. The tiny mesh is just perfect for me.

If anyone wants to buy some, please email me directly - but after I have it all done and a final report on the weight when finished. Remember the shoe getseven stronger if you glue the tesserae on with thinset.

If you have areas that are not sitting flat with your bandage or mesh onthe shoe, try snipping the pieces before putting them on the shoe - snipfrom corners in and it allows the mesh/bandage to move to the shape you wanton the shoe. I don't dip the mesh in the thinset, I put down thinset andthen gently press the mesh into the thinset and keep applying and smoothingwith the sponge/finger etc

.I like the thinset and mesh as I don't need to soak anything, it comes of myhands easily and I can make the thinset very thick or thin if I want to makesome interesting shapes on the shoe as I go, if you get my drift.

The shoes so far aren't very heavy and I will do a weigh in before andafter. Thank Goodness I am not wearing them.

Thought here; if you have amosaic mate you could put the shoe on, then get them give it the treatmentand then it should still fit your foot (ie use your foot as thesponge!).....Polly, Popette, where are you. Sam, Coralee, Jan....anyonewho wants to how about a day of shoe making here......for fun. LOL!

I really should not be doing this till next week but you guys have meall excited too. I will do about 10 shoes and report in all the good and bad with thedifferent methods. I am also going to try the epoxy grout from Laticretewith glow in the dark.

Latest tip: Make the shoe into a vase or candleholder but the shoebag isstill my favourite - mirror, containers, phone area, etc etc. LOL! If usingshoe for a candleholder note - you must prep the shoe so it doesn't catchfire - thinset or inset something to contain the water and/or candles.

I want to put floating candles in a few shoes and water for floral work -lovely table settings and I am thinking of making some bridal shoes for acake topping for my niece who married recently - fab anniversary gift. moresoon, phone going, time rushing rest for the addicted.

I will continue this story on my blog so not to take up too muchspace.....and put all the pictures and video clips on my website later on. cheers Sandy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great tips on making a mosaic shoe! I don't know what date it was written but would love to see how they progressed. May I order the 10 cm mesh from you? I would love to try and make one. Thank you for your time, Grace

mOzaic Bug at Studio OzMosaics

mOzaic Bug at Studio OzMosaics
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