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latterink
Registered User
(2/12/07 2:55 pm)


Shoes in fairytales
I'm currently looking at the 'use' of shoes in fairytales for my final illustration degree project, and so far my list consists of: Cinderella, The Red Shoes, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Puss in Boots and The Elves and the Shoemaker (the last two are pretty much last resorts unless I can find any others)
Does anyone have any other suggestions for fairytales that feature shoes in a major way, as a plot point or as a large symbolic element? I've just been told by my tutor that I should make a whole range of shoes based on fairytales, and am running short of ideas for stories that inspire me.

Random
Registered User
(2/12/07 3:26 pm)


Shoes
You may find this link helpful: www.surlalunefairytales.c...erefs.html .

Otherwise, would Hermes' winged sandals work? I think the iron shoes that need to be worn out are fairly common, but the only story that a quick google throws up is Finist / Fenist the falcon, just in case you needed a title.

minervasrazor
Registered User
(2/12/07 8:32 pm)


Re: Shoes
A number of fairy tales feature boots or shoes capable of crossing a hundred leagues with each step. In "The King of the Golden Mountain" the hero comes across three giants who have inherited three treasures from their father, one of which is a pair of boots that will instantly transport you anywhere you want to go. They ask him to decide who gets what, so he "examines" each of the treasures and the boots last, and takes off with all three. This motif comes into a lot of stories.

In an earlier post I mentioned a sentry who tricks the devil by having him fill up his boot with gold, but he has cut a hole in the bottom so the gold runs out and the boot is never full (I believe this story is called "The Grave-Mound" in Grimm.)

J

katherine
Registered User
(2/13/07 11:14 am)


Re: Shoes
Hi there! I did my final art degree show on the story of the red shoes! I liked the idea of the shoe being a vessel for transition - and the story of the red shoes is very much about the transition from girl to woman. The shoes and their colour being significant as a object for desire/awakening/sexual maturity, which becomes uncontrolable, taking her on a literal and symbolic journey, ultimatlety to her death (depending on which version you read). For my end exhibition piece, I made four pairs of handmade red felt shoes which i arranged in footsteps as if they were 'walking'. I had them 'walking' up to dolls house and each of the rooms in the dolls house contained motives relating to other different fairytales that shared the theme of female transition.
I would be interested in knowing what you do for your final piece and what slant you take on the shoe theme. Good luck!

Katherine

England

latterink
Registered User
(2/14/07 4:35 am)


Shoes
Thank you very much for all the help- I really want to make a pair of winged sandals now!
Katherine- great to hear about your degree project-it sounds excellent (and a lot more interesting than the odd phallic shape hanging in the fine art section of our studio!). I'm currently doing Cinderella shoes with one 'poor' shoe and one 'princess' shoe with half the story embroidered on on each shoe in pictoral/symbolic form-hopefully it'll be something interesting to look at in the final show, although I've no clue how it'll shape up. Ah well only 10 weeks to go!

agathajun
Registered User
(2/25/07 7:47 am)


a bit late but...
Hi all,
I've been away from the forum board for a while and now I remember why it's worth coming to regularly.
What a wonderful and rich topic to be doing your work on. I was an apprentice shoemaker in a very traditional workshop and I'm sure the germ of the desire to do it grew from reading fairytales, specifically a border in Errol Le Cain's illustrations for the Twelve Dancing Princesses. After moving into academia, I wrote an MA thesis on red shoes, and then published about them in a recent book Shoes: A History from Sneakers to Sandals. Katherine, I'd really love to hear about your degree work sometime, as red shoes are an ongoing research interest, especially the way modern women have reappropriated their diverse symbolisms. I'm managing to sneak in sessions teaching about red shoes to my degree students.
All of which is a very longwinded way of saying, latterink, perhaps my article may be another source for you, and I'd love to talk with anyone else whose work is also in these areas.

latterink
Registered User
(3/1/07 1:49 pm)


Re: a bit late but...
Oddly enough 'Shoes: A History from Sneakers to Sandals' was the first book I took out of my university library when I started this project and now I keep having to renew it as it's so useful. The symbolism connected with red shoes is something I've only really just started investigating, having just finished my first pair of fairytale shoes connected with Cinderella (I've posted a picture here: www.deviantart.com/deviation/49905582/ having never made shoes before they're pretty simple, but they do their job and fit the brief). Already I'm having to par back my use of symbolism within imgaes to do with the red shoes so as not to over-clutter them- some subjects are just too rich.

brittansc
Registered User
(3/23/07 10:29 am)


Re: Shoes in fairytales
There's an English nursery rhyme that begins:
'There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
Who had so many children, she didn't know what to do'

There's always a sexual relatoin in shoe myths/stories/rhymes. Hope this helps a little.

amberdini
Registered User
(4/13/07 10:41 pm)


You've probably finished your project by now...
I know it's late, but maybe someone else will be doing shoe things in the future. In the Grimm version of Snow White the queen is forced to dance in hot iron shoes until she dropped down dead. I think that detail ought to be added to a collection of fairytale shoes.

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