Description of The Boot Maker
My grandfather was a Boot Maker in Sweden. He travelled to various farms and outlying villages once a week to take measurements and orders for boots and shoes, and to bring back any boots that needed repairing. The boots and shoes were made in his verkstad (workshop), where he employed seven shoe makers. I never met him – he died before I was born. But I have always loved shoes and appreciate the exquisite workmanship in a beautifully crafted hand made boot.
The boot I chose as my inspiration has the imprint of the wearer, the gentle curve of the heel, the scuff on the leather, the way it has been lovingly cared for. The buttons are like old wise all-seeing eyes looking out from the wrinkled leather by the carefully stitched, worn and mended button holes.
I decided to use portions of the boot to make a print on cotton and use it as a frame around the old photo of my grandfather with my mother and two uncles at their home (VanDyke printed on cotton). The “background wallpaper” is printed with a wood block, which was made on a laser printer from my drawing of the original boot.
Exhibited with Connections Fibre Artists at the Wellington County Museum, Elora, Ontario, Canada., and in Southampton, Ontario.