Schubert the Shoe Bird

About: Former technics and arts and crafts teacher at a school for mentally disabled young adults.

I know, nothing as tough as old leather boots. But there come a time even the toughest boots are worn to the bone. Mine were. No repair possible. So what to do with them? Here is the story how I "composed" Schubert, the Shoe bird.

Things to use:

  • An old shoe
  • Shoelace
  • Piece of wood ( e.g. 15 cm broomstick)
  • 3 mm wire
  • a bit of acrylic paint in a light color ( toes)
  • Optionally: A base to stand on ( e.g. 6 mm wire and a stone paving tile with 6mm hole)
  • Wood drill
  • Leather hole- punch
  • Contact adhesive

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Step 1: Ouverture: the Deconstruction

Remove the sole with a knife. Turn the shoe inside out and remove the lining. I also removed the toe protector, and realized it would be a great base for the beak. Even the color is perfect

Step 2: Interlude: Hint of What Is to Come

I cut the shoe open in a vertical line along the heel. Without a doubt the bird already shows itself. I removed a little stitching where the sides of the shoe meet the tongue. These areas are marked in the first photo. I rolled up the toe protector and closed the neck with two clasps to get an idea of the result.

Step 3: Libretto: the Beak

To create a beak, I cut the toe protector in half. The two parts are rolled up and glued with contact glue.

Step 4: Character: the Head

To shape the head I punched three holes on either side of the toe, Then I threaded the shoestring trough the holes. Before pulling tight I glued the beak in place.

Step 5: Setting the Stage: Frame

The bird will need some support. I took a piece of branch, you could use a piece of broomstick about 15 cm long.I drilled a hole and pulled a piece of 3mm wire through. The wire is crossed above the wood about 5 cm lower and bend down so it can lay flat on the table. This construction is made so when you support the wood the wire stays in place and does not fall down.

Step 6: Leitmotiv: Insertion of the Frame

Place the front of the branch ( or stick) in the headpart. Arrange the wire along the rim of the wings. When you are satisfied and the wire stays in place without pulling, glue a piece of ribbon over the wire. I rounded the corners of the wings toe make a little more natural shape.

In the last photo you see a metal rod sticking out of the body to support the bird when it is finished. Note that the placing proved wrong. I had to replace the support not in front but at the end of the wings, about 5 cm to the tail.

Step 7: Choreography: the Feet

After knotting the shoelaces at the tail I threaded them back as the third photo shows. I cut them the right lengt and made two pieces of the remaining and. To prevent fraying and for decoration I dipped all ends in acrylic paint.

Note the two holes in the piece of wood. The lower one is rightly placed for the support

Step 8: Opera Finale: the Finished Work

To exhibit the bird it need some kind of pedestal. I drilled a hole in a piece of stone ( garden tile) and placed a 6 mm metal rod in it. As mentioned before I already drilled a hole in the wooden part of the body as well and placed the bird on the rod.

Leather Challenge

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    6 Discussions

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    diamondemb

    4 months ago

    Very creative.
    Nice presentation too.
    Love that you made something from something else.
    I voted for you.

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    M.C. Langer

    4 months ago

    I think this is one of the most beautiful pieces of art I have seen in the last years. I wish you all the luck in the Leather Contest!

    2 replies