My Master’s Project is centered around traditional Chinese symbols, and utilizing them in modern ways to make a collection of international, current footwear. Since the inspiration is China, and also because of my extensive experience in China, I flew to Dongguan to work with craftsmen to create this pair.
Here is a few photos of the process:
My original sketch
The upper pattern sketched onto the taped last
My sketch on a plastic pullover, and the paper pattern from the taped last
The prototype in progress
The pullover, the proto, and the packet (contains the sketch, the spec, and the pattern.
Corrections written in silver pen directly onto the proto.
Bats were used as a traditional symbol of fortune and good luck, as the sound of saying bat in Chinese (fu) sounds similar to the sound of fortune in Chinese (fa). After scouring numerous books for bat imagery, I found the one above, and wanted to tailor it for a metal piece as part of a heel.
The heel master (as I like to call him), creates a side, back and front profile pattern for the heel shape, and I make any necessary corrections.
Creating the base heel shape.
I sketched the metal piece design directly onto the heel base, to show scale.
After hours of talking, some details seem to have gotten lost in translation, as this isn’t what I was imagining. The lines are too one dimensional, flat, and squared off.
So more hours of discussion and clarification, and more sketching ensued.
The second sample…much better!
Here is the final product: