Monday, February 13, 2012

When the West Was Won

So this boot hangs up.  It's all done in polymer clay in a combination of techniques including scribing, stamping, texturing, metal leafing and maybe some others I've forgotten.  I used some of my leftover clay for the lining and interior of the boot and the heel part was just made from that.  The heel part looks surprisingly like a real heel and it wasn't even necessary to backfill or antique it...the look of a warn boot is so natural it looks like it could be a century old.  That was the impetus for construction of this particular boot, even though I have made others like it before.  For those in the desert southwest, you would be aware that this week marks the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Arizona's statehood.  I made this boot as a personal 'momento' to the place we have visited for the last decade...We've been here one tenth of the time  that the state has.

Surprisingly enough, there hasn't been a lot of hoop-la...I would have figured there would have been a whole lot more whoop-de-doing and official recognition of the centennial.  There are a few litte signs of the 100th but not nearly as much as I expected.  I think there was a kind of celebration this past weekend of an arty type, but the general hype is very low key.  Maybe I am just so fixed on making buttons and stuff that I haven't noticed, lol.

I did this boot to commemorate how the early settlers would have travelled this part of the continent, mainly on foot and horseback.  Well, I suppose they used both feet, but I only made one boot. The one I made is slightly different on the other side, which I am showing here.  Usually when I make these boots, they have little metal 'spurs' near the heel,  but I neglected to put them in while I was forming the interior. 
When constructing this type of item, it is necessary to add the metal 'outcroppings' before putting on any decorative layers of clay, so it does involve considerable forethought and planning.  If you do not "implant" the metal spur, it will not be firmly attached, and runs the risk of coming off if it is not imbedded in the body of the clay mass. In previous editions of similar boots, I added a spiral coil of wire to represent the spur.  But that was when I had forethought. I did remember to put the hangers in the top and bottom; but for this boot, it'll  just have to go spurless. (Lucky horse would probably be thanking me and all those others who would have chosen to make cowboy boots with no spurs attached.)  
I wonder if the early settlers of the state had also experienced similar lapses of forethought when they were wandering out west.  Did they keep in mind (or did they know of) the rugged terrain, the prickly cacti, the arid conditions...(well they did call it ARID + ZONE for a reason I guess) the rattlers, the scorpions and the javelinas, just to mention some of the negatives.  And did they also foresee the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, the brightly colored mountains, the abundance of amazing wildlife, the pleasant winters, and the peace that comes with walking through this vast and pleasant land. 

Woops...sounds like I'm waxing into a song.  Think I'll leave the song writing to Adele and the other Grammy recipients.  So now, these boots are gonna walk right into the shed and start on some new polymer projects...that is after I finish making the last of my four canes for the polymer guild swap for this Saturday.  Hmmm...canes and walking boots...does that sound like I'm gonna be a hundred years old too this week?. 

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