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susan etcoff fraerman: narrative shoes

I have a small collection of vintage shoe forms – they are part of a larger collection of objects that provoke my curious nature and provide silent companionship in my studio.  I started collecting the shoe lasts more than a year ago and continue to be charmed by the character of the wood, the variety of shapes, stretching mechanisms and range of sizes.



Bound For Glory III, glass beads, semi precious stones, found object

Susan Etcoff Fraerman used several vintage shoe forms in her beaded Narrative Shoes series, 14 different shoes that each tell a story, ranging from well-worn toe shoes to Chinese slippers.  They are all lovely, but the shoe forms are what pulled me in.


Bound For Glory III, detail


The Blues

Fraerman works intuitively and you won’t find looms, patterns or graphs in her studio. She explains that, “the beads, varying in texture, size, degree of translucency and hue, are woven in a free form interpretation of a classic stitch – right angle weave.”


Lotus Shoes

My work often speaks of contemporary issues that have touched me deeply: children in need, mutability of the body, the vicissitudes of life. Susan Etcoff Fraerman


Bound For Glory I, glass & metal beads, nylon thread, found object

Shoes are not the only objects that Fraerman transforms with her intricate, tactile beadwork. Be sure to check out Bra Books, “intimate repositories of dreams, thoughts and poetry” and her latest work, The Language of Hands, where the hand in closed fist, open palm and other gestures is used to express a metaphor of universal signals.

More about Susan Etcoff Fraerman at WomanMade.

I’m headed down to NYC to spend time with my daughter.  I think the weekend calls for sensible shoes – no heels or beads for me.  Have a cozy, comfy, art-filled weekend!

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