I am always up for trying my hand at something new, though I never thought I would have the chance to try hand-painting custom clogs! After visiting Chameleon Clogs in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I was given a wonderful opportunity to try a whole new medium. When a request comes my direction, I receive the leather cut-outs in the mail, along with the design parameters. The leather needs to be treated before painting, but the paint is quite resilient after it dries completely. My personal pair is getting close to a year and the painting is just as beautiful as the week they were completed!
There are several challenges in painting clogs, the one that was hardest for me is creating a mirror image that is as perfect as possible.
Just a commercially produced pair of footwear, the need for symmetry is important. If one feather was just an inch smaller or curved more drastically, the ascetic would be thrown off. There are a few tricks to setting some initial boundaries. However, fast-drying acrylics leave only a small window of opportunity with one’s workable time.
I did find one way to stretch the boundaries; creating a landscape instead of a symmetrical design.
This provided me with less constraining parameters while still allowing for a visually pleasing design for the shoes.
The second major challenge is creating a design without having the clog fully formed. It may sound slightly backwards. Honestly, painting on a fully formed clog would definitely pose a lot of problems with consistency. But when painting upon a flat surface that will later be formed across a base, it can take a bit of getting used to! What looks pleasing upon the flat panel, may look stretched and distorted on the final product.
It makes the project even more interesting when I get custom requests. This last pair featured were created for a dear friend who’s only parameters were dragonflies, purple, and a turquoise-ish color somewhere. If I am familiar with the customer, it makes it easier to fit their personality into the design. It takes a bit of playing with color mixing to get just the right mix down sometimes, but it so rewarding to hear how much they love them after they’re completed!
Are you interested in a pair for yourself? Then visit Chameleon Clogs, give them a call, or contact them through their Facebook Fan Page. There are several styles to choose from and endless possibilities!