Some of you may know that before Beyond Measure, for a period of about 20 years, I worked in various gallery/exhibition/curator jobs. It was such an exciting and rewarding time, connecting with so many creative minds and skilled craftspeople. Through various projects, I came to know the work of Serena Partridge, whose work is based around our connections with garments and textiles, particularly looking at historical fashions and styles. Her work is mostly executed in miniature, hand stitched using fine textiles, leather and paper. There is something very tender and endearing about her pieces, reflecting the connection we have with the clothes and belongings of those we love. They are often presented as museum exhibits, in glass cases, the tiny labels telling tales of magical or historical characters.
Recent commissions have included a series of work based around the collection of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, in particular the life and private possessions of Charlotte Bronte. Reclaimed leathers, fabrics and unusual threads have been fashioned into curious items that include map gloves, meticulously hand-stitched with minuscule landmarks, and a pair of mourning shoes, darned with wispy clouds of human hair (donated by museum staff). The stories portrayed blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, while questioning sources of history and what we believe to be true.
It was wonderful to connect with Serena again over the spring lockdown and we decided to create a little collection of her tiny shoes for you to enjoy and swoon over this winter!
Serena’s tiny shoes, measuring just 2 - 3 cm, are meticulously fashioned from specially selected papers and embellished with handcrafted silk pom-poms, stitched flowers and beaded rosettes. The miniature heels are formed from up to 12 pieces of hand-cut and layered card, which is then painstakingly shaped, waxed and buffed. The soles receive similar attention, taking on the appearance of aged leather. Serena’s signature labels top the presentation boxes, which are lined with a variety of colours and patterns, giving new life to otherwise discarded vintage or antique books.
Treat yourself, or surprise someone special with slippers in their stocking this Christmas. The perfect gift for imaginative minds and storytellers of all ages.
Serena Partridge is based in Malton, North Yorkshire. She has exhibited widely and worked in locations as varied as Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire; Gros Morne National Park, Canada; the Brontë Parsonage Museum, West Yorkshire and Kensington Palace, London.
You can find out more about her work at serenapartridge.co.uk
And you can buy here teeny shoes in the Beyond Measure shop here