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Studio 34: Carol Durham

Hog Gut, Mixed Media Sculpture

DurhamShoescapes_web380 City Scapes, Carol Durham
DurhamSasani_web380 Sasani, Carol Durham
Tea to Go, Carol Durham

I felt compelled to make my first pair of shoes after watching the ballet. From the third row I was mesmerized, not by the girls' dancing, but by their feet. Once home I started to make a pair of ballet shoes. Even as a child I was interested in shoes. I used to design shoes in my head, charmed by the possibilities of perhaps one day becoming a shoemaker.

However, making shoes out of gut was never an obvious calling. In my pursuit of art, I tried almost every medium from painting to drawing, even ceramics, yet none fully satisfied my desire to do something different. I first discovered gut as a medium at a prestigious gallery show, however it was only later in a class that I considered using gut for my own work. What is amazing about gut is its ability to enable me to be more individual. It combines the benefits of painting with the three-dimensional benefits of sculpture. Gut is a marvelous material to work with because it is incredibly versatile and takes to watercolor and acrylics beautifully. That is not to say gut is an easy medium to work with; it is difficult, and often seems to have a mind of its own. With its difficulties and liberating ability to combine creativity in an uncommon three-dimensional form, gut is the perfect medium for my shoes.

Shoes enable me to tell a story. I see them as life metaphors, representing political or whimsy themes that I come across in my daily life. Shaped by events, I often think of the title, which transforms my shoe's shape and design into a statement. Throughout history, shoes have always told a story or hinted at the personality of the wearer; my shoes truly have the ability to speak.


Contact Info:

phone: (415) 479-4630


studio hours: by appointment