Pottery made to order | repair and restoration studio in Southern Delaware
How to Make Clay Shoe - Slab Tutorial

High heel wine bottle holder

Ceramic shoes can be used as decoration or as a container, planter, wine bottle holder, etc. This project can be achieved by adults or children.

The slab used is 1/4" thick for the most part. For part of the heel and the decoration use 1/8 - 3/8" thick slab. Below is an example of one technique and what can be achieved.

Tools used: Scissors, slab roller or rolling pin, 45 degree bevel / miter tool, basic wooden tools, clay cutting knife, pin tool, sponge and a soft flexible rib.

Clay used: Make sure the clay is not too soft. Let is dry a bit (but not firm leather hard) so that it can still be pliable yet it will hold a shape.

Use sharp pencil and trace design onto smoothed clay slab. Tracing paper, card stock or manila folders are able to withstand the wet clay and multiple tracings. Bevel the bottom edge of the heel and the entire sole piece.
use templates for clay shoe construction
Make shoe paper templates

place paper templates on clay and trace
Cut-out shapes in 1/4 slab

miter clay slab pieces
Miter joining parts to 45 degrees
bevel joints to attach clay pieces
Close-up of beveled edge

Especially if your slab is a little firm, carefully and gently wrap the heel around the sole cut-out and measure approximate distance. For ease of construction, separate the sole at halfway mark. Note, the heel piece should extend past this half-way point just a little for later joining with the toe piece.
getting slab clay pieces ready for construction
Cut sole in the middle

score clay edges for proper joining
Score all contact points

use slip or magic water to join clay edges
Slip (or magic water) all edges
joining slip and scored slab pieces of clay
Bring slab heel to shape of sole

Carefully blend the joined edges and reinforce the connection on the inside using a small coil.
blend the joint of the slip and scored pieces
Connect and blend heel to sole

a small clay coil will reinforce a joined edge
Use coil to reinforce connection

blend the clay coil with wood tool or finger
Blend coil into construction
smooth all surfaces of the clay with a sponge, soft rib or finger
Smooth all coiled areas

Give the heel desired shaping using a soft rib. Prop up constructed heel with extra clay to judge height of heel. Create heel's base: cut-out, miter opposite edges, slip and score and join. Place on bottom of heel and mark.
adjust shape of the clay with a soft rib
Use rib to finalize shape

use paper template to mark clay
Use template for heel's base

miter, score and slip before attaching clay edges
Cut to size, score, slip and attach
place clay heel and mark for scoring
Mark location on back of shoe
Score and slip heel base to bottom of sole. Blend well - a small coil may be used to give added support to joint. For the post of the heel, thin a piece of slab to 1/8" and cut into a rectangle, length will be adjusted so keep a little longer than desired.
score and slip both pieces and attach
Slip and score and attach

Blend clay edges and smooth
See next to finished shoe

use rolling pin to thin clay slab
Thin a small slab for heel's post

Cut to size

After mitering opposite sides of rectangle, roll around a wooden spoon handle, slip and score and blend. Place finished tube on heel base and measure and mark for scoring. Once joined, use a small coil for reinforcement connection. Cut to desired height.
use wooden spoon to roll clay into shape
Roll to shape

place clay piece and mark for scoring
Attach roll to heel's base

use small clay coil to reinforce
Use coil for better connection
cut excess clay to desired height
Cut to desired height See note!!

Now connect (miter, score and slip and coil) the top of the toe slab with the toe of the sole. Align the pieces of the sole, allowing the sides of the shoe to over lap. Mark the overlaps and carefully remove excess remembering to leave enough to miter these edges. Miter the sole edges as well and join all points. Use coil to blend and give support to joints, paying careful attention to the joint of the sole (you may want to add extra coil here). ***NOTE: The heel is hollow, a hole MUST be pierced to allow air to escape. Because it is a long distance to pierce, you can take a paper clip, unbend it and it will reach from the bottom of the tube of the heel spike up through and into the heel base.
Join slab pieces with slip and score method
Connect front toe slab pieces
mark and remove excess clay
Mark excess clay
remove excess clay cuting on the bevel for joining
Cut of excess clay on the bevel
score and slip all edges to be joined
Score / slip all edges

Use coil and added clay to blend and smooth. Decorate as desired, usually when adding decorations the clay should be thinner than 1/4".
with soft rib and extra clay smooth to finish clay project
Connect and smooth all parts
add clay decorations to clay project
Decorate with thinner slab
pair of ceramic shoes
Finished pair of shoes
Ceramic wine holder - fancy shoe with cats
Cats lending a paw - very helpful!

Clay shoes children project samples

ceramic shoe kids project
clay shoe kids slab project
ceramic shoe children slab project

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