Photography by Ivaylo Gueorgiev

At the end of 2021, I launched a project called Shoes as Storytellers. The project is about empathy – walking or standing in another’s shoes – and I have asked people from near and far to donate or sponsor a pair of shoes and a story related to those shoes. My goal is to create 52 shoes – each representing one hundred steps toward the 5,280 feet in a mile.

Like people, glass is both forgiving and easily shattered. It is sometimes clear, and other times opaque. It can allow us to see inside, or look outside. Glass is the perfect medium to translate this expression into an art exhibit to encourage the viewers to contemplate humility, grace, and empathy.

But, a glass shoe doesn’t hold meaning without a story. To write the story, I will be seeking the assistance of others from around America – to send not only shoes, but the story of their shoes. Perhaps it’ll be a worn out pair of sneakers that tells of the dreams of a young athlete, a pair of ballet slippers that reminds an older woman of her childhood, or worn-out work-boots that tell the story of a life of hard work.*** Shoes do not have to be the actual shoes – you can substitute a shoe from the thrift store that reminds you of the memory. *** The shoes will bring their stories to life.

I have chosen to use the technique of pâte de verre to create thin-walled shoes, which gives an added feeling of fragility, another reminder of the importance of honoring and holding space for others.

GOAL: Complete 52 shoes, photos and have book ready by November 1, 2022. As of September 28th, I have 40 shoes completed, and several more in progress and others waiting to be started. Any shoes that come in after this date will not be included in the first edition of the book, but will likely make it to the first exhibit, as proposals have just started going out.

Click on the Sign Up button under the Level of Support. After completing checkout, you will receive an email with instructions for submitting shoes and stories. Thank you so very much for your interest and support!

Level 1:  Donate a pair of shoes & your story

You will receive a professional photo of your glass shoe in situ.

No Cost.

Level 2:  Sponsor a pair of shoes & story

Help support someone without the extra spending money to participate in this project.
You will receive a professional photo of the sponsored shoe in situ.

$20

Level 3:  Soft Cover Story Book

Donate or sponsor a pair of shoes.
You will receive a professional photo of the shoe in situ, and a copy of the project Story book (soft cover) with all of the shoes.

$50

Level 4:  Hard Cover Story Book

Donate a pair of shoes or sponsor a donation.

You will receive a professional photo of the shoe in situ, and a copy of the project Story book (hard cover/premium paper) with all of the shoes.

$100

Level 5:  Glass Shoe

Donate a pair of shoes or sponsor a donation.

You will receive a professional photo of the shoe in situ, and a copy of the project Story book (hard cover/premium paper) with all of the shoes -AND- YOUR GLASS SHOE*

$250

*I will be submitting proposals for an exhibit of the shoes while I am creating the shoes, and I will keep you in the loop about an exhibition schedule and when you will receive your shoe.