I grew up with shoe trees in the closets.

Lavender Shoe Trees 1950's

There were metal shoe trees for my mother’s high heel shoes.  There were massive, wooden shoe trees for my father’s business and dress shoes.  Then there were the more simple shoe trees with a flexible band of metal connecting a wooden knob at one end and a toe-shaped piece of wood at the other.  Two pair of these simple shoe trees were painted an odd shade of green.  The other two pair were painted lavender.  I don’t know what happened to the green ones.  I found the lavender pair when we were cleaning out my father’s house.

These objects are among the items I kept to document our family history in sketches.  Sketches take up far less room than the items themselves.  Sketches will trigger the memories and stories that accompany the objects.  It is because of memories that I keep objects that no longer serve any other purpose.   My goal is to document and pass on, or throw out.  These shoe trees will be donated to Scaramouche, a local, costume rental business run by two fabulous men  whom I adore.  They will love them.

I searched online to find the origin of “shoe tree” and could not find an explanation of why this object is called by that name.  Please, if you have any ideas, let me know!

Sketch:  Drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Bad Belted Kingfisher ink, followed by watercolor.