Transparent paper shoes by Isabell Buenz

Isabell Buenz and Transparent Paper Shoes


I often search the web or art exhibitions for work by paper artists because I’m driven by curiosity. When I began my recycled shoes series, I came across Isabell Buenz, a paper textile artist from the U.K. I was immediately drawn to her artwork, especially her series on fashion. Through her artwork, I saw another way to work with paper and I was inspired.

The transparency and fragility of her shoes contrasted with my opaque paper pulp shoes. Suddenly, endless ideas of how to manipulate paper into different shapes and forms came to me. Isabell’s series of high-heel paper shoes were especially inspiring. The translucent look of the shoes in the light and the fashionable form they took were just a few elements that took my breath away. Her white shoes made with mulberry paper and/or tea bag paper were fragile and lightweight. Her white shoes are the ones Isabell prefers because of their near-transparent quality as they’re held up to the light.

Working with paper has been Isabell’s core work, although she recently returned to recycling second-hand clothes, a teenage hobby of creating her own clothes from refashioned clothes, scraps of fabric, worn jeans and visits to charity shops. She recently turned the hobby into a wide range of wearable colorful clothes.

Isabell makes high-heel shoes from paper to satisfy her passion for fashion, especially since she can’t wear high-heel shoes (she has said her feet are too big and she’s too tall). Shoes are also my passion and recycling and converting clothes or shoes into art was also my reason for pursuing this art medium.

Like the tsarouxia I’ve made which symbolize pride, nationality and fashion, Isabell’s shoes symbolize fashion and beauty along with fragility.


Paper is such a versatile medium and so is papier mache, a textile I adore. I enjoy looking for art that brings those unique qualities out.