Making a mould of your foot turns out to be a surprisingly difficult business. You scrub your toes and put socks on, so your feet are a perfectly accessible part of your body, right?
You find out just how inflexible you have become as you grow up when you have to hold your foot up in the air and apply wallpaper paste soaked newspaper to its sole. As an experiment yesterday I had a go at using papier mâché to mould my foot for lastmaking, and I have to report mixed results. And a lot of contortion and aching leg muscles, it's surprisingly difficult to not put your right foot on the ground for a couple of hours.
We all made papier mâché stuff at primary school. My art teacher mother reminded me that schools have the luxury of leaving stuff to dry for a week, my cast had to dry in an evening. So there I was last night with a hair dryer, trying to make my soggy paper covered foot dry enough to remove the paper in one piece.
It worked, just. Eventually I was able to ease a soggy paper slipper from my foot and place it on a wire cooling tray to dry out. And though it will inevitably have settled a bit, with a carefully placed teaspoon or two to maintain its arch, it looks as though it'll deliver a reasonable mould of my foot.
I'm still going to go with my original plan of using latex moulding compound for the same task. And I may also pick up some of the moulding supplies used by podiatrists, foam impression moulds and polymer moulding socks. My preoccupation is with making an accurate mould of my foot, and if it takes several attempts then I'm quite happy to go along with that.