House Charm, Shoe: 10" x 10" oil on canvas with hand-sewn, oil painted, stuffed shoe. Mounted in a whitewashed pine float frame.
Backstory: From the 13th – 19th centuries people placed strange objects in the walls of houses as protective charms. Shoes were popular threshold charms because they mold to the form of the wearer, acting as human proxies to keep evil influences (hexes, spirits, mischievous sprites and spells) out of the house. Also popular were cat skeletons, witch bottles (filled with pins and red thread to entangle devilments) and hex marks. Historians call these apotropaic (evil-averting) objects.