Jellyfish Shoes

Charlotte van Alem

Medusae Project Jellyfish as a sustainable resource, 2017.

Inspired by the growing number of dead Jellyfish in the Baltic Sea, this project set out to explore the possibility of creating an environmentally-friendly material from Jellyfish. Using techniques derived from material restoration this project aimed to prove the resilience, functionality and survivability of material made from Jellyfish bells. The Jellyfish bells were preserved using only natural additives. A mixture of different methods were experimented with to temper the bells. Effective methods were taken from ancient techniques for preserving parchment paper and from the Anthropodermic Bibliography. This involves washing, salting, tanning, layering, dying, and then finally pressing and/or sewing the Jellyfish bells together.

The project is realised in collaboration with shoe designers Liesel Swart and Aurélia Diemer from the Dutch Shoe Academy. The model has the looks of an aqua sandal and is inspired by the water shoes that are usually made out of plastic. The material of the shoe is water repellent and meant to be treated the same way as common leather. The shoe consists of two different applied techniques concerning the layering of the Jellyfish material. Through applying these two distinguished pieces, I was hoping to find out which sample was most suitable.

© Charlotte van Alem

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