Bay Area artist Rachel Mahlke is transforming stilettos to plant cacti and other succulents, and she does so by conveying a message recycling symbols of sexuality in to objects of utility. These creations occupy her “femme-feminist” belief.
Rachel Mahlke is a school teacher during day time and prefers to work with objects that have a history to it. She has made her first stiletto planter after saving a friend’s old heels from the dumpster.
Apart from creative recycling as here, Mahlke has studied the mythology of beauty and how discomforting and artificial it has become.
She says that cacti and other succulents are the perfect answer to plastic beauty products. Mahlke combines these two to produce natural beauty with substance
These planters have all sorts of names from “Pinup’s-Revenge” to the “50-Foot Woman.” Mahlke first cuts off the top of each shoe, sands it, drills holes for drainage and fills it with organic soil and fertilizer.
Then a cactus obtained from a local certified organic grower is planted. She says they require bright sunlight and little water once in a while. Mahlke says that in return they remind of how hard it is to be a woman.