Rubber, a very resistant and waterproof material
Most often and traditionally, the inner tubes of tires are the basic material which allows Vietnamese children to enjoy the sea. They are in fact transformed into essential buoys, still visible on many beaches.
In the past, tire and tube shoes were very popular products in Vietnam. During the Revolutionary War, many Vietnamese wore these shoes on the road to Ho Chi Minh.
These are the properties of this material that seduced me, especially by their practicality. Imagine: the rubber that makes it up is waterproof, very resistant to temperature changes and UV resistant. Better even: well washed, one would think that it is leather.
A few rare places in the country, including Da Nang, have preserved the memory of this know-how.
The inner tube is not the easiest material to work with. The cutout is not really natural. Patience and recourse to multiple trials are essential, as is the renunciation of any prejudice.
Doing and remaking, working and repeating the material again and again, are all stages that can lead to the desired result. All of this is done with patience and good humor.
Innertube: Waterproof and resistant
The most common and traditional, inner tubes are the material that allows little Vietnamese children to access the wonders of the ocean. The are, in effect, transformed into bouyies, visible from the shore.
In the past, the tire base and innertube based shoes were very common for the middle class citizens. For example, during the war for independance, many vietnamese wore these shoes while marching to Ho Chi Minh City.
These are the properties of the materials that attract me, especially their practical side. Imagine for a moment: the rubber from which the tire is made is: waterproof, resistant to changes in weather, and doesn't get sun damage. Even better, if well treated, it has the look of leather giving us an animal friendly substitute.
It is not easy to create this metamorphisis. To transform a simple tire into something beautiful is no easy task. An incredible amount of patience is require to complete the transformation, due to the fact that the rubber needs to be treated and retreated many times over. Do and redo, work and rework the material is the only way to have the desired finished product with joys of work.