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Catit chose our kitty sculpture as a finalist!

A cat sculpture made from a durable lightweight homemade cold porcelain recipe.
Soft and silky to the touch and very easy to work with, cold porcelain is perfect for
miniature sculptures and figurines - of your cat of course!

Caturday Art: The Making of Sarabi the Cat Sculpture

Last updated May 17th, 2018

cat sculpture cold porcelain

One of my other passions is makings things by hand and seeing how it transforms into something new.

Whether it’s getting my hands dirty in the garden and watching things grow, or shaping a piece of clay and seeing what it becomes. Many of my Caturday Doodles are digital drawings. I like doing digital art, but much like the red dot means for cat, you can feel it but can’t touch it. Making sculptures is such a tactile medium and is literally ‘hands-on.’  Building those layers and shaping a piece of art is the most relaxing way to spend your weekend! It’s even sweeter when the subject is my all time favorite muse, cats! What else? 

Well, I spent many a weekend in my ‘she-shed,’ kneading, bending, carving, sanding and painting! The end result is an 8-inch high miniature cat, carved in the form of our senior Bengal cat, Lady Sarabi.

I am also pleased to announce that it was chosen by the jury as a finalist in the 2018 Catit International Art Contest  in the Mixed Media category. I was blown away when I saw my entry among a host of other super great art pieces. Voting is open until May 22, so please hop over and vote for your favorites! But we hope that includes #12 in the Mixed Media Category. Sarabi and I would be most thankful!

How was Sarabi the cat sculpture made? She was chosen as a finalist in the 2018 Catit International Art Contest in the mixed media category. Click To Tweet

What is the sculpture made of?

A variety of materials such as styrofoam balls, wire, masking tape, tin foil and air dry clay are used to shape the core. It’s then layered with my homemade cold porcelain clay which is a milky white color. Cold porcelain is not real porcelain but is named so because of its porcelain-like smooth texture. It’s very hard and durable once air dried and makes a perfect lightweight sculpture.

It’s what’s inside that counts

First, I build the inner core or ‘skeleton’ called the armature out of wire. This gives support to the sculpture and is especially important if you wish to build a certain pose. For this sculpture, Sarabi has a super long tail so I wanted to exaggerate this feature with a wire support.

The core of the head and torso is made up of two styrofoam balls joined to the armature. I add an additional layer of air dry clay to add a little weight to the inner core.

Shape up!

After I am satisfied with the structure, it’s time for the fun part, shaping and layering with the cold porcelain. This is the moment of perseverance because usually after adding some ‘meat’ around the bones, the sculpture can resemble anything from an alien blob to a headless chicken. This is a slow process as it involves some air drying and then more carving to correct certain imbalances and imperfections of features.

cat sculpture cold porcelain

Come alive with color

After the carving, drying and sanding are done, it’s time to breathe some life into my rather anemic looking cat. She needs some spots, lots of it! Sarabi’s coat has that typical Bengal ‘glitter’ that shimmers when it catches the light so to mimic this feature I used metallic craft paint and a natural satin varnish sealant.

The Cat’s Whiskers

I wanted to use real whiskers that I collect in a jewelry box but couldn’t. Why not, you may ask? This is a miniature sculpture and requires just a pin-sized hole in which to glue the whisker. But the root of real whiskers is too big to fit into a pin size hole. Instead, bead weaving thread made for great looking whiskers!

I think Sarabi approves of her doppelgänger. Although she wouldn’t appreciate my jab at the red dot.

Would your kitty like her very own mini-me?

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite artworks until May 22! Sarabi sculpture is #12 in Mixed Media Thank you!





About the author

The Lady Cat
The Lady Cat

Whiskers make me smile.
Coffee is good for you.
And cats are for life.
Helping cats live enriched lives with their people.
(Yasaar Nakchbendi)


Leave a comment
  • That is absolutely gorgeous! You are so very talented! Certainly makes me wish I was a person of “means” because I’d want you to make one of each of my seven kitties!
    Linda Arthur Tejera recently posted…TippiMy Profile

  • Well done ! Claire made jewelry and phosphors with polymer clay, and she uses styropor, glass or wood inside for the structure. Your cat sculpture is gorgeous, concatulations ! You’re talented ! Purrs

  • guyz….we will bee mor N happee to vote for mom….how total lee awesum lee kewl iz thiz sculpture !!!!!!!!!! best best best fishez two her…984 pawz crossed her winz 🙂 ♥

  • Dear God are you ever talented!!!! I am in awe, complete AWE! I could NEVER make anything that beautiful (I can draw, but I certainly could NEVER create anything as beautiful as your sculpture). I am CERTAIN you will win and you NEED to win!!

    I so wish you lived near me, you are just the inspiration I could use to get back into my artwork. I would LOVE to see your “she-shed” that is so clever!!

    My goodness your talent is just so inspiring and so special!
    caren gittleman recently posted…Custom Pet Portrait Jewelry by MeowLoverClub (World-Wide Give-Away!)My Profile

    • Aww thank you! 🙂 I’m so glad I can inspire you to get started on your artwork! You’re welcome to pop by my she-shed for a cuppa tea anytime. 🙂 Maybe I should post some pictures!

  • Meowza is that a pawsome sculpture! Every feline should be immortalized by your amazing art work, well maybe not every feline. Olivers generous proportions might be a challenge.
    Purrs & Head Bonks,
    Alberto & The Tribe of Five
    Feline Opines recently posted…Me and My Big MouthMy Profile

  • Oh I am so-o thrilled you did this post after hearing about your cat-sculpting talents from Mom! She remembers you talking to her about it at BlogPaws 2017! Mini Sarabi is a wonderful interpretation of her muse! I think you should have your own art gallery! I would love a mini porcelain of me! You are so-o talented Miss Yas! Nose kisses!
    Valentine recently posted…Sneaky Bungee MousieMy Profile

  • OH WOW Chirpy Cats, that was absolutely incredible, mew did such a pawesome job and we love it!

    Mew guys are so furry talented! EPICALLY so!

    Big hugs

    Basil & Co xox

  • What an incredible process – I imagine it is quite amazing to see your project come to life. I voted for you in the contest and wish you all the luck in the world! You deserve to win in our eyes! Purrs from Deb and the Zee/Zoey gang.

    • Hello Lily Bug, so pleased to meet you. I’m the debonair and dashing Mr. Jack and I just followed your blog. Thanks for pouncing over and have a furntastic week!

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