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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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!