Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Kitty Commission


California cats all eyes resized for blog


In October, a friend asked me to create a sculpture of her sister’s five cats so she could give it to her as a Christmas present.  First thing was to get a lot of photos of the cats without letting her sister know why.  Next thing was getting photos of these active fur babies from as many angles as possible!

She got enough for me to capture some likenesses and the personality of the kitties.  There are two black cats, so I ordered a second shade of black underglaze.

Juni has most unusual markings and is the smallest cat so I wanted her to be at the top of the pile

California cats close up resized for blog


Keiko always looks (to me anyway) like he is ready for mischief

California cats Keiko for blog

Her sister lives in California and my friend was flying there, so sturdy construction without being too heavy were priorities in designing and sculpting the piece.  I usually build hollow, using coils and slabs.  However, due to the complexity of this piece, I built it solid, then cut it apart and hollowed it out.   After that, I had to reassemble it like a puzzle.

Any part sticking out would be at risk of breaking.  However, the biologist in me just would not allow me to have tails wrapped around the cats’ bodies since cats in a situation like this would need to use their tails for balance.

California cats tails resized for blog

In this photo, the  piece had not been fired yet.


Since my friend  packed the piece well, and was flying first class so was able to store it on the plane, it got to California in great shape!

By the way, surface treatment is mostly underglazes, with glazes on the eyes.  All of the eyes were of slightly different colors and I portrayed that in the sculpture, using 2 or 3 different colors for each eye, not counting the black for the pupil.  You never know what  you’re going to get when the kiln works its magic, but I was pretty pleased with the result.  My friend and her sister were, too!

California cats Moku for blog

Moku has blue eyes.


Photos by Cat Manolis and Cindy Biles.  Thanks, Cat!