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My new website can be found at http://www.quernuscrafts.co.uk/
Meet the sultry Glamourpuss. Commissioned by Kate, aka Glamourpuss Jewellery, at the Bruntcliffe School Christmas Fair last weekend, Glamourpuss has a silky smooth, sparkling white coat, with a lovely pink tiara adorned with silver and pink jewels.
An alluring pink feather boa curls round her neck, and she has the sweetest pink court shoes in which to dance away the night. She stands 5.5cm tall, and with a flutter of her eyelashes, Glamourpuss makes every red blooded Rainbow Cat go weak at the knees!
The first of my Christmas tree decorations! I've been meaning to convert a few of my designs for a while now, and I was prompted into action by a commission request through Etsy from Sarah in California (many thanks, Sarah!)
Although I toyed with the idea of changing the shape of the Santa hat so that the ribbon could be fed through it, in the end, I opted to keep the standard shape and add a top pin (known as a screw eye peg). The hardest part was pushing the top pin into the Santa Cat - it just seemed so harsh! I added a small dab of liquid polymer clay to seal the pin in place, and after curing and varnishing, I added a generous length of thin red ribbon, loosely tied at the top so that the length can be adjusted as necessary.
I went on to make up another three Santa Cat Tree Decorations, and I'll be listing them online when I get the chance. In the meantime, if you want to order any, just get in touch.
I've also received a commission to make up Santa Piglings, so that's the next on my list, after some Wee Robin decorations!
Thanks to Julia for commission this sweet couple of cats for her anniversary on 27 November. I met her at the Made-It Craft Fair in Wetherby on 21 November, and she wanted something special and quirky to give to her husband. She came up with this design based on their relationship, and I had a lot of fun deciding how to do the hair.
I've been wanting to try out a cat with long hair for a while now - ever since I woke up thinking about doing a Mermaid Cat in fact! (Watch this space - this will happen one day!) I used a very thin extruded clay and applied long strands of it to the top of the head - I felt like a hairdresser. To keep the femine theme going, I didn't add on any 'chop dots' - small dots on the cheeks to signify whiskers.
(To digress briefly on this point, I am in two minds about chop dots. I think that not having them gives a softer more kitten-y impression, but that might just be me. Any thoughts on this? I'm going through a phase of not putting chop dots on my normal cats (I made up half a dozen last night after the craft fair) so I'm going to see what response I get next weekend at Castle Howard.)
The short spikey blond hair for the male cat was made by cutting very small lengths of yellow clay, applying liquid polymer clay to the end of each strand, and then placing it on the head. This has made the hair extremely strong and robust.
More commissions are coming in thick and fast - it's fantastic! It really gives me a chance to try new things, so please do get in touch if you have any particular requests!
As a result of a commission from Nicky at the Yorkshire Craft Fair in York on 7/8 November (thanks Nicky!), I returned once more to the equine realms. Those avid readers of this blog will be aware that I have previously experimented with Wee Horse back in July (click here for the post), but I didn't take the design any further.
The latest addition to the Quernus Regiment has arrived! Bearskin Cat was commissioned by my good friend Jo, to join his friends Desert Army Cat and Jungle Army Cat.
Bearskin Cat has a lovely black furry hat courtesy of a large black pom pom trimmed within an inch of its life. (Take it from me when I say that trimmed black pom pom fluff goes EVERYWHERE.)
Bearskin Cat's hat is secured in place by a smart silver chain, and his uniform is trimmed with gold braid, with a smart gold buckle. His wee cat ears are hidden underneath the bearskin hat. His uniform is completed by a pair of very shiny black boots.
Inspired by the recent commission order from Mickey of The Green Apple eco and ethical online shop, and after the success of Pumpkin Cat, I tried out a couple of Green Apple Cats last night. Made from the appropriately named Granny Smith Sculpey III clay, the larger one measures 3cm wide x 3.5cm tall. The smaller one measures 2.5cm wide by 3cm.
Watch this space for more fruit and veg inspired cats!
And so, my learned friends, may it please the Court to call Barrister Cat to the stand. He has been in my imagination for some time now, and after reminding myself of how a barrister's wig is constructed, I decided to use two different thicknesses of extruded white clay to create it. I also played around with doing a full white collar (they tend to have starched points too), but in the end, less was definitely more.
I am toying with the idea of a Judge Cat with red robes and a more elaborate wig, and that has also got me thinking about period character cats - as always, watch this space!
As part of the commission order from Mickey of The Green Apple eco-shop, I've made up a couple of different Christmas Elf Cats, experimenting with different techniques. The jury's out on which one I prefer - I think they're both very sweet!
At the Made-It Craft Fair in Harrogate on Saturday, I met Diane and her sister, and they asked me to make up some military felines - an Army Cadet Cat (with black beret on the right), and a Royal Marines Cat (with green beret). And here they are
Having done a bit of internet research, it felt important for them to have badges on their berets, so after a bit of painstaking cutting and shaping, both Cats are now proudly sporting smart gold and silver badges!
Each Army Cat stands about 5cm tall. I tried a new technique to make the camouflage colour, which I think has worked out very well. I made up small amounts of four colours, and then tore them up into small random pieces. I then scooped up all the pieces into a ball, making sure no two colours were next to each other, and rolled it around a few times. The resultant slices were more random and less stripey than the early Jungle Army Cat, and I've also included more greens and browns, rather than relying too much on beige and fawn colours.
I'm having a great time making up a commission order from Mickey (check out her fantastic eco shop - The Green Apple), who is mad about cats! Here are the first couple of kitties made to her specification - this Santa Cat sports a fluffy white beard, and Ninja Cat is definitely ready for action!
Made as part of a commission for my good friend Jo, Jungle Army Cat sports a smart black beret and shiny black boots, with matching belt. He stands 5cm tall, and nearly 3cm wide.
His flak jacket is made from cane slices made up by roughly mashing together four different colours.
Jungle Army Cat is seen on the right with his buddy, Desert Army Cat.
I've been burning the midnight oil this past week getting more stock prepared for this weekend, and another three Santa Cats have materialised along the way! These are just so much fun to make - choosing the right colours of clay, and then mixing them until I'm happy with the resultant swirly patterns, which are always unpredictable! A coat of varnish really does help to bring out the pattern - it's like wetting a pebble on the beach, particularly with the darker clays like the centre cat here.
7 & 8 November 10am-5pm (both days)
Christmas Craft Fair
St Williams College, York YO1 7JF (close to the Minster)
14 November, 10-4.30pm
Made-It Craft Fair, Wesley Chapel, Oxford Street, Harrogate HG1 1PP
21 November 2009, 10-4.30pm
Made-It Craft Fair, Wetherby Town Hall, Market Place, Wetherby LS22 6NE
22 November 2009, 1-4pm
Arts & Crafts Fair, Bruntcliffe School, Bruntcliffe Lane, Morley, Leeds LS27 0LZ
29 November 2009, 10-5pm
Artsmix Christmas Contemporary Arts Market, Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA
6 December 2009, 11-4pm
Artsmix Christmas Market @ The Loft, Cross York Street, Leeds LS2 7EE
12 December 2009, 10-4pm
Ilkley Arts Market, Riddings Hall, Riddings Road, Ilkley SL29 9LU
20 December 2009, 11-4pm
Artsmix Christmas Market @ The Loft, Cross York Street, Leeds, LS29 9LU
Phew!! Hope to see you there!
Sporting the latest in desert wear, which no discerning Army Cat would be seen without, this rather chubby colonel is ready for anything - from his desert boots, to his utility belt, right up to his matching helmet.
I tried a new technique for making the patterned body based on my observations of how scrap clay behaved when I was using it for core. I conditioned several small balls of clay (champagne, tan, brown, etc.) and then randomly mashed them together into a ball, rolled it out a few times, mashed it again, and then rolled it into a large log. The slices taken from this log resulted in a random camouflage pattern, and were much easier to apply to the clay core than the normal millefiori slices. Once applied, I rolled the core in my hands to blend the slices, and this helped randomise the pattern even more.
After the domestication of the first Reindeer Cat a few days ago, a herd has now started to gather. However, they are really feeling the cold in Leeds, as they're not used to this blustery weather, so they decided to wrap up warmly for the duration of their stay.
Tune in to watch the herd grows bigger as Christmas approaches...