Wee Dogs have now arrived at Quernus Crafts! For several months, I've been asked whether I do dogs as well as cats and horses. I have been playing around with designs for them for a while, and at last I have found my canine voice (as 'twer).
Wee Niko came into existence at the request of Laura, who was the recipient of Wee Harvey, a gift from her friend Kathy. Laura was thrilled with Wee Harvey, and wanted to know if I could make up a dog as well. (She also wanted to know if I could make up a guineapig, but more on that story later.)
The photos Laura sent through to me were just so cute, that I really had no excuse to just get on and make a Wee Niko. After experimenting with different shapes, I found that the dog shape wanted to be more like a right-angled triangle shape than my standard cat shape. In other words, my dogs needed a backside!
Wee Niko is made from one piece of clay, with only the ears, paws and tail added separately. I did experiment with shaping the head separately and attaching it to the body, but it just didn't look right. If the clay is well-conditioned, it's relatively easy to shape it into a dog nose and forehead, but it's easy to pinch too much and lose the definition needed for the muzzle.
Wee Niko has relatively few markings - I tore out a patch of thinly rolled black clay for his eye, and a patch for his backside. His ears are black with white tips, so I first of all cut out two black ears from a sheet of clay slightly thicker sheet than normal, and then two smaller white triangles for the tips. I cut the tips off the black ears and replaced them with the white tips, and then rolled them through the next setting on the pasta machine to bind the pieces together. This was particularly important for Wee Niko because his ears flop over in a very fetching manner.
For Wee Niko's tail, I cut a short length of thick copper wire and used this as an armature to strengthen the join between the tail and the body.
Wee Niko stands 4cm tall. I'm really pleased with my first foragings into Wee Dogland - watch this space for many more!