What is thy bidding, my master?...A huge thank you to Lynsey of Swirlyarts and Cuteable fame, who commissioned these three character cats a few weeks ago - I stayed up until 3am this morning to finish them off, I was enjoying myself so much!
When Lynsey first asked if I could do three characters from Star Wars, I leapt at the chance. After all, not long before, I had made some AC/DC Cats, so I felt sure I could find enough obvious features to make them recognisable as both cats and Star Wars characters. And that really is the key to making this type of commission, and that's the reason why Han Solo didn't quite make the grade - it's a little hard to put a leather waistcoat on a cat with no arms :)
Luke Skywalker made the first appearance. I used flesh pink Sculpey III clay for the body, and then cut a thin sheet of white clay for his wrap-around jacket. I also wrapped a thin sheet of beige clay for his trousers, and gave him a pair of hard-wearing sandboots. Whenever I think of Luke Skywalker (and I did quite a lot when I was much, much younger), I see him in this outfit, with his ridiculous utility belt and floppy blond hair. And so that's what I gave this wee cat! He has both his light saber and his binoculars, and extruded yellow clay for his hair.
Next came Princess Leia. I'd been looking forward to making her because of the iconic side buns she wore in the first (fourth?) film. Again I used the flesh Sculpey clay and carefully wrapped a thin sheet of white clay around the body to reflect her rather chaste dress. Because her neck line is pretty high, I made up smaller than usual chops which I placed over the top of the dress. Internet research revealed that Leia's belt was silver and not black (as I had first thought), and although I've never consciously been aware of what she wore on her feet, I have given her some dainty white shoes. The hair was the fun part! I made up some thick extruded clay and coiled it round into the buns. Then I extruded some much thinner clay and created the very severe centre parting she wore in the film. I was in two minds about putting cat ears on, as my thinking all along is that they would have been obscured by the buns, but when I tried them out, they worked much better than I had expected. Et voila!
Last, but certainly not least, came Darth Vader Cat. I had in fact tried Darth Vader Cat Mk I last week, but something wasn't quite right. I had included white chops above the triangular mouthpiece and had given him a fluffy pink light saber, but it all somehow made him look more cute than menacing. (Now that I see them side by side, the one on the right looks more like a policeman! I will leave the choice up to Lynsey as to which one she prefers, but my vote's for the cat on the left!)
So I started over and left out the chops, focusing instead on getting helmet and eye surrounds to the proper shape. I used 4mm black onyx beads for the eyes this time to reflect the large bulbous eyes in Darth Vader's helmet. Two short logs of silver next to the mouth piece completed the look, and I finished him off with two coats of gloss varnish to give him an uber shiny finish.
For the rest of the week, I'll be making up Christmas stock for the Ilkley Arts Market on Saturday, but I'm itching to have a go at Yoda Cat! Watch this space....