Star Wars Cats (b.7-11 April 2010)

May the Purr be with you

Thought it was time that I got round to writing about my second batch of Star Wars Cats - and here they are! These came about through a message (or convo, as I believe they're called) on Etsy - a lovely American lass wanted to commission three new characters to add to their quirky Star Wars collection.

As you can see, the request came in for an R2D2 Cat, a Princess Leia Slave Girl Cat, and a Han Solo in Carbonite Cat. I could see how the first two would work straight away - R2D2 must have feline blood in him somewhere! - but I needed to give some thought to Han Solo.

The side of R2D2 you never get to see

I tackled R2D2 Cat first, and I went for a look that was as close to the original as possible (excepting the ears and tail, of course). It was actually quite hard to find a picture of R2D2 from behind, so I ended up watching one of the films - ah, the sacrifices I make for my art :) Turns out, all the fun stuff happens on his front, but at least I'm happy that the wee mite is a pretty good representation of the real thing. I even managed to put the orange rubber tubing on his feet :)

Princess Leia Cat

Next up was Princess Leia Slave Girl Cat. Now, I had some misgivings about this one. The costume is positively indecent! Couldn't have one of my cats letting it all hang out, even if it was for a good cause! But in the end, I overcame my qualms and got on with it. Again, I went for detail and took sketches of the bikini design. I used thinly extruded gold clay to form the pattern and a thin sheet of deep red clay for the fabric. It felt a little strange to be using a flesh-coloured clay, but I think the overall effect works out quite well. I even plaited strands of extruded brown clay for the hair. Now that's dedication.

Can you guess what it is yet?

And then came the fun part! Now, I had given quite a lot of thought as to how I should embed the Han Solo Cat - resin? clay? I wasn't sure, but I picked up a plastic mold when I was last in Manchester. And then I decided to just go for the simplest option - plaster of Paris.

Before I got down to all that, I made up Han Solo Cat himself. I used scrap clay for this and gave him arms with outward facing paws (a precursor to my recent Cats With Arms range!) I also dressed him with an open necked shirt and trousers. I baked him first, and when he was cool, I placed him in the bottom of the mold and had to prop him up with some wedges of clay so that the front of him would poke out of the clay. That was actually quite a tricky part because he kept rolling around in the bottom of the mold. (I resorted to Blutack in the end.)

Which version do you prefer?Spot the difference
I've never done plaster casts before, and I can tell you now that it's messy stuff. Still, I managed to get it to the right consistency, and then came the tricky part of pouring the plaster into the mold whilst keeping the cat in the right place. Once I'd poured the plaster in, I let it dry for about 30 mins, and when it was tacky I used a small ball of rolled up kitchen foil to mark the top of it. I also 'painted' a bit of plaster over the front of the cat so that none of the original clay showed through. Then came the tedious bit - waiting for him to dry. It took a full 3 days, despite me sitting him on the window ledge (it was quite sunny in April), and tucking him under the radiator. Still, he eventually dried out, and then I could paint him.

I put an coat of black acrylic paint on, and then applied an antique wax coat in a gunmetal grey. And do you know what? I'm really, really pleased with the way he turned out!

9 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, these are brilliant!! hahaha. Must show my son. Princess Leah is hillarious! but in a good way : )

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fantastic! Love the Han Solo!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your work is so inspiring, I just love the star wars cats
    Tanya
    =^_^=

    ReplyDelete
  4. So glad you all like them as much as I do! Watch this space for Yoda Cat, Sith Cat, perhaps even a Boba Fett Cat (or should that be a BobCat Fett Cat lol!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looking forward to Yoda cat, am I.

    (Oh dear.)

    x

    ReplyDelete
  6. your crafts is really really great and the best



    from luby and ava
    (friend of luby's)

    ReplyDelete