25 March 2011
I thought I'd leap forward in time a little bit and take a look at a more recent creation. Scott of the Antarctic Cat is one of my favourites, and a big thank you to Liz for commissioning him for her sister's birthday.
Liz wanted this cat to be as historically accurate as possible (so far as a 2 inch tall polymer clay cat can be said to resemble a famous explorer), and she send me some very helpful photos to work from. I did some of my own background reading and research, and the story of the doomed Terra Nova expedition of 1910-1912 is really fascinating.
Liz was able to tell me that Scott's outer clothes were pale olive in colour. I used this picture to model the cat on, and I decided that, for the first time, one of my character cats would have proper legs! (I got the idea from the Valentine Skiing Mouse I made recently for my good friend Jo.) I made the skis from small wooden lolly pop sticks tipped with polymer clay which I painted a dark brown, and the ski poles are cocktail sticks painted black, with polymer clay handles at the top and baskets at the bottom.
Scott of the Antarctic Cat would not be complete without a provisions sled! I ordered one from Beautifully Handmade, one of my favourite eBay shops for miniature accessories, and it was just perfect for the job at about 10cm long. I piled some scrap clay on top and threw a thin sheet of clay for tarpaulin over the top, securing it with navy cord.
I attached thin cream ribbon to the (clay would have been too fragile) and set it up so that the ribbon could be attached to Scott using a glue dot at the end of each ribbon. This meant that he could have a rest from pulling the sled when he got tired. Scott is secured to his skis with a strong epoxy glue (which gets everywhere if you're not careful), and I used several slices from a millefiori cane to make his walking socks. Well, he had to keep warm out there!
I have to say that I'm very fond of this particular commission - there's something of an anguished expression on his fact, and I've since made more cats with legs, so that's definitely going to be a feature in character cat commissions going forward! Many thanks again, Liz :)
If you want to find out more about Scott's doomed expedition, you can read more about it here.