Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Of cats and birds

My new French claying friends at Créationfimo have challenges regularly, and the latest theme was chosen by an inspiring clay artist in her own right, Tewee.  Please click on her name to discover or rediscover her lovely color combinations and wide range of styles.  Oh, and please come see all the entries for this challenge at Parole de pâte. 
The theme of this particular challenge is "chat et oiseau" cats and birds.  I love birds and have ends and bits of "birdy" canes in my stash of humming  birds and blue birds, pigeons and peacocks, but I didn’t really want my precious birds in the company of a such deadly predator. For this particular challenge  I let my imagination go where it wanted and decided to focus on happy, sleeping, soft, purring cats with beautiful feathers swirling in their dreams.  No violent kitties here. 

Yes, my favorite way to begin any claying project is by creating a new cane.  I searched for some sleepy cats and feathers on Pinterest and Flickr, and came across many I loved.  These turkey feathers   in a photo taken by Darrell Gulin amazed me.  I found many more feathers to make into canes at the fun stuff café blog  A  photo taken by Kara Roselund   of a place setting with feathers particularly caught my attention. but was not easy to find elsewhere on line.  I could not find the photo on Kara’s site, but it was linked to a delightful blog written by Aileen “At Home in Love”   who shared more information about Kara.   Aside from peacock feathers, pheasant feathers are my very favorite. While searching for feathers for use in my caning, I fell in love with this adorable hat made with pheasant feathers:

 Almond Pheasant Feather Fascinator/Mini Hat photo from Soundchick Accesories
I put many of my clay feathers, some simple cat canes (black lines in translucent clay), a few older canes (Frida Kahlo 
,  my signature “JYP”  
, and peacock feathers ) together in a rectangle to fit into my simple slicer – an invention of Lela Armstrong.  I was then off and running on my way to try my hand at creating something for the “cat and bird” challenge. 
I love to make my very thin sheets of mille fiori clay “fabric” that I often lay on top of clay covered in metallic sheets. .  It is my signature style of beading/claying.   I used to do this in a very painstaking way. Now it is so much easier with Lela’s slicer. Can you find all my canes?  the turkey feathers, the sleeping cats, the peacock feathers, the kitty paw prints, a couple little girl faces, pheasant feathers and my signature?  

With awe and inspiration at every turn, I have been studying the work of the many talented and kind francophone clayers who belong to
Créationfimo.  One tutorial especially caught my attention, and I used this challenge to try out the ideas of LaSagrada.  Merci pour le tuto!  She is on Flickr too. 
  I used my favorite texture design for the bezels. 

After making the La Sagrada method focal beads I set about constructing cat-head shaped connecting beads.  

I want to try doing more of this kind of pieces.   The construction was a breeze; totally fun and quick to put together. 
Oh, and just in case the cat and bird theme was too subtle, I made closures adorned with a sculpted bird and cat. 

PS:  For my  claying friends who love their birds, here is aquick tutorial for making bird earrings for free on my blog .


  1. Bravo! How wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Jill!

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