Let’s do Earrings!

I have been asked many times: what about creating cat hair earrings?

OK, but how could I make them? I had no idea at first. Then, the solution presented itself. I had spiraled felted cat hair with wire and liked the way it contained and protected the hair. This technique added a wonderful visual interest to the hair orbs that were part of two necklaces I made.

The first pair. I made the earrings using two brass spiraled orbs of cat hair, connected them to each other, one on top of the other, and finally attached the orbs to a fish hook ear wire.  This pair was SOLD before Christmas, and went to a true cat-aholic!, one with SEVEN cats!

My first creation at making earrings with cat hair

The second pair.  I like the elegant simplicity of this one. It consists of a single orb using spiraled stainless steel wire, then attached to a fish hook ear wire.

Cat earrings number two, simple and elegant

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Meow’s Favorite Things—A Christmas Song

Playtime or sleeptime and tuna at mealtime

Bright sunny spots and maybe a nap time

Bright x-mas packages tied up with strings

These are a few of meow’s favorite things

>”<    >”<   >”<   >”<    >”< 

Cream-colored blankets and crisp little crunchies

Petting and brushing and tuna as munchies

Wild little birdies that fly bye-bye on wings

These are a few of meow’s favorite things

>”<    >”<   >”<   >”<    >”< 

Lying in lap-e while petting my back-e

Tuna that sticks to my paw and my nose-e

Newspaper balls and toys with a spring

These are a few of meow’s favorite things

>”<    >”<   >”<   >”<    >”< 

When the dog barks

When the dish empties

When meow’s feeling hun-gry

Meow simply remembers meow’s favorite things

Then meow don’t feel so bad ! ! !

>”<    >”<   >”<   >”<    >”< 

Zoron—A Playful Creation

Each cat hair necklace has its own story to tell. This is Zoron’s.

My creative process usually begins at night, just before I go to sleep. In this semi dream state ideas percolate, gradually forming and transforming into a visual image. Zorn’s story is different. It begins with an inspiration but without any direction on how it would come to be.

First.  My initial inspiration came from an image of a broach I saw constructed of tangled, angled wire. I liked this piece because of its dimensionality. Then I pondered what it would be like to create something similar using cat hair puffs. I put this thought aside for a few months.

I finally begin. Using a spool of 20 gage brass wire, I begin forming one long piece of wire. First, I form it into a small square, then, another a little bigger, then, a bigger one, etc., and then, reverse the process, finishing with a small square. The final look is an accordion like jumble of squares that flare out dimensionally. But now what? How to proceed?

Out of nowhere. The next day I begin again but not where I had left off. I still didn’t know what to do but this is a new moment, different from the previous day. I begin to play with the wire shape in my hands. How could I integrate the hair puffs within the tangle of wire? An idea emerges…

The solution. I spiral wire 3 hair puffs, leaving wire tails. Then, I use the tails to secure the puffs within the wired mass, which also gives rigidity to the structure.

Gaia modeling Zoron

Living With Cats—re·gurgi·tation

Many, many, years ago, a friend was considering allowing stay-in house privileges to the elderly cat who befriended her. She never had a house cat and asked me what was it like living with cats? Well, following is my first installment to that question.

If you have one cat, you have a 50% guarantee that he will be of the throw-up variety. If you have two cats, your odds will be 100% that one will be offering you bi-monthly to weekly piles throughtout the house.

THROW-UP TYPES 

  1. The Pile. Contained, solid, with well defined boundaries, and a defined shape.
  2. The Spread. A thin, watery veneer spread over a wide swatch of carpet. Also referred to as the invisible slick.
  3. The Hairball. No explanations needed.
  4. The Multi-layered. Originates where pussy was sleeping, cascades down the side of the couch, then pools on the foor/rug.
  5. The stealth. Strategically placed on the path to the bathroom in darkness so you will step into this cold sliminess with bare feet.
  6. The mummy. Discovered when the couch is pulled back, usually hard as a rock.
  7. The in-n-out. In she come then out she goes into the same dish.
  8. The spontaneous. No warning. There she blows!
  9. The anticipatory. Some indications, as if getting up the momentum to send off a really good one. This type allows you some time to race to and grab that newspaper you had hidden under the couch or was it the chair?
  10. The projectile. Always initiating from a high place with the purpose of creating an artistic splatter below.

HOW TO CLEAN UP: A SUGGESTION THAT REALLY DOES THE JOB ON CARPETS AND FURNITURE!!  Developed by my studio neighbor Margaretha who loves cats and has had ample experience in this matter.

The knife method.  The main tools you will be using is a dull knife, preferably a short chief knife, and Nature’s Miracle Just for Cats, which takes care of the smell as well as de-crusting those month old throw-ups that you never saw until now. STEP ONE Scrap in the direction of the pile of the rug depositing as much of the vomit on the blade as possible. Deposit in onto a handy newspaper. Continue until all is removed. STEP TWO Flood the area stained with Nature’s Miracle. Use the knife to move in back and forth into the rug—this will help dislodge any remaining particles. STEP THREE Repeat as in Step One, removing as much liquid as possible. STEP FOUR Blot the area with paper towels to remove any remaining liquid. Voila! The area is now clean for the next time!

Me? I am the OTHER 50%

 

A “Pearly White” Christmas Commission

A friend of mine, who also happens to be an excellent artist, commissioned a necklace using cat hair. What follows is the discussion I had with her before I proceeded with making the necklace.

Me: Do you want the cat hair necklace to include some leather/metal in the design?

Her: No. Just make one using cat hair as large white “pearls.”

Me: How about adding an asymmetrical focal point in the front?

Her: No. Just make it look like a string of white pearls.

Me: Can I ask why?

Her: I want people to think it is a pearl necklace, and then be surprised or shocked that they are not pearls but “pearls” made from cat hair.

A small basket of Gaia hair

HELP GAIA!!  I was going to need a lot of hair for this project, probably 28 “pearls”. I began three weeks before Thanksgiving. (She originally wanted to wear it while she was in New York for Thanksgiving.) That was out of the question! I got into grooming mode. Once a week I groomed Gaia, then rolled the hair into tight cat hair pearls.

Two months later… finally! I had enough of those “pearls” to wire a necklace!

Gaia guarding the “pearls”

And the finished necklace— packed up and ready to be worn on Christmas eve!

Would you believe?…SALES!

I had my shop on Etsy for less than a year and only one item sold—a card—for $12 and to a friend. There were lots of my metallic microsculptures on view but only four cat hair necklaces.

Out of the blue it happened, a SALE!  And not one of my metallic necklaces BUT one of my quirky but elegant cat hair necklaces!!! The necklace was the second piece I made from cat hair and it sold to a lady in the Bay Area for $130. This happened at the end of June.

Then, another SALE!! On October 1st, the day after the TODAY Show’s “Things That Make You Go Hmm”, I sold not the featured necklace, but this beautiful necklace to a lady in Indiana for $220.

AND Another!!!  On November 4th the featured necklace on the TODAY show sold to a lady in Michigan, it’s price—$95.

Thanks internet!——————Because there IS a market for jewelry made from cat hair and metal! 

“Things That Make You Go Hmm”

Two weeks prior Animal Plant came calling. I mean, what else could happen?

Press Request – The TODAY Show – VERY URGENT! Another email, this time from the press team at Etsy: I am working with Bobbie Thomas on a segment for The TODAY Show called “Things That Make You Go Hmm”, tentatively scheduled for September 29, during the Kathie Lee & Hoda hour of the show. The nature of the segment is fun. It showcases quirky, unique and uncommon items that Bobbie finds in her travels as a stylist. She would *potentially* like to feature some of your work: brass SPIRALED cat hair necklace.

WOW! And, I had only a few hours to respond to this email!!!  Next day I packed up the necklace and then FedExed it 2-day air to New York. I mean, the shipping was not cheap! The following Thursday the show aired on msnbc. I don’t watch TV, let alone subscribe to cable, so I did’t get to see The Today Show live. But here is a clip that Catsparella included in its blog. Click on this link (TODAY SHOW) to view the cat hair jewelry segment of “Things That Make You Go Hmm”.

Next Up? Count down to Must Love Cats!!!