This fall I discovered Paper Clay–and boy, have I been having fun with it. I found I could make multiples of objects by making an original and then a mold. I love dogs, but their heads are all different shapes and sizes. Cats are relatively uniform in shape, and by applying wildly different paint jobs, I could create a whole herd of them.
Paper clay Cat portraits: molded, dried, painted, varnished, and be-ribboned!
I modeled a cat face, then made a mold from it. It got a little thin at the tip of the nose so I have to fix the nose on each model.
I use cornstarch to dust the mold so the damp paper clay doesn’t stick.
Dusting the mold with cornstarch.
I roll out the paper clay to about 1/4″ and lay it over the mold.
The clay is pressed into the mold.
I flip the mold over and carefully lift it up off the clay.
The cat face before trimming.
I smooth the edges and surfaces with a stiff, damp paintbrush. Each face is slightly different.
Once the excess clay is trimmed away I shape and add details to the face with the beveled end of a paintbrush.
A tray of cat heads ready to dry. While the clay is still damp I slide a small hanger eye into the top of the head. Now they need about 36 hours to fully dry.
Once the cat heads are dry I paint them with Holbein Acryla gouache.
Each one is an individual portrait. These three are modeled after a Mai Thai, a classic seal point siamese, Ms Bogart, a Russian Blue and Elizabeth, a tabby with a startling orange stripe up her face.
Here are Dolly and Fern, two of my favorites.
My cat loving friend Nancy displays all nine of her loved ones, past and present like this.
Find your next best friend, or see if you can find a dearly departed feline in my Etsy shop:
I am also happy to accept custom orders anytime.