Monday, February 16, 2009

No food, no litterbox required.

There are some offsite adoption opportunities coming up at which, in the past, I have never succeeded in adopting any cats. They aren't events that people go to intending to encounter cats that need homes. However, I know the organizers like having me there to add some "color" to the aisles. And the kids love it.

It makes sense to have something to sell, to at least make my time there worth it. Even if I sell nothing, having something available keeps people at the table--talking about cats.

I've been playing around with beaded jewelry for the past year but, looking what is available at the Farmer's Market, I realize I don't have the vision to design truly unique and beautiful adult jewelry. Of course, I didn't learn this until I had already purchased, over time, a hefty bead inventory.

So I decided to go for whimsy instead. I have one kitty design, and my family may recognize him, since he has graced the back of my envelopes since college. I don't have a kiln, so I bought some Sculpey today to move him from 2-D into 3-D. The kitties above are my first three tries. The black kitty bead with the black feet is the most recent attempt. We're getting there! Once I get the kitties down, I'll decide what other beads will best show them off in a silly-sweet necklace. I supposed I could make them into pins as well. Or on a single strand of beads as a window charm so people who wouldn't be caught dead wearing one have an excuse to buy one to hang from their car rear-view mirror.

I also have a ton of shells and stone beads, and will make anklets for those of us longing for summer weather.

I cannot begin to tell you how hard it is to make a tiny cat! These guys are an inch high. You know how small those noses are? I finally gave up on trying to make them triangular. Yikes! I had to break out my $1 Rite Aid glasses to see what I was doing.

As I play around with these "cute" kitties, I'm going to also be bending my brain on a design that is more elegant than sweet. Maybe the typical ying/yang cat....


Zuleme said...

I used to make a good living as a jeweler until I turned to video and writing. I think your cats would sell, they are pretty cute. I'm good with beads.
My mother and sister are opening a shop on Cape Cod and I should dig my stuff out of the attic and whip up some earrings for them.

Zuleme said...

PS, I bought one of those Cat Buddhas and it is so nice I am going to order one for my mom's birthday. And he sent a small one along for free that is also really nice.
Makes me smile thinking of Brendan who was a Perfect Being we called our Buddha.

Stephanie said...

These were your first attempts? They are so cute! It is more difficult to make a small thing than a larger thing.
If you keep going on this, I might commission you to make three that look like my cats. Super cute.

Wildrun said...

I don't think the design or execution is necessarily good enough to sell at a regular market. However, at an adoption table they may sell because people are tempted to leave a donation anyway and often just need an excuse. Also, there often isn't much for kids to purchase at these types of events.

Stephanie, I'd be happy to make kitty beads for any of my regular readers for free as a "thank you for being there!" Maybe folks could send me photos of their cats with return postage.

Zulume, I'm glad you like your Buddha! He sent me an extra little one too, when I purchased mine. I had forgotten, it was so long ago. I gave it away as a gift.

I have a lot of respect for bead artists now. A lot goes into envisioning and executing a beautiful piece of jewelry.

I'm still trying to think of what best to do with these little guys that would tempt adults to buy them on a whim. I don't think they would stand up to the wear and tear of being zipper pulls or cell phone case ornaments. Maybe I'll throw one on my jacket and see how long it lasts.

If anyone has any ideas, send them my way!

las794 said...

Such cute kitties! I know how hard it is to get good detail on small clay works. When I was working in Sculpey, I had, in addition to small clay tools, a set of small jeweller's flathead screwdrivers. Did a lot of work with those little things!

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

those are the absolute bees knees I tall ya, and I TOLD YOU making cats is hard! but I have been making a lot of them lately...
I love yours and may learn something from you!

Michele in Michigan said...

These would also look really cute as mini wall decor. Or perhaps attached to a small picture frame.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps make a few with an "ear tip" ;)

Amy said...

Actually, if you're making them out of the harder polymer clays, like premo or fimo, then you can use them for harder use items like zipper pulls an cell phone ornaments. If you're using Sculpey III, then yeah those suckers are going to fall apart if manhandled too much, unfortunately. Since you bought the colors in Sculpey that you want already though, what you can do is buy translucent premo or fimo, and then use the Sculpey to tint it to whatever color you want.