I just finished another custom order pet sculpture of an adorable cat. I’ve been creating people’s pets in polymer clay for several years now and each animal is different. I’ve sculpted cats and dogs of all breeds, rabbits, lizards, and even a llama. Customers send me pictures of their pet along with a description, often of their personality as well as their physical characteristics. I use the pictures and descriptions to sculpt the animals in clay. I don’t just sculpt a boxer, I sculpt YOUR boxer, or German Shepherd, or poodle, or calico cat, etc. I try to go beyond just the fur and find the true creature, the thing that makes your pet so special. Sometimes I don’t even know how I do it.
I’ve had so many customers tell me that I captured their pet just perfectly. Some have said they even cried when they opened the package and saw their pet in miniature. Quite a few of these sculptures have been made for pets who have passed on, which makes them even more special. I know what it’s like to lose a beloved pet, which is one reason I started making custom pet urns. These custom made jars are a wonderful memorial for pets who are no longer with you. And for our four legged friends who are still underfoot these can also be used as special treat jars. 😉 I made a jar for both of my cats (Calcifer and Ginko) and my boyfriend’s dog (Ziggi) and I keep them in the craft room to store small things and make me smile 🙂
Naturally I started sculpting animals by using my own pets as models. Over the years my sculptures have vastly improved and I owe much of my knowledge about sculpting animals to Katherine Dewey and her book Creating Lifelike Animals in Polymer Clay. I learned the right way to sculpt certain animals and was able to take what I learned from that book and expand on it. I’ve become quite good at sculpting from pictures, especially when the customer sends several good shots which capture all sides of their pet. I find myself studying animals all the time. I watch my cats and dog, see how their fur lays, what they look like in different positions, how they hold their body, then imagine how I would sculpt that (a small lump of clay here, sharp upward sweeps with my fur tool there, a pinch, a squeeze, and smoosh in just the right spots).
If I get an order for an animal that I’m not as familiar with I do some research online, sometimes even checking out the skeletal structure and anatomy of that particular animal. I’m very familiar with most animals though, having had pets all my life. I’ve always loved all sorts of animals, so I’ve spent a lot of time studying about them and seeing them in the fur and feathers whenever possible.
Love- I guess that’s what it really comes down to. I love animals, and I love sculpting. That love goes into every creation I make. I can relate to all the stories of their pets that my customers tell me. I know the joy that your big goofy dog brings when he cocks his head and gives you “that look”. Or the comfort you feel every time your your fluffy cat rolls over for a belly rub. All those little things our pets do that make us smile, laugh, or shake out heads in wonder. And to be able to capture those things in a polymer clay sculpture is an absolute gift for me. A gift that I am incredibly grateful for.
If you’re interested in having me create your pet in polymer (or giving a custom pet sculpture as a gift) you can click on any of the pictures above to be directed to my custom order pet listings on ArtFire or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for reading, and be sure to give your pets a good cuddle! 🙂