This magnificent beast is Calciferious, Calcifer kitty’s alter ego. This is another Cat Dragon sculpture and was inspired by my fluffy Maine Coon cat. Calcifer frequently sits in what I call his “Captain Cool” pose, so I decided to make his dragon persona sitting in this pose.
This sculpture took weeks to complete, but it was an absolute labor of love. Unfortunately the very first work in progress pictures are on my laptop, which died a while back (one of the reasons I haven’t posted for quite a while). I tried something new with this piece and the center of the sculpture is weighted with a special rock that I found at our favorite camp site. I made a cardboard base, glued the rock in place on the base, then wrapped it all in aluminum foil, filling and shaping to create a feline/ dragon body shape. The front legs have heavy gauge wire running through them for added strength. Then I started adding the base layer of clay. This sculpture took a LOT of polymer clay! After getting the head, neck, body, legs, and tail sculpted the fun part really started- adding the scales. I used star shapes in varying sizes for most of the body, legs, and tail.
I tried to mimic Calcifer’s colors and patterns, only with a dragony twist. I used black, silver, and gold for everything but the wings. It was slow going, shaping and placing each scale, checking with the real cat to get the stripes and colors just right. I wasn’t in any hurry though, and I just let the sculpture flow. At first I used star shapes for his chest too, but then I decided that carefully shaped leaves would give him that fluffy look that I wanted.
This turned out to be just perfect and added so much more to the sculpture. Here you can see the stripes along his side and how the colors change from his belly to his back (this is harder to see after I added the wings).
I brought the fluffy scales (is there such a thing?) up under his chin and just to his ears, like his fluffy fur is in real life. That’s one of the features I love about Cal and I really wanted to capture that in clay. I even used Calcifer’s real whiskers. (Cats shed their whiskers and I’ve saved whiskers from all my cats.) I poked holes in the muzzle before baking then put a dab of glue on the end of each whisker and inserted it in the hole after the sculpture was baked. You can bake whiskers at 275 degrees (the temperature for baking polymer clay), but sometimes the white ones tend to yellow a bit or curl.
I added all of his scales before adding the wings, which I sculpted separately and prebaked. I used purple and gold scales because those colors are just very “Calcifer” and I liked the way they complimented the rest of the piece.
This is actually a rather large sculpture, for me at least, since I normally work in miniature. It ended up measuring about 10 inches long and 10 inches high. But since Cal has such a big personality, I had to make a big sculpture to encompass all that he is 😉 Here you can see Calciferious hanging out in the living room. Did I mention that he’s a shelf sitter? I designed him to sit comfortably on a shelf or the edge of a table.
I think he goes pretty nicely with the decor too. I’m still deciding if I want to list him for sale. For now I think I’ll just keep him all to myself- I don’t think I can part with him just yet.