Of late, I had been keeping myself busy with some sketches to a request of a very special friend and mentor. She had personally requested for a set of Maneki-Nekos or otherwise, popularly known as Lucky Cats!
Generally, Asian people would have one or two in their stores or home to boost their businesses or for protection purposes and there are those who just find these cats alarmingly cute. Having noted that and also my personal interest in these cats, I decided to explore in it and that resulted in the Ong Cat family!
Like most projects that I embark on there are the numerous sketches and this case, I had added into each of them a little spark of personality based on their Lucky Charms. Additionally, to make it more personalized, and for the love of Care Bears and My Little Ponies, each of my cats carried a special flower – ranging from tulips to lavender pulps.
The process was very simple, as my aim was to stay as close as possible to how the original Maneki Neko is model wherein the details are hand-painted onto each model. So, each and every model was weighed (I had no digital scale and so this was a rather tedious task to ensure the spread was equal) and then model as per sketches done earlier. Next, I set it to bake and left it to stand overnight to not only allow the clay to cool-down but also to let it harden. Some of the models did require some sand papering to smoothen out and I had to be thoroughly careful as to not accidentally break a part or completely destroy it.
Nevertheless it was in fact, a good learning curve as a couple of things that i learnt from this experience was how being an oven-baked clay type material, I took a huge risk in baking it multiple times. Additionally, there was one problem I faced. The characters that I had designed can never be reproduced and it was a one-of-a-kind (OOAK) design now! As proud as I was initially, it was a bit saddening to know that these little guys can’t really be shared with others. That however, gives me the inspiration to look for alternative methods to reproducing these types of materials in the near future.
Anyway, that’s all for sharing in this post and till next time!
#designdotmuses #claystories #polymerclay #sculpey3