Time for the first three amigos to find a new forever home.
Eventhough I used our own cats as models for these kitties and I love them dearly I'm putting them up for adoption in my shop. Love is also letting go, right?
(*and I get to keep the real Jelle, Timmy and Puck afterall!)

These were a lot of fun to create and I'm looking forward to make many moor!


official photo shoot

Taking listing shots is the least fun aspect of the whole process, I feel. Even though I love to take photos, taking these images is a pain most of the time. It depends on the subject, is it flat, 3D, big, small, matt or glossy... so many different parameters make or break a good listing photo.
I'd love to take shots in natural day light but you can't depend on that in Holland so I use lamps and adjustments on the camera.
I think it worked again this time. I'll touch the photos up and prepare the listings tomorrow.


Continuing with Puck (the Tuxedo)

An annoying thing happened yesterday, I varnished Jelle and Timmy with the varnish I always use, Talens/Amsterdam Acryllic Varnish Matt, though a new unopened bottle. It turned out extremely glossy, spoiling the overall look of the sculptures. I sometimes use glossy for the eyes alone but this time what should have been a matte finish was terribly glossy. I was bummed. I searched the internet and found good tips, instead of dulling it down with a brillo pad I repainted them with Windsor and Newton Acrilly varnish Matt which worked perfectly! Phew!
I wonder what's going on with my regular varnish, they either changed the recepy or misslabeled the glossy bottle? Quite frustrating, though for some sculptures a more glossy finish is acceptable, these portraits really don't need all that extra sheen.

Update I've been in contact with the manufacturer of the varnish and it appeared the shop sold me a different kind of the varnish saying there wasn't a difference between the two brands (Amsterdam and Talens, same manufacturer). They will send me a new bottle of Amsterdam Acryllic Varnish Matt for free and requested I'd return the used bottle of Talens Acryllic Varnish Matt. So it's now clear what the problem was. I'm thankful and relieved. Thanks Royal Talens!

Jelle and Timmy

I'm actually amazed how much they resemble the real Jelle and Timmy considering that the basic sculpture is the same (I'll put a photo of the boys in the comments for comparison). I'm quite happy, the painting is much more impressionistic than my regular sculptures but resembles my painting style on canvas. I guess it's a natural evolution started with Merel and Ratje's sculpture.
I'll leave these two for now and will continue with the black tuxedo Puck. We'll see how I feel in a few days. Stay tuned!

I like where this is going!

First stages of painting, still rough and not nearly ready, but I'm so excited about this progress!
Planning to paint our Timmy, Jelle and Puck on these but I can paint any kind of marking on the sculpture so anyone can request a custom made kitty! More soon!

Using the new mold

Outer shell finshed too! First time for me working with plaster cloth, using it wasn't difficult but it took forever to dry! Not sure why it took so long, it[s just plaster and fabric which should have set within the hour, this took one whole day.
I've build it up in three layers, not too thick but sturdy enough for this use.
Now on to making the first cast! 

I placed the outer plaster cloth shell on a bed of rice to stabilize the mold when pouring the Duracast (stoneware plaster).

I sat the silicone mold inside the outer shell, ready for casting.

I poured the liquid Duracast inside the mold, adding the hanging hook at the same time.

Three identical copies of the original sculpture (first one). The silicone mold is sharp and every detail is visible. I'm impressed this brush-on technique gives the same results as making a solid mold. Next: letting the Duracast cure for a day or two and then finally painting!   


Time for something new!

Instead of making a solid silicone mold I'm going to brush it on this time, creating a flexible skin. I think a solid mold would work too but the ears are sculpted slightly inward which could cause a problem releasing it from a solid mold.
I'll brush it on in three layers creating a thick skin which I will reinforce with plaster cloth once dry.
It's an experiment but should work. Besides releasing the cast easier it also saves a lot of silicone. Wish me luck! 

I've added the first layer with a brush, pushing the silicone in every nook and cranny.

After the first layer cured untill sticky I added a second layer. I've applied two thick layers of silicone and I think/hope I can get away with it before I add the protection plater cloth. I'll leave it to set overnight. Stay tuned!

Yay! Success!
Brushing the silicone onto the cat sculpture to create a mold worked purrfectly! Today I'm going to reinforce the mold (which is too flexible to use this way) with plaster cloth, making a rigid cast around the silicone mold.
I really like this technique, going to use it a lot more. It's much more messy than pouring but doesn't take lots of silicone making the mold smaller to store.