The Friesen Project: Lump Cat Tutorial
Posted on April 19, 2013 in 2013 Friesen Project by Katie Oskin
Welcome back Friesen Project participants … and non-Friesen project participants too! I hope that you all had fun making kitties this past week. In case you’ve gotten behind, don’t miss the cat bead tutorial here or the cat figurine video tutorial here. This week’s project is just a simple one – kitty cat lump beads! Don’t miss the project and all Christi’s cats on pages 25-28 in the Beyond Sculpture, Cats Book.
As with all the tutorials in the Friesen Project, please remember that these tutorials are done in an abbreviated format, with Christi Friesen’s expressed permission. These tutorials are written and designed to be used in conjunction with the Beyond Sculptures Book 4: Cats.
LUMP CAT POLYMER CLAY TUTORIAL
First I must say that I think I like these lump cats the best. Why? They are not near as “fussy” as their counterparts and their cuteness is … well, I’ve already made 8 of these, so therefore they must be cute! Everyone ready – here we go!
Make Your Basic Shape
- Choose your clay colors
- HINT: Want a more whimsical cat? Choose a vibrant single color like pink, blue, or yellow
- HINT: Want a more artistic cat? Marble your colors to create an eye catching blend as shown here.
- Condition your clay
- Roll clay into a ball (top left)
- Pull / Roll out a portion to be the tail (top right)
- Form ball end of clay into a “lump” (bottom left)
- Turn your “lump” into a shape that resembles a cat (bottom right)
The second most important part of your lump cat (after its shape) is it’s eyes. Why? Because eyes can convey a myriad of messages from “I’m hungry,” “feed me,” “I’m a poor kitty … love me,” or even “leave me alone.” I wanted my cat to portray a bit of surprise …
- Impress “dots” into your cat shape where you want the eyes to be using “dotters“
- Pick a color of clay for the background of your cats eyes
- Roll into “balls” and press into clay and smoosh slightly
- Using flexible copper wire, twist beads onto wire
- Embed beads, gemstones, or crystals into the clay balls (see full how to article here)
- Give them a final “push” to make sure they are tight
- Add any additional eye detailing at this point (lines, dots, impressions, etc)
Add In Details
Now it’s time to add the mouth and nose. See complete instructions for this portion on this previous tutorial for cat beads. You can use similar facial features or use an abbreviated version as I will show you.
- First add eyebrows or additional eye details if you haven’t already
- Then add two dots of color clay for cheeks
- Add a dot or a strip of color clay for the mouth
- HINT: For added effect, these colors of clay do NOT have to match! I chose to have mine match, but yours do not
- Press “dots” into the cheeks for added details using a needle tool
- Add your whiskers
- I like the pre-bent wire because I think it adds a nice whimsical look
- Add any additional elements or design details
- I chose to add a flower to my kitty’s head and tail
- You can add a ball of yarn, cat nip, milk bottle, little fish, whatever … but be creative!
- I also chose to add millefiori canes slices of a butterfly cane to her front and a flower cane to her back.
- If you can not make your own millefiori canes, feel free to buy pre-baked canes online (I have several set you might like in my Amazon store), slice them, and add them to your own work.
Finish Your Lump Cat
Now that you’ve put all that time into your design, it’s time to make it permanent!
- Bake your lump cat according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- You can read my tips on baking your polymer clay here
- Please know I bake ALL my pieces for at least an hour, regardless of manufacturer’s instructions as it adds much needed strength to your clay
- Add an antique finish to your lump kitty if you desire
- Varnish your kitty
- Sit back, smile, & enjoy your hard work!
The Friesen Project
The Friesen Project is done in conjunction with Christi Friesen. All tutorials are retaught here with her expressed permission. Please make sure to read about the project here, and get answers to the most common FAQS here.
See you next Friesen Friday,
Until then, Happy Claying,
The Friesen Project is uniting clayers from all over the world with different talents and skill levels with a mutual love of polymer clay.
By Melody Crisman
By Peggy Rose
Remember, in order to have YOUR work featured for the Friesen Project your work needs to be pinned to the Pinterest Board for the project. Enjoy & Happy claying!