In progress

CAT HOUSE

I was briefly employed at the Edventure Children's museum last year. The best part of the job was the zany cast of characters that did their best to keep that place running and one of those crazy people became a really dear friend. This friend recently bought a house so I went into "house warming gift" mode. As a child, she  wrote a "what I want to be when I grow up" paper in primary school where she outlined her future as an old lady's house cat. I think I understand my audience. Bingo

Did several sketches of ideas then I settled on a house being animated like a giant millipede chasing a ball of yarn by all the cats packed inside. I then drew this to scale on the dry erase board to start working

This was a wonky, spaghettified house so I made it mostly out of EVA foam and siding/insulation foam. It had to be bent in weird curves and be light for the multitude of kitty legs that would stick out underneath.

aaannndd.....cats. lots of em. I sculpted one lil head then made a simple push mold to crank out close to 40 cat heads in super sculpey. I also sculpted a few special heads to add character. Legs were a whole 'nother issue. I needed variety but didn't want to spend two years making cat legs, obviously. I made two types of "four legged" kinds then 6 single legs: two rear ones in different poses then 4 single front paws doing different swipes.

close up of the cats in windows. The front windows had the most cats and the most variety of faces. The one lil window has an oddball robot cat with an Ipad type face which is a character from one of my friend's stories. It seemed  a nice personal touch. 

I had to make curtains for the rear window so I whipped some up out of plasticene then did some magic to produce curtains. All the windows had trim done in a similar fashion though those pieces started as styrene rods and sheet. Each window is cut from a polycarbonate sheet with styrene frame and resin moulding. 

Aside from cat parts, the siding and roof were the most time consuming things. I made templates for both using poster board then contact cemented the eva foam on . The Siding is eva foam and the shingles are made of watercolor paper. The chimney was eva foam. I just drew out the grout lines between bricks then ran an xacto down each line. Hitting this with the heat gun opened them up to neat lil lines.

oh the cat legs.  I hollowed out one of the legs and popped it over a threaded rod with tapped steel ball to form the front support of the house. This was epoxied to the foam underside. I wanted it to be a rainbow yarn so i hand painted stripes of color on about 3-4 feet of thread then wrapped it around the steel ball. For the rear, I epoxy puttied a bunch of cat legs to a board then put them in as one unit in the back. All the legs in the middle had a tab that stuck out the top that cut a small  section out of. Then i tacked them in place with hot glue. After a swathe of cat legs was completed, I'd pour in a fast setting resin to lock them down to the foam. The small cut out on the tab gave the resin something to "mechanically" lock into when it set up. Each leg was painted prior to gluing.

I primed the everything with Stix through my airbrush. Then painted with acrylics. My gift was well received. Very happy. She is an excellent photographer so I hope she can take some nice photos.