The birth of a black kitty cat
Hi, this lens is all about the birth of one of my black cats. I will show you every step of the way, the birth takes approximately 14 hours and hopefully you will not see any blood.
It all begins with a sheet of 3mm black glass, some 18k gold leaf, dichroic glass as well as some white liquid glass.
Before I start I would just like to thank Jaguar Julie, as she is the one who suggested the making of this lens, after I made a custom cat clock for her. So thanks Julie and happy you loved him :)
Cutting out the pieces
Firstly I cut out two circles of the black glass the same size. I then cut another two circles the same size but this time smaller. After which I then make a template out of card board for the cat's ears and cut out four of them. That's the main body taken care of. I then make a template of a cat's eye and cut two of these out of the dichroic glass. The cats pupils are made of four pieces of glass about 10mm all that's left to cut out now is the colour and the tail. That's a total of 18 separate pieces of glass. (I will explain why there is two of everything later).
So I now have all my rough pieces of glass, now I must grind the joining surface so there are no gaps when it comes to butting them all together in the kiln. The four round body parts must have a flat edge so they can fit tight together, then I grind the four ears so they fit tight to the cats head with no gaps showing. Now I can dry fit the main part of the cat together to check for gaps. I grind the dichroic glass eyes so they are a similar shape, lay the 18k gold leaf onto the colour that is cut to the correct size.
Setting it out ready for firing
Ok then, now I begin setting it up in the kiln, firstly I lay out the four body and head circles on top of each other, then butt the ears to the cats head. Now I place the two bridging pieces on the ears so that they slightly overlap the head, this is to give the cat more strength and the same goes for the colour, so it slightly overlaps the head and body. I then very carefully place the cat’s eyes on the head, I use a long thin stick to get the eyes into position without jarring the rest of the cat. The tail goes in separately along with the pupils.
Drilling the hole for the hands.
Once the cat has come out of the kiln, I mark the centre of the body for drilling the hole to accommodate the clock mechanism. This bit I hate, I have broken a few clocks doing this part of the process, but if all goes well you can then fit the mechanism. I use epoxy to fix the pupils to the cat’s eyes, epoxy the clip onto the tail and hang the tail onto the pendulum hanger, slip the hands on and a cat is born.
The cats wiskers
If I then want to put the cats markings on like the whiskers etc I use liquid glass, this means once you have let the markings total dry you must then put the cat back in the kiln, for a second time to fuse the markings into the glass.
So why is the cat made of two of everything, the reason being is when you fuse glass to melting point it wants to become 6mm thick. This is due to its surface tension and good old gravity, the sheet glass you start with is only 3mm thick so it just would not work, it would all shrivel up like a piece of bacon. Yea yea yea I here you say, why not just use 6mm glass to start with. If only life was that simple. PS, All my cats come with a birth certificate.
Well that's about it for now hope you enjoyed it bye for now.
Its cool for cats.
Thought I would through a handfull of my favorite cat TV adverts.