Only one week until the Creative Fibre Festival and I'm working like a trojan. Completed my first alpaca pendant this week. Didn't take me as long as I thought it would and I really enjoyed painting something different. Alpace farming is a fast growing business here although you wonder if it will go the same way as mohair, angora, kiwi fruit and avacados which were all boom industries for lifestylers in the 1980s.
Cats are a big staple of mine but I have found they don't sell so well as pendants for some weird reason. The exception are ginger Persians which seem to appeal to buyers. I still have difficulty with the tabby version whereas the long haired ones are much easier. I always feel sorry for them with their squished faces as it must cause them a few breathing difficulties.
Two animals that are extremely popular are rabbits and wolves. The wolf seems to be a masculine subject that appeals to strong characters whereas bunnies are feminine with that whole fluffy cuddly vibe going on. The rabbit pendant is an inch in length and shows one of my first efforts in using pliers and silver wire.
Paua has had a bum rap in New Zealand due to being used in so many kitsch and downright nasty souvenirs such as ashtrays, tacky kiwis and cheap jewelry. However lately it has been enjoying a renaissance as artists begin to appreciate its unique beauty. Certainly it is much more colourful than Northern Hemisphere abalone. The wire bail here I have epoxyed onto the paua before painting a rabbit on the shell. I was worried the paua would break if I attempted to drill it.
I love Payne's Grey! It is a delicious colour that really pops. These two little brooches are meant to be British Blue cats. I had a friend who was owned by one of these felines. One Christmas as a joke she put her best pearls around his neck. He spent the day admiring himself in the mirror and artistically arranging himself about the house all the better so visitors could admire his finery. In desperation she bought him his own string of cheaper pearls but being the pedigree cat he was he knew when he was being short changed and lost all interest in his kitty bling.