.I have been receiving a lot of requests for cat assemblages which, thus far, have been harder to make because I find that many porcelain cat heads are too cartoony looking for my creations. I often have to resort to purchasing an entire cat head teapot or liquor decanter in order to get the kind of realistic cat head I seek. I feel I was lucky in this cat because I found a great vintage Cortendorf pottery cat teapot (made in West Germany) with a beautiful head and a realistic facial expression. I thought through very carefully which of my collection of tins would be a good match. I was so pleased to have this black, gold and green muted vintage tin with 1700s Dutch paintings of families gathering to play musical instruments, such as harpsichords and violins. It fit well with the coloring and facial demeanor of the cat.. My father suggested that I try to make some animals in less static poses, so here is my first attempt at a "stretching" cat. Here are the parts I started out with (cat teapot head, oil can, 4 antique wooden spools, rusty coat hook, Dutch style tin, 2 metal furniture castors):
,Add some black lace and a gold-colored leaf pin and here is my finished product, "Wilhelmina VandeMew.". Naming my pieces can sometimes take as long as designing them! I always try to capture the feel and character of the piece and to add a whimsical touch when I can. Given the Dutch flavor of the tin, she just had to have an appropriate Dutch name. She is my largest cat creation thus far, measuring 14.5"L X 9"T X 5.5"W. As I am quite fond of her, she'll be difficult for me to part with, but I'll be happy if she's adopted by a good home!
I just enjoyed a two week trip to Arizona to visit my parents over the holidays and as an aside, I was thrilled to have a trunk show of my sculptural pieces at K. Newby Gallery in Tubac, AZ. K. Newby Gallery was the first gallery one year ago to consign some of my pieces to sell, which then opened the doors for me to sell in some other galleries. I will forever be grateful to them for believing in my work! Several of my pieces will continue to be for sale through K. Newby Gallery. Here's the link: http://newbygallery.com/artists/Shenna_Shepard/7227/. Below are some photos of my trunk show display at the gallery:
Another great perk of being in Arizona was I had the opportunity to stock up on some supplies that I cannot find in New England, such as these great Day of the Dead skulls from Mexico and Peru. I cannot wait to make more Day of the Dead assemblage pieces in the Spring, including Wedding Cake toppers!
And finally, I found these awesome tins in various antique stores in Tucson. They'll make great bodies for dogs, cats, horses, elephants, donkeys, and dolls!
I am 58 years old, a wife of 27 years, a mother of a wonderful and independent 20-year-old daughter, a clinical psychologist who treats adults in private practice, and last, but definitely not least, an artist. Whew! That was a mouth full. My passion is creating one-of-a-kind whimsical sculptural animals, dolls, and cake toppers (with a little multi-media collage thrown in for good measure). I hope you enjoy my creations as much as I enjoy making them!