World of WarCrafts: Those kitties are adorable! Were they premade stuffed animals that you altered, or did you have make a pattern for each of them?
Serthida: I used the "Cat" pattern from The A to Z of Soft Animals by Carolyn Hall. It's an old book and out of print, but it was a great starting point. What I did was take the basic pattern and then modified it to be on-model for the different cats, such as using longer fur for the back of the head to make a mane or patching in markings for the shoulder crescents.
How did you make them, and how long did it take?
All of them are fully hand sewn; my sewing machine isn't nimble enough to do detail work (thanks, 1960s Kenmore). There's nothing too fancy about their construction -- a basic blanket stitch was used to put them together, including the inlays. Their eyes and noses were purchased from a craft store, but all of their horns, fangs, and tusks are hand sculpted out of polymer clay and then set in place using E-6000, a flexible epoxy glue.
The belly of the tauren and the night elf actually are filled with a small pouch of poly-pellets, the same kind of "beanie" things found in Beanie Babies, so they're a little heavier. All of their bases are just a cardboard insert, so they sit perfectly flat on desks. On all of their faces, I used an electric clipper to shorten the fur to make the markings stand out better and to get rid of the "schnauzer" look that many handmade stuffed animals have. I also trimmed the fur on their shoulders using the clippers so their crescent markings would be more visible.
Each one took about two nights' worth of work, or 10 hours total. First night is drafting the pattern for the creature, selecting the fur, and cutting it out. Usually, I'd get the head sewn on the first night as well, since it's the part with the most small pieces needing to be combined (thanks to facial markings and little ears). Second night was legs, chest, tail, body, attaching the head, and stuffing/closing it up. Then final finish work and a quick post to Twitter! Pretty small projects in the world of plush work, honestly. Since they're not jointed and technically only have two legs (they're totally flat on their bases, with no true hind legs), it saved a lot of time sewing.
Which one is your favorite?
My favorite is the black tauren druid. My own character has that model, so it's near and dear to my heart, but the fact that somehow his nose ended up tilted up, making him look exceedingly more cute, really seals it for me. And I love his dark eyes against the black fur; it's pretty much the most adorable thing ever.
What made you decide to make druid kitties?
My first character, and now main, has been a balance druid for almost two years. I think in the words of Archdruid Alamo
, "REMEMBER, DURIDS IS BEST! WHEN U IS HAF SUM FUN, ALL DURIDS IS HAF SUM FUN WIT U!! ALSO, DURIDS IS ALWAYS FRENDS, SO PLAY NISE, OK? " There's a great sense of community among druids, and the concept of "we're all friends just because we play the same class" seems fairly unique among druids above other classes. I really love crafting; it's probably my favorite thing, so doing something like this just to make people smile was really rewarding, and everyone loves kittens, so it was an easy project to work on.
Any plans for other druid forms, like trees or flight forms (or, you know, disturbing fanged aquatic creatures)?
I've already done several moonkins and would love to get a good pattern for bears. Funny thing you'd mention aquatic form; I've been staring at my seal form for the last few days, picking apart how I'd translate the 90-degree turn on the face into something cute or how I'd properly represent the fleshy nubs that pass as flippers. I've had a lot of requests for tree form, and if I did it, I'd go with the old treant model over the new "Mantree."
I'm hoping to get some tutorials up for these guys very soon, so other people can make their own. Since I don't do these on commission or sell the ones I've finished, people still need a way to get their own druid fix.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Serthida -- we look forward to seeing what you come up with in the future!
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