It looks like it takes me about a month to crank one of these out. Not exactly the rate of production I would prefer, but I do have a little guy at home with me all day. This is a 14X11 of an African cheetah, preparing for the hunt in the early morning or evening hours, when the sun is still low on the horizon. Perhaps a mother with hungry cubs to feed. Cheetahs may be the world’s faster land animal, able to accelerate faster than a sports car, but they hang on the precipice of extinction.
The tools used were a scalpel, fiberglass brush, and tattoo needles. Yes, I have tattoo needles in my tool kit now. They look like this:
I have them in 3,5,7, & 9 flats and rounds. The number indicates how many needles are soldered together on the post. They are rather long and unhandy to work with, and the other end looks like an inoculation loop. I cut them down to the last half inch of the pointy end and fit them into a pin vice, so I have a little tool that looks like this:
They are ferociously sharp so it’s really easy to stick yourself and not realize it until you see the blood. But they are great for smooth and soft textures and for removing a lot of ink, quickly and without gouging the clay. I used them for the tongue and eyes on this piece.
Here’s a closeup of the cat’s eyes, scratch by scratch. You can click the image for a high res view.