San Antonio, Texas, artist Starla Friend offers magical cats for adoption – made of exquisite sparkling ceramics.
Sometimes, Friend offers whole families of cute ceramic and polymer clay cats for adoption. While some cats resemble those found in our world, Friend’s creations include feline-inspired creatures like caterpillar cats, kittyfish, dragon cats, and cat ghosts.
While some cats look more realistic, others are from the artist’s vivid imagination.
Each magical cat is hand-painted and glazed with a rainbow of colors, textures, and many with gold details. When it’s time to open the kiln, it’s “like Christmas morning,” revealing sparkles, shiny gold luster, fur-like crackles, and a rainbow aurora of colors.
Magical Cats Ceramics Inspired by Studio Cats
In her studio, Friend has help from her cat assistants, including Sirius, the once feral black cat. To be sure, the cats are likelier to steal a chair, take over a table, or beg for attention. “At least I’m not alone in the studio,” Friend says.
“Why cleaning my workspace doesn’t give me any extra room to work…”
As is evident, Friend’s cats have always been a muse, inspiring a world of handmade one-of-a-kind fantastic creatures “that hail from strange lands and faraway places.”
As artists know, a studio can be lonely, but not for this artist:
“My work table is contested space.”
Cat Studio Assistants: Abby, Boo, and Sirius
The artist’s journey started with a picture of Abby, the pretty tortoiseshell cat, in September 2012. Although a chair thief, the beloved Abby was a muse for Friend along with her pretty calico Boo. Many of the artist’s early creations were cats, which evolved into their current form after years of refinement and practice.
“Abby begging for attention while I paint.”
“Sunning in the studio window. It’s the best spot in the whole house. :)”
Sirius the Feral Black Cat Turned Ceramic Artist
Sadly, Abby passed away in 2016, and the following month, another magical cat would join the artist in her studio. Sirius, a feral black cat appeared and soon became Friend’s studio assistant.
In a National Black Cat Appreciation Day post, we learn Sirius only likes Friend and “occasionally tolerates” her husband.
As a studio cat, Sirius takes his job, well, seriously.
“My helper is working hard to stop me from working. 🐱”
On occasion, we see Sirius’ feral brother named “Sister,” named after a neighbor who originally thought the cat was a girl. However, only Sirius works in ceramics
“Sirius wanted to sit in the middle of the owls while I painted their eyes, so I offered him a box next to them.”
Over the years, Sirius inspired many charming paintings.
Life for a Ceramics Artist with Studio Cats
What’s life like for an artist with studio cats? Well, the arrangement may have affected the scale of the artist’s creations. With cats strategically positioning themselves as near as possible, there wasn’t a lot of spare room for large-size ceramics.
“Apparently I make small things because I only get a small space to work in.”
Not to mention, the black cat’s desire to actively participate in creating ceramics can be a bit problematic.
“My helper isn’t much help. He prefers to chew on everything. 🐱”
Despite the size constraints, the results are purely charming and magical. What else would one expect from an artist living with feline muses?
“Sparkly black kitties! 🖤🖤🖤”
Below, we share some of Starla Friend’s creations for your enjoyment. To see more, you can follow along on Instagram and Facebook, and Twitter.