These miniature tiger skin rugs contain absolutely no tiger.
They do contain –
- air drying clay (head and claws)
- water based paint and glue
- UHU glue
- unravelled furry white pipe cleaner (whiskers)
- fine sheepskin (instead of tiger skin)
- felt (backing for the ‘tiger skin’)
I have come to expect three responses to these rugs –
* * *
Annoyance – It is too big to fit in my house !
Adult tigers are large animals – and dolls’ houses are not (usually) scale models.
These rugs are the ‘right’ size scale-wise, any smaller and they look a bit silly next to furniture and dolls’ house inhabitants.
Many modern, commercially made, dolls’ houses – even the ones with grand exteriors – have small, shallow rooms with relatively low ceilings.
So, if you want to recreate authentic interiors, in scale, buyer beware…
* * *
Outrage – How could you ?!?
I, personally, do not think that any animal should be killed in order to make an exotic rug. If I lived in a place where tigers regularly ate my livestock, and killed my family, I might feel differently.
Be that as it may – No tigers were harmed in the making of these rugs. They are complete fakes.
* * *
Amazing – How did you do it ?
It is always tempting to say at this point, ‘A great deal of practice!’
The truth is that, although they take time and patience to make, they are not too difficult if you take them in easy stages.
- First decide how large the rug is to be and make a paper pattern of the entire shape.
- Second find a picture of a tiger, or a tiger skin rug, or find a cat to look at (one with a round face / head is best), then model a head to fit the rug size. Remember to give it nice big teeth and a snarling expression – it doesn’t have to be the finest bit of modelling ever, in fact sometimes a slightly rough finish actually looks bette because tigers have fur. (Don’t forget to make claws while you have the clay to hand).
- Third find something to make the flat part of the rug – I usually use fine leather (the ‘wrong’ side up) as it has a bit of texture, is the right sort of colour and takes paint nicely.
- Fourth cut out the rug shape and glue the head and claws on to it – this is the point at which to be thankful that the edge of the neck is as thin as it is possible to make it. If it isn’t as thin as you would like, either file it down or resign yourself to the face that your rug is going to have an interesting bulge – an interesting bulge can be a good thing, but may be a nuisance if you want to stand a table or chair on it at some point in the future…
- Fifth paint your tiger. I start by painting the inside of the mouth a slightly improbable pink, then I dull down the colour a bit and move on to the nose and then continue with the orangey brown base, then put in the white markings and then the black stripes and then go over again refining the detail. Finally I age the teeth and the claws and the inside of the mouth – either with a little brown paint, or with cold tea, or coffee.
- The main thing to remember with painting the main part of the rug is that it is to add a little paint at a time and build up the effect – as it is, in my experience, almost impossible to remove paint from the leather.
- Sixth glue some whiskers under your tiger’s chin and then put a backing on your rug – this will support the (heavy) head and make it easier to keep flat on the floor – or wall, if you are going to hang it up.
- Seventh add a few more whiskers at the side of the head and some long whiskers on the muzzle – nylon thread makes good whiskers