The Etsy Blog

Short Stories: Cheshire Cat handmade and vintage goods

Here at Etsy, we believe that the story behind an object is often just as fascinating as the object itself. Short Stories is our series dedicated to telling the tales behind extraordinary pieces found or created by Etsy sellers. 

Here’s Susan of Professor Tiny with the tale behind her grinning china cat.

Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, were part of the template in my brain pretty early on. Certainly the Cheshire Cat is an odd amalgam of madness and good cheer (and, it occurs to me now, an antecedent of a favorite scene in the classic Evil Dead 2 with the laughing hero and demented furniture).

Mosaic work interested me because it involves breaking down something functional and turning it into something beautiful. It was great fun turning something two dimensional into a sculpture. What I am particularly pleased with about this piece is that there is a willow plate which I used for the nose, although only one of the doves survived the process to hover next to the left eye. Mosaic can be done on many surfaces (the core of this is styrofoam); my preference is to use wire mesh to reinforce the base structure and weave in thinset mortar.

At this point I have moved on from mosaic to working with altered photos — I live in an apartment, and the space is better for small scale work. I would highly recommend doing mosaic work for those with an outside wall they’d like to decorate, or an old basketball lying around — I have even used a 26″ exercise ball (with reinforcement). It really is very similar to embroidery, but on a different scale.

More Short Stories

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2 Featured Comments

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  • rickrackshack

    Vanessa Ryerse from TheMosaicButterfly says: Featured

    My eye was drawn to this like a moth to the flame! I'd love to hear more about how you discovered what surfaces you can mosaic. I'm always on the hunt for a new substrate!

    3 years ago

  • gossamer531

    Gossamer Tearoom from TheGossamerTearoom says: Featured

    I love this! I have never worked in mosaic myself, but I love the idea that working with the pieces would be somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle. I am also very interested in how this process slows down the progress. I find that for me, anytime some form of limit is placed on some creative piece in which I am working, it just reveals itself in richer form. Art is not a race, it is an adventure! Don't rush or you'll miss something!

    3 years ago