I’ve heard of knitting with dog hair, but jewelry made from cat hair is a new one for me.
My verdict? Although it’s not to my taste — I’m a silver-charm-on-a-leather-string kind of girl — the pieces are quite inventive and look nothing like their source material.
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Combining spun and woven cat fur with interesting bits of metal, Davis’s necklaces are elaborate and visually interesting, the sort of thing you’d see around someone’s neck at the symphony or at a chic party. The prices are pretty decent for the amount of work that goes into each piece: Davis’s designs range from $95 to $280.
So how does one go from normal person to cat hair jewelry maker? In her interview with Wired.co.uk, Davis said that the idea occurred to her one day when she was grooming Gaia, a flamepoint ragdoll who sheds constantly.
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“Ordinarily I would have thrown the hair into the compost, but it felt so soft in my hands, I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away,” Davis said. “As I examined his beautiful hair, I started rolling it into a ball and then, on impulse, I threw it to him. He loved it!”
Davis said that the process of making “perfect fur spheres” evolved over time. After rolling a little bit of fur into a ball, she continues to add fur as she works the ball briskly between her palms, a sort of spinning technique that packs the fur into a compact bundle, ball or strand.
Watch Flora Davis make these fur spheres in this video:
Although the journey from cat toy to designer necklace still isn’t clear to me, this sterling quote from her Wired interview says so much about Davis:
“Awash in hairballs, I gathered a bowlful and placed them on top of the piano. Surprisingly, the balls had a lovely appearance that reminded me of oversized white pearls. This was my inspiration for using Gaia’s ‘toys’ in a way that would display my love for this special cat.”
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