Helping people heal from the loss of a dear pet, is the motivating force behind this ultra talented Colorado sculptor, Joan Cabarrus. Although Joan has only been creating these tiny masterpieces since February of 2018, her skill is that of someone who has been sculpting for decades. It all began when her husband gifted her sculpting supplies for Valentine's Day. Little did he know he'd ignite a new kind of love in her. She has been sculpting non stop since. Here's more of Joan's story.
My purpose as a pet sculptor is to help our people heal from pet losses by recreating their pets in a piece of sculpture they may be deceased or are still alive. Being an artist, we also need to be inspired and motivated to keep going. Hearing stories from my clients about their pets, their pets’ histories, and how these pets ended up in the hands of their pet owners are truly inspiring. In addition, sometimes the stories that the clients tell me about their pets are horrifying or very sad. The process of me collaborating with my clients either melts or breaks my heart, enough to stir emotions that gives me the drive to create more art work for people.
I create my pieces using polymer clay medium. The creative process starts by asking the client for pictures of their pet of choice. We then collaborate by either me choosing a specific pose from the pictures that the pet owner provides. Sometimes, the pet owner’s requests aren’t evident from the pictures or the pictures are blurry, for example, their dog chewing on his favorite blanket or the dog used to steal bagels all the time. These are the real life situations that the pet owners remember their pets used to do. Using an intuitive process to recreate these scenarios, I want my pieces to show and tell unique stories of their pets. I want my pieces to be very personalized specific for the pet owners. Also working in a healthcare field where human compassion is applied, I am able to empathize with the clients who are also grieving with pet losses.
The structure will start from making the armature of the piece using wires and foils. Clay then applied, detailed and baked in the oven. The pieces are painted with Acrylic paints, and varnish. They then are package very carefully to be sent to the clients.
We have three dogs. Pitri (Frenchie), Belle (Black Mouth Cur), Charlie (Mutt Shephard Mix). They have their very unique traits. Pitri is the mastermind. If he is in a human form, he would be a genius of some sort... Belle is the athletic and skillful one. If she is in a human form, she would be a rock climber and a champion of Agility obstacle courses. Charlie is the grandpa. He is about 14 years old and has back problems. If he is in a human form, he would be Santa Claus.
I believe in training our pets for the safety of everyone involved so my husband and I are constantly training our three dogs obedience and interdependence.
Everything I have created is my favorite. Each piece has its unique story to tell, unique techniques applied to them, unique colors and complexities, and unique challenges.
Innocent, Unconditional love, Intuitive
You can find more of Joan's amazing work on her website at:
on Facebook at:
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You can see her on the news at: https://youtu.be/xy-XVb0CIe4
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