This Artist Crafts Adorable Miniature Animal Sculptures You Have to See to Believe

When it comes to miniature animal sculptures, artist Kerri Pajutee does not mess around.

Cats, dogs, birds, monkeys—you name an animal, Kerri has probably crafted an adorable mini-sculpture of the creature.

Miniature Grumpy Cat sculpture

(via Kerri Pajutee)

Because we're fans of her work, we sat down with Kerri to learn how long it takes for her to make a sculpture, how she got involved in sculpting in the first place and her advice for aspiring artists.

Keep scrolling for what she had to say!

Sweety High: How did you get into sculpting?

Kerri Pajutee: As a young child, I enjoyed drawing animals in pencil, pastels and paints. At age 15, I took a pottery class at school and soon discovered I preferred mud clays for hand-building animal art in 3D vs. 2D. I still utilize pencils, pastels, inks and paints in my artwork, but my favorite medium by far, is clay.

Miniature rabbit sculptures

(via Kerri Pajutee)


SH: What's your training background? Did you go to school for this?

KP: You could label me a self-taught hobbyist. As a youth, it never crossed my mind to pursue an art career, so I did not make it a priority to seek out specialized schooling. For me, freehand sculpting was just an enjoyable pastime. When I started sculpting in clay, there was no internet, Google or YouTube and not many "how-to" books at the local library. I basically learned through trial and error, experimenting and improvising on my own to find what worked best.

I continued to sculpt in mud clays on a part-time basis, as well as dabble in plasticine and sculpting wax, all while working a full-time job. I sold my artwork at craft fairs, small galleries and by special commission for about 12 years. I transitioned to sculpting in polymer clay after attending a dollhouse miniature art show. In an effort to make my polymer clay animals appear more lifelike, I applied furry coats of alpaca and wool yarn fibers (layer by overlapping layer) using craft glue.

By 2004, I refined my personal mixed-media techniques and began to share these methods in step-by-step tutorials and online discussion groups. To date, I have published a total of six DIY tutorials for creating miniature furred or feathered animals and birds.

Miniature sculptures of chocolate lab puppies

(via Kerri Pejutee)


SH: Was this always something you wanted to do?

KP: I've never desired to be a full-time artist, but have always enjoyed the creative process and telling a story through my artwork. If my art brings joy to others, then I consider myself twice blessed.

Miniature donkey sculpture

(via Kerri Pajutee)


SH: How much work do you put into each sculpture? How long does it usually take for one of your miniature sculptures to be completed?

KP: First, it starts with an idea or concept, then researching the subject and sketching a reference template. After deciding on a pose, I will build an armature of delicate wire or foil and masking tape. I typically build each sculpture in stages by applying the clay over the armature. After curing the polymer clay in the oven, I will carve and sand additional details into the hardened figure. Next, I will give it a coat of paint and prep the fiber by combing and cutting powder-fine flock. I will apply the fiber (i.e., alpaca, wool, cashmere, silk, etc.) to the sculpture using tweezers and glue. Lastly, I will scissor-clip the furry coat into shape; clean up the loose hairs using masking tape; add subtle details with professional artist inks; and seal the coat with a fixative to set the fibers. On average, I would estimate 8 to 14 hours is invested for a single small animal sculpture.

Miniature sea otter sculptures

(via Kerri Pajutee)


SH: What's your favorite sculpture you've ever made?

KP: I don't really have a favorite animal to sculpt, but am asked most often to make miniature cats. I look forward to challenging projects as they provide me with opportunities to learn something new and continue to improve my skills.

Miniature Ragdoll cat sculpture

(via Kerri Pajutee)


SH: Are there any sculptures you have in the works that you can tell us about?

KP: I have been busy preparing an inventory of miniature animal sculptures for an upcoming show in Sept. 2017. I will be offering a variety of my signature style miniatures along with a few surprises. I will be periodically posting sneak peek pics on my website and Facebook as the show date approaches.

Miniautre chick sculptures

(via Kerri Pajutee)


SH: Are there any artists in your medium who you really look up to?

KP: There are many awesomely talented polymer clay artists I admire. However, I am careful not to follow or study them too closely for fear of imprinting their work in my head and subconsciously duplicating it in my own art. My creative goals are to keep my designs and interpretations as fresh and original as possible.

Miniature monkey sculptures

(via Kerri Pajutee)


SH: What's your advice for aspiring sculptors or artists in general?

KP: There is no substitute for mastering materials and tools. Invest the time and practice, practice, practice. Develop your own unique style and message. What comes from the heart, reaches the heart.

Miniature squirrel sculptures

(via Kerri Pajutee)


If you're into miniature food sculptures, you should check out THESE accessories created by Andrea Díaz.