One of the booths that really drew our attention at the Vancouver Christmas Market was run by the local 4Cats Arts Studio. With multiple locations in the Vancouver area, 4Cats offers painting, polymer sculpting and oven-baked clay workshops for adults, children and families. Their booth at the market offered a wide array of polymer characters you can sculpt yourself, with enough clay inside to make them and detailed instructions.
We bought our daughter a kit for Christmas so she could make her own unicorn. Her artistic inclinations come from her father and since we knew she’d want to preserve her sculpt forever, we also got her the glass dome sold separately. We paid $14.99 Canadian for the kit and the additional dome brought the price up to about $20.
As soon as she opened her Christmas present she wanted to make it, but I managed to put her off for a few days because I knew this build would be a bit of a time commitment. From start to finish, we were ready to bake our unicorn after two hours of work. While the instructions were as detailed as promised, our version didn’t quite look like the box:
This was mostly our fault, but the instructions on building the head didn’t quite match up with the picture, and the booklet encouraged us to blend in the legs when we might have been better off showing more separation.
The baking instructions were in Celsius but after converting that to Fahrenheit, we baked our figure at 250 degrees for 1.5 hours. To my relief, the horn didn’t fall off.
Unfortunately, we planned badly and the unicorn didn’t fit inside the display dome. The box came with plenty of extra clay, however, so my daughter got creative and made a cat.
My daughter didn’t end up with perfect creations her first time out, but she learned a lot about using and blending polymer clay. She’s already asking for more colors and can’t wait to try again.
4Cats no longer offers these kits on their website, but they are offering a long list of upcoming workshops where you can make a similar item in-person. Perhaps they’ll make another appearance at next year’s Christmas market so we can try a different animal.