This sculpture recently returned from a three-year visit to Africa, where it was included in the Art in Embassies (US Department of State) exhibition at the US Embassy in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (Spring 2016-Spring 2019).

Tigger / Tiger…or Who She Thinks She Is is one in a series of animal-themed works and was inspired in part by our somewhat demented cat.  No, Tigger may not be the most original name for a stripey feline, but if you’d met her, you’d understand how perfectly that name  suited her personality!  Here she is, when  just a kid, posed and ready for action on my favorite beading chair…

Grigsby Beadwork - Tigger at 3 months

The title of this piece also reflects how I feel about myself, though my inner tiger rarely actually sees the light of day.  (Maybe that’s a good thing?)

As was true of Hide (Fawn) and Changing Spots (Leopard), the beading on this sculpture was worked in peyote stitch over a taxidermy form.  In this case, the form is for a wild cat known as a caracal or desert lynx.  Native to Africa, Asia and India, caracals feature a narrow, elongated head and neck (resembling Tigger’s) and a muscular body (more like that of a tiger).  I reduced the proportions of the caracal’s ears to more closely resemble those of a house cat.  The wild animal’s natural beige to grey overall shades were transformed to the grey and black stripes of a tabby cat, pixelating to the brilliantly contrasting black and golden hues of a tiger.

This sculpture, my largest yet, took about one and a half years to complete.  Below, are images of the finished work, followed by some portraying Tigger / Tiger while she was in progress.

Grigsby Beadwork - Tigger Tiger completed - overall

Grigsby Beadwork Tigger Tiger - right Grigsby Beadwork Tigger Tiger - back viewGrigsby Beadwork Tigger Tiger completed - underside

Tigger/Tiger, or Who She Thinks She Is

Glass seed beads in peyote stitch over dense foam core

H.: 19″; L.: 18″ horizontally, from nose-tip to outer curve of tail

Exhibited: “New Now IV,” InLiquid Gallery, Philadelphia (2021); Gravers Lane Gallery, Philadelphia (2019-21); Art in Embassies, US Department of State exhibition, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Africa (2016-19), and Wexler Gallery (2015).

Available for purchase 

In the below images, I was at about 9 1/2 months into the project.  The two pieces of the cat (front and back) were taped together so that the figure could sit upright.  Also, Tigger-Tiger’s ears had been added, so my friends would stop saying “she’s a bit creepy looking”!

 Leslie Grigsby Beadwork - Tigger Tiger in progress


The below images carry you back in time…  Most recent are views that were shot when I had been working on the sculpture for about 6 1/2 months.

Grigsby Beadwork Tigger-Tiger in progressGrigsby Beadwork Tigger-Tiger in progressGrigsby Beadwork Tigger-Tiger in progress

Next are images portraying what was completed at about 4 1/2 months into the project.

Grigsby Beadwork Tigger-Tiger in progress

Grigsby Beadwork Tigger-Tiger in progress - view 2Grigsby Beadwork Tigger-Tiger in progress - view 3

Finally, and lowest on this page, you can view an earlier stage of this work (about 2 months into the project).

Grigsby Beadwork - Tigger-Tiger in progress 1

Grigsby Beadwork - Tigger-Tiger in progress 2Grigsby Beadwork - Tigger-Tiger in progress 3Grigsby Beadwork - Tigger-Tiger in progress 4

2 Responses to “Tigger / Tiger, Or Who She Thinks She Is”

  1. 1 annieg
    February 18, 2015 at 2:19 am

    This is amazing. As is Tigger.

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