WEEKLY

CATS IN HATS
「毛」歸原主

現今貓奴隨處可見,在貓奴的世界裡,替貓主子梳毛簡直是一大榮耀。有一位來自日本的貓奴,更有一個收集主子毛髮的怪廦,並把蒐集而來的毛髮製成一頂頂可愛搞怪的帽子讓家中三位主子戴上,使牠們走在貓界的潮流尖端,成為時尚新星。

現居東京,身兼工藝師及攝影師的Ryo Yamazaki是一位不折不扣的貓奴,家中有三隻可愛的蘇格蘭摺耳貓,與太太Hiromi經常替三隻小貓梳理毛髮。平常整理脫落的貓毛時已感到頗為可惜,一次在家中覺到在地板上堆積起來的貓毛像一頂小帽子,便萌生創作意念,想著不妨試試用這些毛製造貓帽子。加上後來有一次,他隨手給三隻小貓頭上放上一個個小圓錐體,替牠們拍攝有趣的照片,無意中發現牠們對於在頭上戴上小玩意並不排斥,便下定決心要利用貓毛發揮創意,替牠們造帽子。

一臉高冷表情配上頭頂上形狀怪異的帽子,令人不禁莞爾。各式各樣搞怪的帽子與一臉呆滯的表情,可見貓主子們對頭頂上發生的事都茫然不知。這些滑稽的帽子大多由妻子Hiromi製作,丈夫Ryo Yamakaki則主力負責拍攝,三隻小貓當然也分工合作,提供原材料給夫婦發揮創意。橘色Mugi負責棕系列,花灰色Nyaa主攻灰色系列,雪白Maru專產白色系列。

一瞬間的忽發奇想,一旦開始便停不下來。數年過去,夫婦共造了超過數以百計造型各異的帽子。製作的過程是複雜的,先要把掉落的毛髮清洗乾淨、曬乾,及後以手工搓成圓球,再像滾雪球一樣搓成更大的圓球,最後才把毛造成各種造型。「因為此前沒有參考,一切都要摸索著前進,所以起步階段是很緩慢和費勁的。」Hiromi解釋道。加上貓的毛髮很脆弱,製作認真的夫婦不想使用膠水或用針刺,因此無形中增加了手工製作的難度。然而,看到一系列製成品後,他們均十分滿意,加上三隻小貓戴起帽子後,均十分可愛,賞心悅目,讓不少網民傾倒於牠們的姿態下。

能替家中的小貓製造屬於牠們的小玩意,相信是每一位貓奴的心願,畢竟親手製作的更具意義及值得紀念。這對滿腦子奇葩想法的夫婦希望擁有一間屬於自己的工作室,把貓毛手藝傳播開去,讓更多人可把寵物脫落的毛髮「物歸原主」。想欣賞更多三隻萌貓的趣怪照片,不妨到訪專屬牠們的Instagram帳號 @rojiman ,好好放鬆心情。

撰文:許佩琳
美術:王曉澄

Cat fanciers are everywhere nowadays. To those who love cats, brushing the hair of their beloved cats can be an honor. A cat fancier from Japan has a pet peeve of collecting the hair of his three cats, and shapes and molds them into wacky hats for the cats. These three lovely creatures have gone viral on the internet as the quirky hats on their heads are obviously ahead of the curve.

Japanese crafter and photographer Ryo Yamazaki is every inch a cat person. For most pet owners, finding shed hair may be a nuisance, yet it is more like a treasure hunt to Yamazaki and his wife Hiromi as these old sheds can be molded into innovative creations. There was once that Yamazaki saw a lump of shed accumulating on the floor that looked like a hat, and he suddenly had an idea of molding it into a point hat for his cats. Cats usually hate it when people put something on their heads or dress them up, while Yamazaki’s cats are not defiant of what’s on their heads at all. Thus, he decided to use their sheds to make hats for them.

Looking at the photos, it seems that the three cuties are a little confused about what’s going on, but it is doubtless that the hats make them even cuter. Now, the pieces are all designed and created by Hiromi. Meanwhile, Yamazaki is responsible for taking and uploading photographs of the cats in their creations. The three kitties also contribute a lot as their sheds are the raw materials of the creations. Mugi is responsible for beige color hair, Nyaa provides grey one and Maru is mainly responsible for hair in snow white.

As yet, the couple have crafted a lot of odd-looking but stylish cat hats in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they enjoy the process a lot. Yet, making these hats are not easy at all. Even the simplest one takes at least half an hour, while those more elaborate ones take up to two hours. The steps are as follows: First, create a small ball from a clump of loosened hair, and then add smaller tufts to it, bit by bit, rolling it in between, until it becomes the wanted size. Lastly, spread out the ball by using fingers and indent the cap to fit the cat’s head. Hiromi explained that a lot of perseverance is required when they are manipulating the hair as the hair is light and fragile. Also, she had no manual or set of instructions so she had to learn and experiment things on her own. Making the hats is not an easy job, it’s all worth it at the end though, because the three kitties are extremely cute in these uncanny but awesome hats.

Creating something unique for own pets is the most precious memory for many pet owners. The Yamazakis hope that someday they will be able to set up their own studio and open workshops to teach the craft to fellow cat owners. Go visit their Instagram account (@rojiman) if you want to see more lovely photos of these cuties.

Text: Natalie Hui
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #251

CATS IN HATS

 

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