Meet Jeff de Boer, The Artist Who Creates Intricate Suits of Armor for Cats and Mice
Calgary-based sculptor Jeff de Boer has turned his passion for medieval armor and jewelry making into a unique and fascinating career: creating intricately detailed metal suits of armor for cats and mice.
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De Boer’s inspiration for his craft came from his childhood fascination with armor, which he later combined with his love for jewelry making. The result was his first suit of armor for a mouse, which turned out to be a great success. He then continued to make hundreds more suits of armor for mice and cats, each inspired by different historical styles such as the Roman gladiators, Polish Hussars, the Ottomans, Japanese samurai, and more.
Despite the popularity of his creations, De Boer emphasizes that his suits of armor are not intended to be worn by real animals. In fact, when he once agreed to create a suit for a live cat on a Japanese game show, the experience did not go well, and he has since declined requests for wearable animal armor.
De Boer’s clients are typically history and art enthusiasts who appreciate the intricate details and historical references in his work. Each suit of armor contains hundreds of individual pieces and takes dozens of hours to complete, using materials such as nickel, steel, and brass.
For De Boer, the cats in his armor represent the world of fine art with its multi-million artworks, while the mice represent the struggling artisans who work to keep their craft alive. While his suits of armor can be interpreted in many ways, they are undoubtedly a testament to De Boer’s creativity and skill as a sculptor and jeweler.