Good news, cat lovers! There’s something new to add to your birthday wish list: a giant, disturbingly realistic cat mask that will entertain your loved ones and then haunt your dreams forever. This adorable nightmare was created by Housetu Sato and his students at the Japan School of Wool Art. The large cat head was made to be worn as a mask, fitting over a human head and making ordinary people look like terrifying (and yet, sort of cute) human-feline hybrids. Sato and his students created the mask with needle-felted wool. For those of us who aren’t conversant in the various techniques of the fiber arts, needle felting is a process that involves poking a bunch of fibers (in this case, wool) with a special notched needle that tangles the top and bottom fibers together, making solid felt. As made obvious by Sato and his students’ felted cat head, this type of felting can be used to create extremely detailed designs.
According to Laughing Squid, Sato and his students currently do not plan to manufacture the cat mask for retail, which is either very sad or a huge relief, depending on how you feel about hyper-realistic giant cat faces. The mask will be available to see in person from April 18 to April 23, when it will be on display at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.
Now we get to the crux of the matter: Is the mask cute? Is it monstrous? For me, the fact that the mask is sort of adorable is precisely what makes it so grotesque. Scroll down to see the mask in action, and find out whether the mask makes you want to flee in terror or take up needle felting so that you can make your own.
Images: Housetu Sato/Facebook (7)