We wanted this Cat Devil card for The Bohemian Cats’ Theatre Tarot to be full of symbolism and with a depth of meaning.
After much thought, we turned to a very old table-top theatre that we bought from Austria, and two Czech puppets from Antonín Münzberg, a good, 1920s puppet maker.
Fortunately, we also had a puppet cat head that is also, we think, by Münzberg (er yes, we do have things like puppet cat heads sitting around in our rather odd collection!).
The next task was to work with Corinne, couturier and seamstress, to embroider and make the costume for the Devil himself. We decided on a rich red silk velvet (we avoid using synthetic fabrics in the costumes for The Bohemian Cats) and Alex designed an embroidery to suggest flames.
Photographing it was several hours work as we had to suspend the model over the theatre and then take great care with the lighting for the whole scene. At this point, we could begin to see it all come together, but there was still a long way to go.
However, when we spent some days of illustration work, combining all the elements with a background taken from a painting by 19th century English-American painter Thomas Cole, we felt that the effort had been well worth it.