Anthropomorphic cats,  Bohemian Cats,  Cat Tarot

The making of the Two of Pentacles card

This is a card that we always enjoy designing because there are so many possibilities for conveying the broad idea of juggling a lot of things at once!

We knew almost immediately that we wanted to show a cat in a harlequin costume (a jester would have been another possibility but we felt that was best kept for The Fool). These harlequin costumes are a bit of a nightmare to make as it involves Corinne in stitching together tiny pieces of vintage silk – in this case we used mostly silk from vintage kimonos for the richness of colour.


We found, to our slight dismay, that it was a hard model to pose – the harlequin costume tends to be quite stiff so we had a bit of a challenge to achieve a dynamic look. Once all that was done, we then had to decide just what he was juggling. We tried various options then remembered we have a wonderful Victorian juggler puppet who lives in his own wooden box. We tried his wooden juggling balls and they were perfect. The fact that they are hand painted gives a rich feeling that feels very authentic.


The picture we chose to base part of the background on (it’s a 17th century landscape by Philips Koninck – though considerably changed by us) is a nod to the ship that is seen behind the Two of Pentacles figure in the original Rider Waite Smith tarot deck.

Now that the card is finished, we will be going on to recreate this scene for The Bohemian Cats’ Theatre Book. We’re excited to see how that turns out and will of course be showing it here when it’s done.


    • KarenMahony

      Oh, I’m glad. We actually planned the blog before Covid struck but it’s only recently that the work on The Bohemian Cats has really got going again. There will be lots more information as we go along, and Ray, who writes many of our articles, has some great pieces planned.

  • Pamela Ramsey

    The thoughtfulness, time, attention to detail you take simply blows me away. This glimpse into the process certainly deepens my appreciation of your gorgeous work.Thank you!

    • KarenMahony

      Thank you so much Pamela. We do want this project to be very special as it’s likely to be one of the last really large projects we do. Plus we simply love this work, which brings together a lot of our favourite things.

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