Donate to the Japan Wool Art Academy’s crowdfunding and get a great deal on wearable giant wool cat heads and more.

With them having been in existence for a decade or so now, you’ve probably come across an image of people wearing huge and highly realistic-looking cat heads in one corner of the internet or another. Chances are what you witnessed was the work of Japanese wool artist Housetsu Sato.

▼ Although Sato’s giant heads have gotten a lot of attention, his specialty is life-sized works

Sato is also the founder of the Japan Wool Art Academy (Nippon Yomo Art Gakuen, or NYA Gakuen) which boasts being the only school in the world that specializes in teaching how to make life-sized cat dolls.

In addition to its regular academic curriculum, the Japan Wool Art Academy also holds workshops around the country raising awareness of making cats (and occasionally dogs) out of fibers, as well as other animal welfare causes.

Since opening in 2010, the school’s eye-catching projects have earned it a stable enrollment throughout the decade. However, in 2020 things took a turn for the worse.

In January, Sato suffered a brain stem hemorrhage and was rushed to hospital. Luckily, he overcame the very severe condition and recovered rapidly enough to be released from the hospital in February. But just as he was getting ready to reopen the school, the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan was getting into full swing, leaving his students and fellow artists unable to gather.

▼ The family that wears giant cat heads together, stays together

Without any students, the Japan Wool Art Academy was unable to keep up rent payments and was forced to give up its physical location. Sato has since switched to online lessons via Zoom and Line, but times continue to be tight.

▼ What an online lesson might resemble

This is why Sato has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help weather this storm, and is offering a slew of works and related products for very reasonable prices, the most notable being actual giant cat heads for only 440,000 yen (US$4,100). Considering they normally sell for 660,000 yen ($6,200), it’s quite a steal.

However, now a pledge of 660,000 yen will get you an order-made giant cat head, designed after the feline of your choosing, such as a family pet. If all that is too rich for your blood, then still there’s an abundance of other items up for grabs, from autographed instructional books to life-sized realistic cat dolls, and other rare pieces of history from the Japan Wool Art Academy.

▼ Plenty of regular cats, dogs, and rabbits are available too it that’s more your speed.

As of this writing, the campaign is just over 50 percent of its three million yen ($28,000) target. With only twenty days remaining, Sato and the Japan Wool Art Academy will still need as much help as they can get.

So pop in at the Campfire crowdfunding site linked below and help out if you have the means. It’s not just supporting the arts, but helping to keep together a very unique community of people who work hard to make hyper-realistic wool pets for all of our enjoyment.

Source: Campfire/Real Cat Head, PR Times
Images: PR Times
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