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 armor for cats and mice.
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. Boer 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.
Although each suit is fairly small in size, it actually contains hundreds of individual pieces and takes dozens of hours to complete, using materials such as nickel, steel, and brass.