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Chat Tacheté

Chat Tacheté, sculpture by Ellen Woodbury


This stone sculpture was inspired by my tuxedo cat, Moonface. She had several health challenges this year and was uncommonly brave and trusting throughout the long ordeal.

The title, “Chat Tachete”, is French for Speckled Cat.  Although Moonface is neither speckled nor French, the lively stone fits her playful personality. The marble is French.


I carved Campan Verde, the green and white cousin of Black Campan, last summer when I made The Last Dinosaur (leatherback sea turtle).

Both of these marbles come from the same quarry in France and have the same graphic pattern but very different colors. This is a pretty wild concept if you think abut it. What geologic factors caused both kinds of marble to be speckled in the same way, but with different colored spots and binders?

A Tricky Carve

I found Black Campan much trickier to carve than Verde. Think of it as a block made of mortar and bricks where the black matrix is the mortar and the pink and white spots are the bricks. When cut, it fragments in any direction and the shards are very sharp, like broken glass. Edges are quite susceptible to chipping and have to be handled with great care.

That said, the color is worth the effort. The detail does not emerge until sanding is well under way.  Around 220 grit you begin to see variations in the pink and white spots. By 2,000 grit there are hints of green and yellow, with reddish veins running through the colored spots.


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Chat Tacheté

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