I’ve still been in the mood to explore the Edo Period. I remembered when my oldest son was in high school and brought home a Japanese exchange student who gave us a little kitty statute to bring prosperity to our home.
Of course, when I looked for it I couldn’t find it, but found plenty of pictures on the Internet. It is technically called Maneki-neko which means “beckoning cat.” Of course, there are many stories behind the cat. You can read a few of them here:
There are also different meanings and results for different colored cats. I chose black since it helps with good health (or getting rid of evil spirits). Different writings have different meanings. I did see one for green for good health, but I just wasn’t ready for a green cat.
Normally the traditional white cat brings wealth and prosperity and is seen in Asian restaurants and shops. There is also confusion as to whether it is Japanese or Chinese. It was the Japanese in the Edo period who developed this character.
I knew it was going to be a bit more complex than just making a resist for a pod. Since I didn’t have a particular size in mind, I just made a resist I felt I could get enough detail on and manage.
I used prefelts for the first layer and merino wisps for the sides. I also added needle felted noses, cheeks and prefelt and cotton batting for the one arm. Then added three layers of corriedale putting the eyes under the last two and prefelt for the ears. On the back I also made a small tail using needle felted Jacob wool. Not much of it is visible on the wet cat.
Then I added some silk with throwsters waste to add a little bling.
Then I fulled it and stuffed it with bubblewrap to give it some shape. I did forget to open the eyes.
I rewet it and opened the eyes. So, next I will have to add all the details needed to finish.