When I designed the Maneki Neko teapot back in February, I had also drafted designs for a Maneki Koneko (kitten) sugar bowl and creamer designed to look like a kitten with a ball of yarn and a kitten with a Japanese fishing float, respectively.
Below is the draft of the sugar bowl, with the ball of yarn actually serving as the vessel for holding sugar and the kitten as the base. (The kitten with fishing float creamer design will be shown in a later post, as I am working on detailing the two pieces separately.
The basic ball forms began two weeks ago by taking rolled slabs of clay (cut into roughly 6″ circles using a lid), pressing them into 4″ plastic Christmas ornament halves and sealing them together with slip. An opening was made on the ball that would be the fishing float creamer, as seen in the following picture.
The following week, I created “ropes” (not pictured presently) and “yarn” by using the extruder, a circular die, and a sink strainer found at a kitchen supply store in Toronto. I had to be careful, because the pressure of the clay against the metal strainer and the plastic die ran the risk of splitting the die. I had not realised how much force was involved in making the clay “string”. (The excess clay that had been forced out the sides of the extruder were made into the rose seen in an earlier post.)
Since I couldn’t work with several long strands, I ended up using pieces between 6 and 8 inches in length – using two strands twisted together for the fishing float “rope” (to be seen later), and single strands for the “yarn”. Below are two views of the completed yarn ball, which instead of being made of criss-crossing strands, was made up of lines of the extruded clay pushed in next to each other from the “equator” working outwards.
By the time the yarn ball was complete, I didn’t have much time to work on the fishing float, other than to form its approximate shape as a creamer. It will be a while before the rope netting is applied to the exterior.