Somewhat to my surprise, I got the stacking cats done before Christmas. And, on the bright side, most of them can stack inside one another, more or less.
|bowl of cats (drying after their post-grinding bath)|
After the bisque firing I was very disappointed in the cats. I had tested all of them for fit before leaving them to dry, but somehow, most of them warped during drying or firing. While they all can close just fine, most of them didn't fit inside one another as well as they did before firing.
|cats and interiors|
I was able to use a Dremel to sand down most of the cats to fit better, but the biggest one is way, way off. I'm confused, because I checked the fit on all of them and I remember the big one fitting really well. I suspect that I was tired and either used wetter clay for the big one (so it shrunk more than it's fellows as they all dried) or I simply measured with the wrong interior cat. Darn!
After I ground the cats down a bit, they fit okay, but need some careful handling to go together. The ears are probably the biggest problem with fit, but the cats are snug on their bellies, too. Though I made these for a 4 year old, they aren't really the best design for a 4 year old, since they are hard to put together. Hopefully the 4 year old will be patient with his aunt's attempt.
I applied underglaze colors for the cats. The color of the outside of the cats matches, more or less, the color of the cats in the Kevin Henkes book. I had intended to highlight the whiskers, eyes and mouths, but simply ran out of time and energy.
I also used his book illustrations for inspiration for the interiors of the cats. The smallest cat that opens has a dark interior with a white circle for the moon. The next smallest cat has rain inside, though the colors don't quite match the book. The next largest cat has snow, more or less, and the largest cat, the one that is too small, has butterflies inside. I recommend reading the book, if you'd like to know why I chose these interiors.
|butterfly cat with whiskers and eyes done by my daughter|
If you'd like your own set of stacking cats, you'll have to look elsewhere because I won't be doing this again (unless my nephew asks me to).