It's that time of year when I deliver my contribution to the yearly Teddy Bears of Witney catalogue.
Only one edition this year, and a bit different to my usual style. I thought it would be nice to have a basic kitten design and call them after sweets, depending on what colours they were.
So this is 'Sherbert Lemon', always my favourite sweet. The design seemed faintly familiar and at first I was worried that I'd inadvertently plagarised the ubiquitous 'Hello Kitty'. (Which of course, I would never do, having quite strict morals about that kind of thing).
Then I traced it back to a toy painting I did back in 2006, 'Koko With Checks' thinking at the time what fun it would be to actually make this in real life.
A little later I used the basic shape again for a Christmas card, 'Angel Cat'.
And then I dug deeper, linking all this to some little Japanese dolls which I picked up for pennies when I was about 16-17. I'm so used to them that I'd almost forgotten about them, but they've obviously lurked in my creative subconscious.
I didn't know until a few days ago that they are Kokeshi dolls and are MASSIVE! Not in size, but in popularity and collectiblility. One is quite old and has a single baby doll inside her. She is my favourite. Or maybe he?
The other two also vintage, but more recent and have two nesting dolls inside. None of them are signed and I'm certain that they are simply mass market items, not the really valuable artist kokeshi.
My own 'Kokeshi Kittens' also have heavy, wobbling, heads and are a devil to stand upright. But they do, with a little care. Just.