Starting on the Hunting Cat Fresco

Starting on the Hunting Cat
Starting on the Hunting Cat

I was leafing through my image sources, looking for some relief from the concentration of Akhenaten, when a fragment of fresco caught my eye. I’d not really registered it before, but it’s full of vitality, and I thought it might give scope for more Fun With Felt.

I may simplify – or complicate – my ideas as I go along, but since I wanted to include the whole cat, the first thing I did was spend some time looking at pictures of cats on the internet (which just goes to show that one can find a research excuse for almost anything!) to see whether I could draft some suitable hindquarters to replace what my source didn’t show.

Beginning the felted underlayer on the cat
Beginning the felted underlayer on the cat

I’m sure my cat isn’t quite the way the Egyptians rendered him, but as ever, I’m aiming at a “reinterpretation” or “realisation”, not a photographic rendering. As it was, I had to tug at my felt and give thanks that there’s no grain in non-wovens to get it to fit at all. Especially since I had decided to make use of the leftovers of stitching for the cushions for the Two Princesses to give me a head start on his nose.

I began with a few lines of stitching, and a golden eye, and then needle-felted fragments of felt and untwisted plies of thread onto his neck and chest (for some reason I feel as though the cat is a very young boy cat!).

Trialling prey placement
Trialling prey placement

The next thing to do was to do an initial layer of stitching all over my cat. I’ve just used simple straight stitches, to echo both the cat’s fur and the simple brush strokes of the ancient Egyptian painter. When the cat is needle-felted onto the eventual background, that will blur the stitches into the felt, and created a softer effect.

I had to draft a body for the bird as well. This might be less successful, but I think it will do..

14 Comments

  1. Oh, I love the kitty Rachel! And my two four-legged monsters approve of this distant cousin too :).

  2. Elizabeth says:

    What a gorgeous textured cat you created, Rachel … tops!

  3. chillyhollow says:

    Love it! It brings a bit of whimsy into the entire piece, doesn’t it?

  4. Jen says:

    I love that cat! Can’t wait to see how the bird turns out 🙂

  5. Lin Tarrant says:

    I love your cat Rachel. xx

  6. Catherine says:

    I love it! A well spent researching activity I would say! I’ll be inte step to see how it all comes together with the needle felting.

  7. Carolyn Foley says:

    I love the cat. It would work in a range of situations. Great research activity.

  8. The cat is adorable! And the stitching is just right for him. This piece is lovely already!

  9. Sue Jones says:

    Oh, a very handsome cat. This is gorgeous, Rachel. And the stitching works beautifully. I hope the felting process doesn’t hide too much of it.

  10. karen says:

    love your colur choices Rachel, the top image especially had me drooling. Your research reminded me of something I read which made me laugh, especially as it’s true for a lot of people…I quote
    ‘with the internet we have a whole world of information at our fingertips yet we use it to argue with people we have never met and look at pictures of cute cats’….lol

  11. Karen says:

    Wow! Your creativity knows no bounds! Love him (and I am afraid of cats!).

  12. Terriea says:

    It’s so cute! You make vivid things.

  13. Dima says:

    He looks amazing!