Thursday, 15 November 2012

Bears & Beasties

Just over a year ago I returned to making artist bears, Which I had done from 1997 - 2005, when arthritis & RSI put a stop to it. After my accident in 2007, I thought such things were forever out of reach, so attempting my first sewn bear in 6 years was quite a big deal!  I don't expect to ever be able to make anything as grand as my lovely alpaca pandas, of which I am extremely proud, but one has to start somewhere!
Sunflower was one of the first of my new career in bear making, 2.5 inches tall, I was thrilled to be able to create him! Over the past year I have gradually pushed my boundaries, and had to admit that doing my favoured, traditional button joints is too much strain on tired & damaged hands, so I now  mostly use split pin joints, like those in the early manufactured bears, and used by most bear artists.  I am disappointed, but being able to make jointed bears of any sort is a truly satisfying thing for me, so - onward & upward!
Returning to using luscious mohair & alpaca fabrics has also been a joy, Feargus may be smaller than my big alpaca pandas, but I think he is truly in the same spirit, and we all know the best things come in small packages! I'm glad to say that he has been adopted by people who clearly appreciate my work, as they have also adopted others of my bears and encouraged others to do the same! (Thank you, Lisa!)
When I was running the original 'Orkid Bears' I also made other creatures and cloth dolls, which I would like to try later on, but I have, at least, started down that road by making the first elephants since 2004!
First, in lilac, sparse mohair (with button joints!)
Secondly, in 'cashmere'velvet. Generally, I'm fairly happy with the pattern, but the ears need adjusting in their cut - they're a bit too much like flags!  Next time I will enlarge the pattern and make a bigger version - Cielo & Flora are only about 5 inches tall.
The next creatures I have to put my revived designing skills to is dragons! This is the most complex dragon I made in my earlier incarnation as a bear artist - not sure i can manage something that complex just yet, but, with my Welsh heritage, I really have to make a dragon of some sort! So, watch this space :o)

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