Hello TJ, I use Solvy on the newer Tissavel fabrics because the back is rather stretchy. There should be directions on the package. I usually cut a yard and dissolve it in about a cup of water. I usually paint in on the drawn pattern on the back of the fabric before I cut. I leave it dry and then cut. I does not remove all the stretch, but it does help stop those ends from fraying and it makes the fabric more stable.
I think I see where the pattern needs adjustment. The side pattern piece. The underside of the muzzle needs to be scooped in. Right now it’s rounded from the tip to the bottom. There is no definition of where the muzzle joins the face. I can see that definition in the clay. Because of that the muzzle is looking wider than you want it to be. I think if you add an arch, (narrow down the underside of the muzzle) to define the shape, you’ll get what you want. The darts are placed in a good position to push out the cheeks.
Please keep us updated, I’d like to know how you worked it all out.
Hello Old Soul Bears,
I don't think that there are many competitions without a fee. Not at least that I know. The fees help cover the costs of running the competitions. I don't know much about the competitions in Germany.
The problem with most photographic competitions is that they are usually broken down into two parts. The first is usually judged by a group of judges. The only people then to see all the entries are the judges. I know the UK competition Excellence in Bear Artistry Awards gives each participant their scores. That would certainly be a help in seeing your high and low points. I do think though for beginners to get their monies worth out a competition it is good to have your entry seen by everyone.
The URSA Awards is an online competition. It is totally judged by the public. Every entry is seen, and it is a good way to get your work out there. It is not cheap, there is a fee. I have had many collectors over the years that I competed in that competition tell me they first saw my work in the URSAs. You can think about that money spent as advertising. The URSAs was where I started. After I had some successes there I moved onto the TOBYs. The URSAs gave me the confidence to do that.
If you feel like competition is what you'd like to try, then you should. Just remember that the quality of your photos is very important. Take good quality photos of every bear you make through the year. Then when competition time comes around you will have your photos ready to go.
I use a small portable iron, I drag it across the fur. I would only do this with mohair or alpaca, never faux fur, it would burn. Blow drying also works well to straighten mohair and make it go in the direction you want it to go. Just dampen and brush as you dry.
I removed the blog. Sadly someone decided to use the tutorials and my work in progress photos to create a bear that I had to look twice at because I thought it was mine. I cannot police the internet. It was a huge disappointment to see this happen after all these years.
And don't say ebay, craigslist, garage sales etc. Those are obvious and not helpful. Thanks
I have bought many many bears from eBay, especially old ones. It may be an obvious answer, but in my opinion it is the best place to be seen. It is where I sell most of the bears I make, and it always has been that way for me.
The collectors are there.
Thank you your your responses, I appreciate your input. It is helping me a great deal.
I do not think I will video tape this presentation. I would not know how, and I think I would not like seeing myself up there. Thank you though for the interest.
EJ, please stop by and say hi during the show.
Joanne, as a novice I'd be mostly interested in pattern design with realistic proportions, limbs-, ear- and eye placement. Of course, I'd be interrested in every other detail of your knowledge, that You decide to share.
Thank you Zsuzsi, these are things that I certainly want to cover. I think design, and placement of limbs, eyes, ears are probably the most important detail in realistic bear making.
Peter, yes I do agree with you about making an animal too real, but some do love them. I refer to my bears as realistic teddy bear. The focus will be on a realistic teddy bear. There are quite a few artists making them. I am interested in showing how traditional bear making can be a jumping off point to realism by adding realistic details.
They do not make claws, well maybe they do, but they need to be made to fit the bear, so that is a good one to discuss. I will bring some with me. The realistic looking eyes are doll eyes for the most part. Taxidermy bear eyes are used, but when you think about the size of a bear, you can see how that would not work so well with the smaller bears. They only sell two sizes of them, large and small. I use the small size for my largest bears, I will bring both, doll eyes and bear eyes. I appreciate you helping me out.
I haven't tried a realistic bear yet but have always admired your fabulous bears Joanne,they are so detailed and individual.
If only I was lucky enough to be able to attend your presentation, eyes would be top of my list and then how you create those fabulous noses with realistic moist nostrils, you can imagine them sniffing the air. I would also love to know how you make the lifelike pawpads.
Hope you have a great day as I know all your attendees certainly will.
Student Bearmaker, the moist noses are done with some gloss inside the nostrils.
Thank you for the input, I so greatly appreciate it. I cannot go into great detail on any one area, and I do not want to get to technical, but I will be discussing how all of these details you have mentioned can enhance the personality of a bear. Especially the movement Peter. That is the one aspect of the realistic bears that appeals to me most, and I have spent a lot of time designing the bears around that. I am glad it is of interest to you as a collector.
Becky, there will be plenty of photos of my favorite real bears. I have plenty of pictures of all types, but since black bears seem to draw my attention the most,they of course will be the stars. I have decided my gallery piece will be a very iconic picture of my favorite two, and I think I will be contacting you to help me name the piece if that is okay.
Peter, would seeing soft pellets, lock line, and doll eyes, claws, and things like that interest you if they were being passed around?
I am going to be doing a 45 minute presentation on realistic bear making at the Quinlan Show at the end of April.
I need some advice on topics to be covered.
The presentation will cover aspects of making more realistic bears and adding realistic detail. For those of you that are interested in trying a more realistic bear what information would you be interested in seeing presented?
I do not have time for actual hands on instruction, it would be more presented in slide show, with me having materials present.
I know that there will also be collectors present, and I would like them to leave feeling more informed also.
Collectors, are there aspects of realistic bear making that may interest you? How do they move? How they are shaded, realistic eyes, joints, etc? I will have materials present. Are there things that I could discuss that would help you make a more informed decision when purchasing a bear?
Thank you in advance for your help. I appreciate any and all advice you would like to give.
Edmomdnutmeg, you have made some very good points, and for those reasons I needle felt the noses. I was just looking on the description of Michelle Lamb's nose class that she is giving at the Quinlan show, and I see she is using Apoxie Sculpt over a stitched nose. That is she is getting it to adhere, makes a lot of sense.
I save the mohair I cut from the bear when I do the trimming of the seams, and I use that inside the bear. It is good especially around the paws.
I like the idea of stuffing with the actual scraps, and I will start saving them.
They would be very good to use around the disks. I stuff my bears softly, so they can easily move, around the disks I like a firm stuffing so I use felt. I think I will try stuffing that area with the fabric scraps.
Thank you for your tip.