I'm learning a great deal from all of you and I (as well as many I'm sure) thank you. I hope to soon produce a descent looking bear. I'm really really trying.
Okay, some of you have said you don't put the head joint in (the head) until you're done sculpting and such. That way you can fine tune the stuffing placement, even add some if needed.
So, how do you keep the stuffing from falling out of the head? Sorry if it's a dumb question. I too like to joint after the head is all done, but the stuffing wants to fall out. Do you put a few temporary stitches in the neck?
Welcome to Teddy Talk. And welcome to the wonderful world of bears. I beleive this art to be life-long learning.
I think your stuffing question may depend on the kind of stuffing you are using. I find that the firm stuffing stays in just fine without falling out while working on the head. If any does poke out just push it back in. I like very firm heads and often add more before adding the neck joint.
There is quite a variety of types of stuffing available and what you use should depending on what feel you want.
Have fun and good luck.
I just stuff the head VERY tightly and then sculpt as necessary. The stuffing usually doesnt move much but if it does I can always push it back in and just keep going. I like to leave the neck open too and not joint because I tend to stuff the head firmly too and when the head is almost done then I stuff, stuff, stuff then joint!
I do it a little differently. I leave the neck open for stitching the nose (and keep my stuffing stick nearby for adding more stuffing as I go) but I close it up after the nose is done. I like the neck closed when I do my needlesculpting and insertion of the eyes.
Thanks for all the responses!
I'm using poly fil right now, which is probably not the best stuffing to be using.
It doesn't actually fall out, more like bulges out and I'm always poking it back in. Maybe packing firmer would help, though I think I'm packing pretty firmly now. Maybe not. Or a better material.
What do you all use, and suggest, for stuffing material for the head?
Thanks so much!!!
I use polyfill, but I once went to a bear class and the teacher said stuff the head firm and when you think you have enough, stuff somemore. if you feel it is clumping, put in smaller pieces at a time and aim for the nose, that has to be hard for making the nose, I close up my head and then complete the sculpting, nose, eyes and all. It works for me. I made my own stuffing tool by taking a fondue fork and breaking off the tips with plyers and the little bit that stays on is rough and grabs the polyfill really well. keep trying and you will succeed!
I say stuff firmly and use excelsior. It is easier to pull the needle through excelsior, than polyfill. Mum stuffs her head very tightly. She says that I don't put enough excelsior in my heads. There are times when I think that I have enough in the head, but I'll have her check and she can manage to stuff another 1/2 bag into the head. There is firm and then there is firm. Just try different things until you find something that works for you.
Laura, don't know if you've checked out the Library yet, but there is a lot of info there under the Stuffing/Filling category. I use excelsior to stuff my bears' muzzles, which makes it easier to embroider the noses. For the rest of the head, I use CR's Crafts' economy fiberfill. It stuffs very hard and I have no trouble with it falling out. I joint and close the neck after stuffing and before attaching eyes, ears, and nose.
www.crscrafts.com Look under bear supplies, then stuffing, then fiberfill.
I use a combination of cotton and polyester stuffing. I do miniatures so I don't know if this will work as well on the larger size bears, but what I do is take a pair of tweezers, grab a bit of the stuffing coming out, give it a twist and tuck the edge of it under the edge of the head so that it's not spilling out of the opening. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but I've found it works for me.
Then once I start attaching eyes, stitching faces, etc. the threads used for that pull the stuffing back into the head. I usually end up adding a bit more stuffing once all the finishing touches are done, before I close off the head.