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ThReAdTeDs - Traditional, crochet, fiber, patterns, supplies by Berta Hesen-Minten
Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb

Kessy Kesseys Bears
North Wales
Posts: 2,088

Help I have been asked to make a bear with open & close eyelids do i wire the eyelid to the back of the eye through eye loop? much help needed  bear_wacko  :doh:

Birgitta's bears Uppsala, Sweden
Posts: 796

I am wondering too, how the eyelids are made so you can open and close them.
I had tryed different solution but I haven´t succéed with it yet!

// Birgitta

wazzabears Wazza Bears Australia
Bulli
Posts: 623

research puppetry. And just experiment. Sorry can't help you any further

Goldelocs Bears Goldelocs Bears
Brisbane
Posts: 611

Hi, I'm fascinated with this technique as well, and would also like to learn more about open/close mouths etc.. are there any books anyone can recommend to learn more about this?

Ann-Marie

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

If you go up to the index, at the top of this post on the left, you will find the library,  Scroll through and there are posts on eyes and mouths, here is a good link to open close mouths
Joanne
http://www.teddy-talk.com/viewtopic.php?id=15678

Goldelocs Bears Goldelocs Bears
Brisbane
Posts: 611

Hi Joanne,
Thankyou for the link, it has given me some ideas  bear_original

Ann--Marie

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

I hate to have to say this, but this is one of those things that each of us tends to work out for ourselves, through much agony, trial & error, fabric & notions, sketch pads, pencil sharpeners, erasures and discarded drawings.....

So much depends on the size of your animal - whichever animal you're designing!: the fabric or material you're using, the angle of the eyelids, will just one lid or both move, what type of eyeball are you using, how is the socket pre-sculpted... you can see that the possibilities are endless.

Once we get something working for us, it tends to become one of those Studio Exclusives, the 'trade secrets' that sets our work apart from others. From that basis we springboard on to our next discovery.

Perhaps, after several more great ideas like this, when the first ones are no longer applicable in our work, we do type it up in answer to questions like this, but... I'm sorry to have to say that not many are anxious to rush in here and describe in minute detail how their intricate work is accomplished.

And in some cases - it would be impossible to describe. It's just something that has to be done. If one doesn't have the first steps, the advanced ones won't happen. A crawling baby cannot ride a bike, for a very good reason.

Good luck on your own personal quest, for it's discoveries like these that take our skill levels higher & higher, with each artist that steps into the ring and grabs onto the rungs of this ladder!

wazzabears Wazza Bears Australia
Bulli
Posts: 623

I agree with Bobbie. it all experimentation and playing. It might take you a week to work it out or 12 months but you learn so much just from experimenting. Like I said early if you can get to a library or even You tube you can research puppetry. They use all type of movements in there creations. From what I have learn at art school so far is mainly research everything and experiment.
Good luck and when you have finished it we would love to see. Also keep a journal of all your ideas and thoughts and even note what worked and what didn't so you can look back later on.

klippie Klippie's Creations
Gauteng (Johannesburg)
Posts: 40

I don't oftern post but I read each and every thread on this forum. I would just like to compliment Bobbie on a brilliant answer. You said it so well without any offences.  - Well Done! It is true that the only way to learn is through stumbling.

Annelie

EM BEARS E.M. BEARS
Nottinghamshire
Posts: 4

If you have an artist  who wants to learn, it is only right that if one can help then they should, you still have to perfect the technique even when its explained?
bear_wub  and   :hug:

Eunice

JeannieB JeannieB Bears
Greensboro NC
Posts: 1,183

I agree with you Eunice! Almost every single teddy bear construction idea has been freely discussed and shared here on TT.  Lot's of artists are wonderful about helping and sharing their ideas. I learned everything I know here....anytime I had a question...lot's of artists were willing to help me bear_wub ...I still don't have a book!  TT has such a wonderful group of very talented artists!!    And you're truly right that it still takes perfecting and experimenting to get things to look how you want them to even when you have a good idea how to do it.  Sounds like the puppetry thing is a good place to start.
    I can't offer any advice on eyelids today....although I experimented with them for a couple of years before I started to "sew" bears.  If you look at my web-pages...the "first crochet cat pattern" is from 2005. I made her lids from ultra-suede...but, they dont open and close.  They might if you played around with it.  I'd be happy to tell you how I made them if you want to fiddle around with it and try to get them to open and close.  Who knows...it may work for you?!  I'm working with my first double-neck joint tonight.....wish me luck!

      Hugs,
      JeannieB bear_original

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

I completely agree with you Bobbie.  Whilst there is absolutely no harm in offering pointers for development in the general craft of bear making (something many of us are happy to share) I categorically believe that although TT has become a wonderful place both for teaching and learning, there should be absolutely no obligation on any artist to share specific details of the more advanced techniques they have worked so hard to create.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

It is a very fine line to walk—like a razor's edge—to gently guide another to follow in your footsteps and yet encourage them to either branch off when they see an offbeat opportunity or necessity to flesh out an idea of their own, or to step aside (or actively push them) when they have a mainline discovery on their own and need to run with it - hopefully ahead of you, for that's how this craft develops, piggybacking on the talent on those who have been there before us.

Whether or not we share our trade secrets; it's just a matter of time before others either figure them out and make improvements on them, or products become available to us that change the way we approach each component part of our work, making something different/easier/less expensive/etc, or take the whole group in a new direction.
Evolution is a Good Thing!

I feel badly for some of the bear-makers coming back into the field after a hiatus, sometimes after only a year or 2, sometimes 8 to 10 years. Their work looks primitive and out-dated and they have a lot of catching up to do; it's a huge learning curve that has developed, encompassing even today's beginners naturally and has passed by most of those from the prior 'generations' of bear-making.

Good sewing skills can never be done without, but the amount of additional skills that are now in most artist bears is astounding, comparing the past 5 - 8 years to the 20 that were its infancy and coming-of-age years: coloring by various methods, needle sculpting, embellishments in surface additions of applique/trapunto/needle felting - all of these are almost de rigeur (sp?).

In most cases, a plain bear is just not enough any more; collectors have rooms full of 'plain' bears. It's that something extra that catches their eye and we work very hard to develop some things that we each feel sets our work apart from others, even though most of us are friends AND competitors at the same time - a very strange relationship when you think of it.
That's probably why it's easier to just avoid answering questions like this—as well as other technique questions that seem to make the artists fade into the wallpaper when technique questions like this are posted—because we don't wish to step on our friends' toes!

Many have solved them for themselves but unless you step through each & every one of the beginning steps, you haven't really learned to think for yourself. It's the process of problem-solving that can now be applied to anything that you wish to add to your talents, not just a matter of teeth or open mouths or noses or eyelids.
Examine the work that's on display, look around at the materials you have at your disposal, and think of ways that you can make them work for you. That's the only advice we can say...
I do thank you all for your affirmations!

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

I also think it's always worth asking yourself if the technique you are keen to unravel, will actually enhance your work.  Techniques are often part of the evolution of an entire design, created to enhance a particular artist's overall design concept. 

Whilst it's really tempting to learn new techniques and develop new skills (and I'd certainly never hold anyone back from exploring further), I do think there is a case for recognising your own strengths and considering carefully how the new technique will improve your work and whether it is truly a positive and necessary step forward in your own design work, or whether it is simply another technique to apply, purely for applying's sake.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Oh how true, Paula! I've seen open mouths or beautifully stitched noses & sculpted eye sockets, on bears that have crooked muzzle seams, ears & eyes that don't match in placement, fur trapped in seams with no attempt made to pull/brush it out, footpads sewn in crookedly  and unmatched to each other, sewing stitches that show through to the front when stuffed.
These aren't bears that are made to look vintage, these are on bears that have had features added because the makers feel that following the most current trends will make their work more appealing and therefor sell better. It is done for the money instead of doing it for the honor of excelling in one's own mind.

I have noticed something that makes me smile inwardly: when I began to put 20 tiny metal claws into my realistic bears a few years ago, I flipped them onto their sides and photographed the bottom of their feet because they don't show in regular photos.
Immediately, many many bears and other animals on all 4s began to show their feet from this angle in their auction images.
What I found curious was that they were not showing a special application or technique, such as paw pads of an unusual material or design or claws in a special material. It was seen that my bears were selling and perceived as this must be a marketing technique to be imitated.

It would have been kinder to these creations to have not shown these images, as paw pads with uneven marker spots are not that attractive. I have not had an auction on eBay since June, and the images with my 'Bottom's Up! angle have dwindled to almost nothing. However I will soon have another few showing the feet from 'Bottom's Up and I would almost put money on (if I were a betting personality) the appearance again of other bears and critters showing their wooly and marked on foot pads.

Just a few more of my thoughts, for what they're worth...

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367
All Bear wrote:

I also think it's always worth asking yourself if the technique you are keen to unravel, will actually enhance your work.  Techniques are often part of the evolution of an entire design, created to enhance a particular artist's overall design concept. 

Whilst it's really tempting to learn new techniques and develop new skills (and I'd certainly never hold anyone back from exploring further), I do think there is a case for recognising your own strengths and considering carefully how the new technique will improve your work and whether it is truly a positive and necessary step forward in your own design work, or whether it is simply another technique to apply, purely for applying's sake.

Too true! I love to take classes and took Michelle Lamb's class where she generously shared her techniques for creating eyelids. I made them on the class head and I am glad of the knowledge, but I don't feel they fit with the look of my bears. While I love the beautiful eyes on Michelle's bears and on many others who use special techniques to create detailed eyes, I prefer simple solid black eyes with some air brush shading around them for my bears. ,

Whether or not we share our trade secrets; it's just a matter of time before others either figure them out and make improvements on them

Bobbie, this is so true as well! That's what keeps us all moving forward! bear_thumb

ScaliWagGrrs ScaliWagGrrs
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,157
Website

I have been curious as to how this is done. I certainly understand someone not wanting to share thier hard earned trade secrets but I also think it doesn't hurt to ask how something is done. I am ever so grateful that us newbies are so lucky to have such a wealth of knowledge to learn from. From all those that do share thier knowledge- :hug:
Of course if you work to figure something out on your own you will feel wonderful for the achievement.
Bobbi, I just had to comment on your bottom of the foot photos. I usually have a close up photo of at least one of my bear's feet in my auctions. I can't say that I am doing this because anyone else is doing it --ie copying someone. Actually I don't really notice other people doing it. It comes from my own personal desire to do so. I used to sculpt art dolls and showing their hands in close up was something I always did as buyers wanted to see how well hands were sculpted.  That habit just naturally switched over to showing my bears/dogs foot.
I don't say this in anger or to ire anyone but just to say that sometimes more than one person can come up with the same sort of idea.  bear_flower
If mine are flawed so be it. Actually all the better to show it in photos for buyers to see.
Which brings me to a subject that has been on my mind for awhile. Has anyone ever asked for critiques of thier work? The art doll group I used to frequent had a critquing forum. Perhaps I'll make a new topic asking if that is something people would be interested in.
Beth

ivuska.h Anavy teddy bears
Posts: 153

Beth, what a great idea! I would love to "hear" critic opinions on my bears because there is no bear artist in our country and I've never seen someone else's artist bear in reality (maybe unbelievable but true).

Anyway, a good idea BUT would anyone be really honest? I mean all you guys here are so nice and don"t want to hurt anyone or so... But I would certainly survive a constructive critic (or at least I hope so bear_cry )...


Iva

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

I also photograph the bottom of my bears feet, not to show any special technique or application, but for the past 20 years I have always signed the bears left foot.   That is my mark,  I do not use tush tags, I want people to see the signature.

I always try to remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and whether it works for the person copying or not, It is the highest compliment you can receive.

Joanne

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Thx for your posts Beth and Joanne, I understood exactly what you mean and take it in the spirit in which you meant it!  I too  DO like to see ALL sides of a piece of work when I'm considering bidding/buying and if there is a special feature like a signature or different type of paw pad treatment added - those are perfect examples of reasons for showing off ALL angles of your work: a picture is worth a thousand words!

The comment was almost more about those who imitated a photo style rather than a a technique, perceiving it as a marketing path to success. It has taken me almost 19 years to get to the point that I'm at, yet the only connection that's made in some minds is a photo style and a dollar amount.

What is shown, for the most part (not those who have something special to exhibit) were images of animals that have had marker or paint used to add 4 or 5 dots onto the bottom of the feet - and as most fabric and needled wool have some amount of nap/fiber standing up, the marks always look fuzzy and they have indistinct edges; in other words they look messy and do not add anything to the quality of the whole product. In many of the cases it would have been better to not show them.
 
This speaks to photo skills more than to bear-making: when the image is not up as close as I shoot mine, which is my purpose for posing them on their side, and as your wonderful Boston Terrier's face & paw pad image is, Beth,  little animal images in the middle of full sized photo just look like dead animals to me.

But nevertheless, my point was that those who have not perfected an individual technique of their own to display, have copied a photo style in an auction rather than a technique style. There are not many of these included in auctions anymore, as the turnover of Sellers does change and new sellers are there that didn't note these 5 months ago, but I feel that they will probably appear again after the new year when my realistic animals show the bottoms of their feet.

If any of us wished to show our open and closing eyelids up close in images - in the same style as the close-up of the feet pix, others would follow suit and we'd be able to suss out all of the materials and techniques used. No working artist would take close-ups of their special treatments and use them in sales or marketing, unless they were being paid for it, as in - teaching a class or selling a book.

Even then, lesser techniques are taught: no artist tells everything that they know. They are always a few steps ahead.  And if they did show some of their techniques, until the students had worked through most of the (similar) steps on their own, it's seed falling on rock rather than fertile soil. Until we're 'ready' to understand,  we would just know Steps 1 - 17, but not know how to springboard from this idea as a base for a whole new field of endeavor.

Anyway, with the number of different fabrics that are being combined on today's bear, for eyelids and eye liners, and coloring techniques, and most of us having at least a few rejected heads in a dark cubbyhole somewhere - those are the perfect combinations for each of us to be working out these ideas on our own!
New ideas, like open/close eyelids, came about by artists experimenting.
How exciting it is when YOU are the one who actually 'discovers' a new technique!

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Critiques: I think we've discussed this before but not sure if it's in the Library.

As far as I know, only the bears entered in competitions in Australia (and NZ?) actually use a point system on a 'Crit' sheet, which points out in great detail every single aspect of bearmaking, right down to single stitches. I've seen some of these and while they are only as subjective as the Judges writing them, they still are great sources of honest feedback, showing great compliments on workmanship as well as points taken off for poor workmanship, which tells you exactly what you need to work on. I sure wish we had something like that, instead on needing to grab the 'Awwwww..." factor if you want to win a competition.

Can our Oz sisters weigh in on this? I've got some scans of them in my digi files (somewhere!) and can post one but perhaps one of you can? Pretty please???

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

That is a very good idea, Melanie Jayne. We do have this in place in one large miniature list that I moderate.
- It's called a Mentoring program.
- The person sends us at least 6 images (up to 10) from a set number of angles.
- The panel was very carefully chosen for their expertise in the field that will be critiqued, as well as showing a general overall knowledge of great bearmaking skills.
- The images are sent to each of the Mentors (we have about 8 or 9) and usually get responses from most returned within the 2 week time period, as some are away/ill/bus/etc.
- We use the 'point system' of the OZ comp work, and have added specialized questions that apply to our particular materials & techniques that we work with.

This can be custom tailored: the time period can lengthened or shortened, as well as the number of images, total number of judges, number of judges sending back the form before collating them for the 'petitioner',....

The only thing that hits me wrong is the fee involved. This could open up a horrid Pandora's Box and I don't think anyone would want the headaches & heartaches involved I could see attendant with this, for the few dollars involved.
We do it merely for the love of it and for helping other who sincerely wish to improve and want to learn from those who excel.

And it is totally anonymous - and we do warn UP FRONT - DO NOT APPLY if you are Thin-Skinned!
We are most definitely not cruel but if the ears are obviously on crooked/mismatched or the limbs are not jointed very snugly or the stitches show - those will be checked off on the Crit Sheet, so the bear maker knows a few specific areas that they need to work on, as well as what they have doe very well!

It takes about 15 minutes to really examine a bear's pix and check through the critique, adding a few lines at the bottom.
I myself think that this would be a valuable service; just keep the money angle out of it.

Bobbie

ScaliWagGrrs ScaliWagGrrs
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 1,157
Website

Rather than continue to hijack this thread lets start a new one for critiquing.  I must say though,Great ideas for Critiquing Bobbie and Melanie !
Beth

JanetB Posts: 110

I'm from Australia and one of the magazines I subscribe to had an example of a crit sheet.  I will contact the publishers re copyright before I upload anything.

Lhearn Critters Creations
Alberta
Posts: 1,303
Website

What magazine was that Janet?

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