Skip to main content

Banner Sponsors

Lanctot’s Loveables Teddy - Handmade collectible teddy bears by Rhonda-Lynne Lanctôt. Bears ranging in size from 0.75 inches to 21 inches.
Curious Mondo - How to make artistic teddy bears with Tami Eveslage

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Shelli ~

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Awl holes?  Like say ... 1/4 deep?

If this is a viable method (which if I've interpreted correctly, it clearly is) ... I've spent some seriously needless time trying to force an 8" needle threaded with leather through the firmly stuffed head of a bear.

Excuse me ... I'm gonna be sick.

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

PEONY-and-SUGAR-elastic-eye.jpgOh, don't be sick, dear one.  But yes.... how on earth could you stick a needle with that much doubled-cording thru the head, especially without the hole there first?  There's no needle involved at all, in the way I do my leather cording eyelids.

And even for the elastic cording, which you MUST use a needle to insert/stitch thru the head, I've found that it's near impossible (I couldn't do it!) to force that much bulk through the backing without a little help from Mr. Awl.

Actually, the awl holes help alot, as they allow you to match the insertion points up fairly nicely, left to right.

There, there, now...

PS  Am including a photo or two of bears with the elastic cording method used, which is less typical for me, but produces pretty much the same effect.

Hugs,

nettie scotland
Posts: 2,160
Website

It is so great to hear you all share how you do things.I was accused of being stupid and giving far too much away at a fair once.I was telling a new bear maker how to dye and distress mohair.Some of the other bear makers thought that was unfair as we had all taken years to work it all out.
I don't think I could copy anyone else as I can't copy myself.I only do one offs for that very reason.
Diane xx

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650
Shelli wrote:

But yes.... how on earth could you stick a needle with that much doubled-cording thru the head, especially without the hole there first?

Well it sure wasn't easy, that's for sure.  I can't wait to try new method.  Should be a cake walk (comparatively).  Hey, I'll have time to make that cake!

Thank you Shelli.  As always,
f040.gif

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Deb,  Shelli's directions are on here somewhere...I have been using her method and it works great.  The only thing I do that might be a bit different and I did it purely on accident...I cut the cording a slight angle rather than straight across...seems to feed into the awl holes easier for me...and I put the superglue in the awl hole instead of on the cording when I insert it...I made less of a mess with the glue...other than that...Shelli's method is awesome.

Now toss that stupid needle and grab the awl...

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Diane ~

I just don't see where there's anything to be gained by keeping information to yourself.  Even if you and I have the exact same instructions (even with pictures) ... our results will be different, and so as we move forward with that particular technique, we'll adjust in our own way(s) and so on.  Keeping "secrets" really doesn't do much to promote or propagate the art.

You're not stupid!  :hug:

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650
shantell wrote:

Deb,  Shelli's directions are on here somewhere...I have been using her method and it works great.  The only thing I do that might be a bit different and I did it purely on accident...I cut the cording a slight angle rather than straight across...seems to feed into the awl holes easier for me...and I put the superglue in the awl hole instead of on the cording when I insert it...I made less of a mess with the glue...other than that...Shelli's method is awesome.

Now toss that stupid needle and grab the awl...

See Diane!   :lol:

Thanks Shanny.

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

OH, good point, Shantell; thank you for offering it.  Actually, I cut the cording at a very steep angle myself, as well.  Oops; forgot to add that part.

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Deb wrote:

I just don't see where there's anything to be gained by keeping information to yourself.  Even if you and I have the exact same instructions (even with pictures) ... our results will be different, and so as we move forward with that particular technique, we'll adjust in our own way(s) and so on.  Keeping "secrets" really doesn't do much to promote or propagate the art.

This is my feeling exactly, Deb.

Yes, I'm a teacher by training.  I like to teach and share whatever I might know... and sometimes, even what I DON'T.  Laughing at myself here...  But that teaching, sharing, give-to-others, impulse of mine is definitely a part of why I enjoy the sharing process, on this board and elsewhere, so much.

And yes, from a business perspective, in addition I also have a self-serving commitment to growing the industry, and its participants and supporters, because I'd very much like to stay gainfully employed, as an active part of it!

But even beyond that...

I have always had the opinion that, yeah... someone could give me a tub of oil paints, a cup of brushes, some turpentine, and a canvas...

... but that won't EVER make me Sandro Boticelli, or Michaelangelo, or Renoir. 

Ya know?

sandi Snowy Day Bears
St. Albans, VT
Posts: 263
Eilene wrote:

My only other problem was general clumsiness.

That typically is my problem.


Sandi

Just Us Bears Just Us Bears
Australia
Posts: 940

Hats off to you Nettie...that's the true bearmakers spirit!
There's a certain air of selfishness about those who won't share anything. I know some have certain bearmaking secrets that they may wish to keep to them selves for a while....but in the long run, sharing is way more fun. When I was a beginner.....I quizzed many, many artists at bear shows...and I only ever found one who wouldn't share a particular technique. Years later, I found out that she actually pinched this idea from another lesser known artist, and claimed it as her own!

I made some great friends from those who said "I'm happy to help in any way I can" back in those early days...especially when they were probably wishing I was a buyer rather than fellow bearmaker. But exhibitors at shows have to accept that a certain proportion of those who attend shows, are there for inspiration and to gain knowledge. And as of next year, I'll be in the position behind the table at the shows...and I fully intend to encourage anyone who asks me.. "How do you.....?"

Many of the girls on this list have tried Shelli's eyelids( including me)...but will they ever be Potbelly bears? I don't think so. :rose:
And how many more fans does Shelli have from sharing as opposed to if she'd said "Hands off...this is my eyelid method and anyone who copies will be pounced on for copyright!"

There was a story circlulating a while back about a fellow who had developed a special method of restoring valuable paintings without damaging the original paint. He was in high demand and his praises were sung far and wide. Then...he died suddenly...and he hadn't told a soul his secret. Now that's sad! bear_sad

Marlys Waggle Bears
So Cal Desert
Posts: 4,089

I've hesitated to ask this question again since it has been covered so extensively in the Tips section, but I can't help it. I've read, re-read, and read again all the posts relating to the eye cording technique that Shelli uses. I was working on a new bear that just was not turning out the way I wanted so I thought now's the time to sacrifice this poor baby to learning this technique.

I held my breath and poked holes by the eyes, but I had trouble getting the cording to go in...so I poked a little more and after a few attemps I did get one side in, but the other eye shows a large hole made by the awl.

I understand that this technique will take some practice, and I love the way Shelli's bears look, but I'm wondering if maybe using a different stuffing would help in getting the eye cord in without having to make a hole that then splits the fabric? I use a polyfill by Mountain Mist. Any ideas? Or do I have to sacrifice more bears?

Also, I love the big eyes used by Shelli and Judi and others. Are these round and how do you get them to stay in without a loop for thread to pull through? Is it strickly gluing?

I notice also that EBearZ University has a couple of classes that mention eye techniques and tricks. Would you have a suggestion as to which might be the best for this technique.

Thanks...Marlys

sarahjane Brisbane
Posts: 2,951

Hi Marlys I'm not Shelli but I will try to explain what I do....

When I poke the holes with the awl I try to sort of spread the fibres apart rather that split them so that they can be pushed back together if needed once the cord is through, I am one who actually sews the cording through the head with an 8 inch needle (using pliers for leveredge!!!) as I had your problem where I had trouble getting the cording to go into the head and sit nicely. I use polyfill for stuffing too so that shouldn't be a problem.

The eyes are just your normal glass eyes (as far as I know) which are set as normal before doing your eyelids. Just use a bigger size than you would usually.  bear_original

I hope this helps!!

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Mine are normal clear glass eyes with loops, but Judi uses doll eyes on many of her bears, which have the white sclera around the colored iris part.  I'm not sure if her eyes are round or flat-backed and I don't know how she attaches them.  Maybe she'll pop in here soon; she's been having some health problems and then was hit with the flur, poor thing. 

I don't pay any particular attention to what stuffing I'm using.  I think it's the socket sculpting and eye threads (the ones that go thru the glass eye's loop) that hold everything (stuffing) in place prior to cording insertion. I do what Sarah does and kinda shift and move the stuffing away from the awl hole, which I try to keep as small as possible on the fabric itself.  It helps to use Fray Check to keep the sides of the hole open and solid and also, this protects them from any fraying.  It's scary to do this because YES, you can ruin the face with too-big holes.  It takes practice.

I'm using a new method nowadays to do my bear eyes which doesn't rely on cording at alll; I figured out a way to achieve this effect, or something similar, without cording or glue.  I don't have a problem with glue or cording, per se.  I just have a problem with a cluttered work area so one less bottle in my way, and one less spool of stuff, makes good sense!

The elastic cording method takes more brute strength than the leather cording method which I do using lengths of cording but without threading them thru the head.  You can definitely thread the elastic thru the head easier, I think, than the leather, in giant stitches.  So that would be one non-glue option.  Still, tho, as I mentioned previously, I do think awl holes are a good idea, or you end up really having to pull that sharp needle so hard in order to get it thru the stuffing, it's kinda scary actually.

Hope this helps!

Marlys Waggle Bears
So Cal Desert
Posts: 4,089

Thank you, Sarah Jane. I though about using a needle, but my cord wouldn't go through the eye. I'll keep trying and reading and one of these days a light is bound to go on for me.

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

I have yet to do this technique, but just wanted to thank Shelli, and all of you for sharing your tips, techniques, and OMG that didn't go as planned stories  bear_rolleyes  :hug:

I'm another that gets over enthusiastic when someone shows even a glimmer that they want to attempt a real fur bear, let alone bear making in general.  I've got my older cousin Kathy to thank for inspiring me.  She gave me so much time and attention as a kid, so I love to return the favor by passing it along.   bear_wub   Just the same as you gals do  :hug:  Bears were meant for sharing!!

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB

Banner Sponsors


Tedsby - Handmade teddy bears and other cute stuffed animals. Hundreds of teddy artists from all over the world and thousands of OOAK creations.
Teddy Bear Academy - Online teddy bear making classes