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Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

I've always embroidered my noses on real fur bears but am always so unhappy with the results.

Does anyone have other suggestions? What's worked best for you?

I've never made any other kind of nose but embroidered ones. So, please give me instructions.

If there is any potential for making a mess, ruining this customer's bear I will!!!!!!  :doh:

Thanks!
Daphne

Eileen Baird'sBears
Toronto
Posts: 3,873

Daphne,

I'm certainly no expert, but I am awake!

I've done 3 fur bears so far, two with embroidered noses and one with a leather nose. The embroidered noses were on small bears, and worked well, though I was scared to death that I'd split the pelt and they'd fall off.

I like the leather nose, but haven't quite figured out the best way to attach one. I glued and sewed my first attempt and it looks quite solid, but I'm thinking of another method for the next.

I'm considering two possible methods, actually, one for leather noses and one for embroidered noses on a fur bear. Probably reinventing the wheel here, but  . . .

I'd like to try molding the leather nose around a wired eye, which would make it possible to clip off a bit off the stuffed snout and attach the nose eye-fashion. The loose edges of fur snout could be glued back down over the edge of the nose, or just behind it.

I'd also like to try safe-embroidering a nose, by clipping the pelt away from the tip of the snout and embroidering the nose directly onto the lining fabric. Again, the loose pelt edges could be carefully glued back down onto the lining.

If I were wise, which I'm not, I'd try both methods on a mock-up snout first.

Anybody else? Please?

Eileen

Acipenser Bine-Teddies
Stockholm
Posts: 862

I have made several real fur bears (mink, muskrat, persian lamb, rabbit, squirrel) and embroidered the noses on all except one, where I used a glass nose. I had no problem embroidering and don't think the fur will fall apart. The glass nose was a nice option for a change, but more expensive. Nancy Tillberg recommends embroidering the noses in her book on real fur bears, Teddy Bears with a Past. I always glue a piece of felt on and embroider over that.

So, don't worry, if the fur is in good enough condition to sew it will hold for nose embroidery.

Sabine

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

I guess one of the reasons I'd like to try something other than embroidering is that it's very hard on my fingers and I'm having enough of a time with them... I'm not supposed to be making bears at all right now.

But, maybe I'll have no other choice..........

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

cocoa-011.jpgshannaupclose.JPGI missed this post... I use fimo clay! Holly (mink), Cocoa (curly lamb) and Shanna (rabbit) all have fimo clay noses

Terrie Terries Bears
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,614

I have started using polymer clay for noses also on the fur bears and I am really pleased with them.

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

FFF_INTRO_Orlando.jpgHi.  I like to make leather noses on my rfeal fur bears.  I'll add a few pictures.
EB_GRIZ_RESZ.jpg

Tigerhead.jpg

REDFOX_GRIZ_RESZ.jpg

POLAR_GRIZ_RESZ.jpg

EB_Sherwood.jpg

These are a few examples of leather sculpted, hand painted noses.  Embroidering noses does work too but as Daphne said, it is hard on the hands.  Also I think leather noses look more realistic.   I often use this type is nise on my felted face bears too.

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

I've not tried a real fur bear, but the idea of a leather nose on a real fur bear is most appealing to me ... most natural (haha).

Daphne, see Nancy Tillberg's 101 Bears, pages 97-98.

Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

Judi, those nose are the nicest I have seen done with leather..

Now, someone is going to ask you how you make that kind of nose so I may as well be the first..LOL. BUT... if this is a trade secret then please dont feel bad if you must decline...

Kim ... those fimo noses are really cute ! of course those guys are so sweet...Did you form the clay over a glass eye ?...Winney

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

Those noses are leather?  they look like they are needle felted... Ok, so if you are willing, can you share some tips???

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Thank y ou ladies.  It is not a huge secret but rather just a piece of leather manipulated into the shape of the nose with nostrils.  I don't even use a pattern.  I "wing-it" with every nose.  The key to a nice symetrical nose is to fold the leather in half when you cut the shape.  Every nose I do is a little different shape.  Each one is done by hand and custom fitted to each bear.  I think the nose shapes differ depending on my mood because there is no pattern.  Then, I hand paint the details in three layers of colors.  Anytime I shade anything...I always layer the colors.  Nothing is ever one color.

Hope this helps.

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

I take a cotter in and make it into the "snail" shape and then shape the nose around it and bake.. and then lacquer it..

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Kim, Thanks for the info. Hadn't thought of using a cotter pin.

Judi, Yes, I've seen those bears and their noses many times now. As I don't make bears that resemble anything near realistic and like cute and cuddly I guess I'll pass on leather noses. Also seems like more sewing... attaching the leather, and I need to avoid that... the idea of a clay nose is really appealing to me!

Tammy, thanks for your email about noses, too!!

Hugs,
Daphne

Just Us Bears Just Us Bears
Australia
Posts: 940

How do you attach yours Judi?? Great noses...and bears! they look so real!!

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

Daphne,
When I am doing a fur bear that I am not sure of I will cut two nose felt templates.  I sew the two felts together leaving the top open and stuff the template then close the top.  I then do a running back stitch or whip stitch to attach the stuffed template to the bear.  Then I do an embroidered nose going between the fur bear and the template.  The only stitches that I may take through the fur may be on the very edges on the sides.  I hope this makes sense.
Donna

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Donna,
That makes a lot of sense. One of the reasons I don't like embroidered noses is that they seem so flat with all the fur around them. I have yet to learn to trim the muzzle fur so it looks smooth (on mink especially). It sounds like your method would 'poof' up the nose and save my fingers from pushing the needle through the pelt.
Thank you, Donna!  :dance:
Daphne

Winney Winneybears and Friends
White City, Oregon
Posts: 1,103

Kim, How do you install that cotter based nose ? Lots of questions here but this is a great thread on noses, many diffrent things will work.

I love the idea of clay over the glass eye and Judi...you certainly have mastered manipulating leather, looks very natural, not even like leather. Shading ( in part)  is the key to dimensional work .
                                                                                           ..............Winney                                                                                                                                     ..

Judi Luxembears
Luxemburg, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,379

Sorry to post my photos all the time... I really like to share what I have.  Hope I am not over-"bearing".

Love your idea Donna!  Thanks for sharing.

psichick78 Flying Fur Studios
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,073

Judi, I LOVE to see your pictures!!
No harm in posting them. And I think you do the best noses around by the way.
I can't add anything to this post though, never done a real fur bear.
Heather

Densteds Densteds
Posts: 2,056
Website

Hi Judi,
great work...wow!! but how do you attach the leather nose, is it stuck  or stitched on??
thanks for all the ideas,
Denise.

Donna Donna's Duin Bruins
Burbank, CA
Posts: 900

Daphne,
Did you look at the post on here that Deb did awhile back?  A nose answer for Jill or something like that.  She showed a foam piece that she used for her template.  I am in the process of making a bear on all fours out of seal.  I used her idea and cut it out of leather.  Very quick and easy.
Donna
Thanks Deb!

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 20,566

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

That thread can be found in the Reference Library under "Nose Finishes".

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

Lovely nose ideas....and I'm curious to try the fimo clay noses myself.  Judi I ADORE the leather noses you do for your bears!!!!   bear_wub If only I can come up with something so nice!

For my bears, I had to give up on the embroidered noses because I'm an early retired dog groomer.  Too much punishment on my hands left me with a non working righthand!  After months of chiropractic adjustment by my osteopath, I've got my hand functioning again, but it will not hold up to the embroidered noses.

Sooooo....I take a plastic safety nose and cover it using ultrasuede   

Sometimes I'll make the nose poofier by adding some polyfill between the plastic nose and ultrasuede, but mostly I use just the plain ultrasuede.

DebbieD Posts: 3,540

Why won't my bear come up??? :cry:

I can't seem to get my pic onto here from my computer???  I must be doing something wrong.....I'll try again later to see if I can get my picture on  here.... bear_whistle

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

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

HIAWATHASmaller-from-below-.jpgHIAWATHA-closeupSMALLTHUMBN.jpgI wanted to embroider a nose on the first real fur bear I ever made, out of mink, but I swear, I could not get the needle thru the pelts.  I gave up after the first stitch; it was just way too hard.  I think since it was my first try at real fur I may have slightly understuffed the muzzle, which made it all that much harder.  I did this so as not to overstress the pelts; not a concern with mohair, which I'm much more accustomed to.

I ended up using Sculpey, which I formed around a glass eye and then baked, as Christine Pike had suggested in a recent TEDDY BEAR REVIEW article (sometime last fall I think.)  I was able to get a nice sculpt on the nose, with nostrils even!,  even though I don't do nose sculpting often (my first teddies had clay noses because I couldn't make a good embroidered one yet!), and I was able to paint that clay nose with several very cool colors -- hard to see in the photos but easier to view in person -- and give it a wonderful wet glossy shine, which I can't get on my embroidered noses because it's a different medium.  So it wasn't necessarily a better nose, per se, but I thought it was an equally good option for a nose, even though it wasn't my traditional embroidered nose.  I tried to keep the perimeter shape to my usual "oval" because that's what my eye likes seeing, and that's what my collectors like bringing home!, even though I used a different medium, and gave the nose nostrils in its detailing.  Next time I might be more brave!

I'm posting a pic of HIAWATHA for illustration.

PS  Debbie, your pic might be too large.  Is it saved at 72dpi?

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