Signed up a little while ago Thought I should introduce myself. Hello, I am a 21-year-old Brit fine artist (I paint, sketch, sculpt and sew) who has recently taken a big interest in artist bears - I particularly love mohair. I started off collecting cheap Steiff at auction-houses and ebay much earlier this year - I realised they were worth a lot, and thought I'd sell them on for more money than I paid for them (although, I admit I didn't really know much about Steiff or any other companies like Hermann etc at the time). I started off by buying ONE reclining 'jung tiger' cub from an online seller in Illinois for a bargain. But once I had it, I loved it too much to sell. There's something strange about her, she somehow looked and smelt 'nostalgic' to me - despite the fact I obviously grew up in the 90s and she 'grew up' in the 50s!
So, I kept her...and decided she had to be a 'she' because I wanted to collect her some cubs! (Only a tigress will care for her babies, after all!)
So these are my happy 4 I'm having for keeps Two standing cubs (big guy I think may have had a squeaker, but doesn't work) plus a rare little swivel head. I've sold a few other for profit to help support myself a little - but if I'm honest if I could, I'd keep every old creature I buy meant for those 'auction house projects' I also have what I think is an old Hermann tiger on the way from Philadelphia...it's so faded it almost looks like a lioness so I may call it a she, ready for when the stipes finally fade into nothing too. I love looking a tatty teddies as well as mint condition ones... so long as they're not rotten!
But I don't just collect - I've mainly joined here hoping I'll learn more about how to make all kinds of fabric creatures from you all. I'm hoping once I make a regular steady income I can buy some mohair to make a red fox (actually more specifically a character from some kids books I'm in the process of writing and illustrating) and with practice hopefully a realistic white lion cub also, I'll even give it wings and base it on the old cartoon 'Kimba the White Lion' (anyone here know that show...?)
Looking forward to seeing posts around here Also might share a few repairs I've recently done on some old toys later - I couldn't post any more photos in this post.
And here's a 'rescue' tiger. I bought him just because I was determined to fix him - I felt it was a shame somebody stuck some light bulbs (yes, light bulbs!) into where his old Steiff glass eyes should've been. I couldn't find any glow in the dark radioactive painted eyes of course! But at least he has good quality German cat glass eyes now. Not red lightbulbs! I'm at least selling him on so's not to be a hoarder. Just happy I got to fix him up, although I'm aware the repair is obvious to a collector since his eyes aren't sunken in further to his head like the others. I put him in the freezer for one night, then read an article that I shouldn't have done that because of defrosting causing rot! So I dried him with heat straight away and he's safe. Any recommendations what I could do to kill germs safely for any future repairs? I've heard putting them in a bag with mothballs is good
Hello NFA welcome to TT Your tiger collection is just wonderful I'm a sucker for a lost furry soul so I understand why you just couldn't sell them on! I have also being 'getting round' to making a red fox for about a good six months now but always seem to get waylaid so I will look forward to seeing yours.
I thought it was Ok to freeze to kill bugs/bacteria. Surely they wont rot if there is n't any moisture to turn into ice crystals, is well sealed in the freezer and is thawed out of the bag? Mothballs stink so I wouldn't fancy that idea but I am no expert. Maybe start a thread in the tips or collectors section?
Welcome to the forum! I love seeing your old Steiff tigers.
I agree with Michele that 48 hours or so in the freezer (I wrap them in a towel first) is a good way to go. Mothballs are pretty toxic to us as well as moths, and the smell is a real problem, too.
I look forward to seeing your critter projects. One old book that might be a help is: http://www.amazon.com/How-Make-Design-S … 263063704#
Hi Newfangled and welcome to TT! :rose:
You did a really good job on the Steiff tiger cub. What on earth were they thinking putting ugly red lightbulbs in his head! :wacko:
Good luck with selling your bears and other stuffed animals after you have bought: it's not easy to re-sell them once you have felt them in your arms and given them a hug. I know I could never do it. :whistle:
Don't forget to post some pictures when your red fox is finished!
Hi, thank you for the nice welcomes everyone! I love all kinds of stuffed critters now. I've grown to think of them as fabric 'sculptures' - while I like to keep productive with projects like this, my friends are all very much into video games and drinking booze every week instead... so I don't think they understand my teddy/art passions, as much as I love my friends! So I'm looking forward to seeing posts from you all on here in my spare time
@ Michelle, Becky & Jen, thanks a lot. I suppose if freezing has been safe for you all too it could be nothing to worry about - I do seal all my repairs in plastic bags and leave them in for 2-3 days, and I've never had problems before either. Although so far I've only frozen few British made bears stuffed with either rags or cotton. Since the tiger was my first frozen animal with hay filling, that blogger scared me quite a bit with her 'wet/damp = rotting" theory. I may stick with the freezer in future and maybe just give them extra layers of towels inside the bag to put my mind at ease!
Thank you Peter, I think he's a happier old cub...when I got him with those horrid bulb eyes, his neck was flimsy and his face always seemed to sadly sag down. Since I've given him his eyes, he seems to stay posed upright as though he's much prouder of himself now... (although, I do think maybe me freezing him in an upright position had more to do with that change!) I'm still surprised by that repair - I thought maybe an old owner just lost the glass eyes and couldn't afford replacements maybe? But the fact they were dangerous light-bulbs, and that they were painted red of all colours took me by surprise. And it is hard to sell them, but it's probably just as well - or I'd have a house full of animals! When he goes, this guy will be left with a note telling the new owner to "Take good care of him and enjoy, he deserves it!" Although, I've made the mistake of naming him 'Beady'. Named him by accident, because I've written a short story on a character inspired by him and his repair. Best not call him that too often, or I really will hate to see him go! :D
I will post photos of the fox on TT when she's created! I might make some little velvet rag dragons and lions made of old cushion covers in between my other art projects just to stay in practice until I can stock up on mohair. Will see you all around