Thursday, 22 September 2011


Meet my new 11" bear, Humphrey!

Please excuse the photographs - they're all over the shop.  It's one of those bright days which (although lovely) make it very difficult to take photos.  Either the bear is in the sun and looks bleached out, or he's in the shade and you can barely see him.  I still haven't gotton to grips with this camera.

Anyway, Humphrey is the same design as Poinsettia from the last post - the elegantly named 'leaning back panda'.  He was tough to make.  This design involves a lot of ladder stitching of parts, and with such long fur, it's difficult to see what you're doing.  The eyes were also a pain - and almost completely unphotographable.  The problem is, firstly, that there are a lot of seams around the eye area, what with the muzzle and the eye patch, making it difficult for the eye to lie flat, and secondly, that with two layers of mohair - the patch and the underlying white  fur - it is difficult to get the spike on the back of the eye to go through a tiny hole in both layers.  I'm wondering whether next time, I should paint the eye patches on.  That would alleviate both problems, but I've never had much luck painting white mohair black - it always seems to dry a faded grey colour.

Another reason Humphrey was such an effort was probably that I left a big gap between Poinsettia and Humphrey.  They take so long to make, that once I'm finished a bear, I tend to think, 'Phew!  He's finally finished!  Now I can do some housework/paperwork/work on the website/work on the other website/even read a book!  Then my rhythm is all disrupted and it's difficult to get into making the next one.

Did I really say I should be making minimum 4 bears per week?

One of the things I have become convinced of, in making Humphrey, is that I ought to be more experimental with materials.  I've already noted that customers don't always put a premium on mohair bears, and that my polar bear design might look better with a shorter pile length.  I'm thinking I might try more Poinsettia-type-bears - either making them in a different, but still interesting fabric,  or making them in plain cotton and embellishing.

Anyway, I hope you like the pictures.  Humphrey is definitely the most realistic panda I've ever made.

P.S.  I have just noticed, if you click on one of the photos, a lovely new slideshow thing comes up!

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