I have finished my latest bear. His name is Dominic and - like Hugo and Pongo before him - he has an internal wire armature, and his limbs are unjointed. I am still not certain about this. I do think the rigid, unjointed body is very appealing. Maybe it's the realistic thing - there is something very unrealistic about a bear whose limbs you can move as you please.
However, I have never managed to make these bears as sturdy as I would like them to be. I suppose I am making something that is fragile and breakable - like a piece of pottery or (and I thought of this when I was making the teddy bear bouquets) the bunches of twisted willow you can buy from florist shops. When you buy something breakable, you treat it with due care. The problem is that people don't expect teddy bears to be breakable - they are characteristically hard-wearing and long-suffering - so I worry that these bears will get bumped around and the wire armature damaged.
I'm thinking perhaps a note on the label to explain their construction might be a good idea.
What I would really like to do is to make a bear standing on all four feet, but in walking pose - rather than having all four feet flat on the ground. As you can see below, Dominic pose is actually quite close to this. Balance is going to be a problem though. As he is, he leans onto his lifted front left leg, and his rear right leg goes up in the air. When you pull his rear right leg down to rest on the floor, it looks great, but he won't stay that way - even with steel shot in that rear right leg.
I suppose his front right leg could be angled in slightly, but effectively it is already quite close to the centre - as close as it can be without looking unnatural. Hmmm.