Thursday, 14 May 2015

Before and After

It's not my habit to share work in progress pictures but I thought I might just reveal a little before and after.

One of my personal preferences when I make traditional bears is to create them with a look and feel that I think is generally referred to as care-worn.   The expression is widely used and seems to cover every level of care worn from slightly matted to totally mangled according to the artist's intentions.

Mine are mostly care worn to level of being still in one piece but with sometimes with a few bald and matted patches.  I also set great store by the way they feel, difficult to describe but I like them to feel like saggy old wood wool and very loose. Basically the opposite to what everybody tried to persuade me an artist bear had to feel like when I started out all those years ago.

To get to the point, I do most of the ageing of the finish after the bear is complete; That seems to best give an impression of the wear and matting that would occur on a bear.  So after they are complete they spend some time getting the "treatment" and no I am not going to tell you what I do but I kept a "before" picture of Oliver.  The difference is quite subtle on him but I wanted to tone down the newness of the mohair and add some depth to the shade.

Above - Oliver before the treatment, the fur looks a bit dead and woolly.

Below  -  Oliver after the treatment - very subtle but to me it puts life and depth in the colour and I also fatigue the embroidery of his nose.

And basically another day's work for a very subtle change but it pleases me.

More pictures of Oliver on my website while he is for sale

Stretch to fit ?

A recent conversation with a customer caused me to look back at the remainder of the sweaters which my Mum had knitted for the bears.  Over the years I have used the ones which fitted the bear patterns but I had reached the stage where the last sweaters were mostly very nice but didn't fit anybody.

Now that I have embarked on the process of adjusting bears to fit the sweaters, the proportions are little different but I have also made the bear much looser and softer, especially at the neck and shoulder .

Oliver is the first bear who has been on a custom diet to fit into his sweater, more will follow but the sweaters are all different so it is going to be quite a long process.

More details about Oliver will be on my website while he is for sale