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desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

I am going to be doing a 45 minute presentation on realistic bear making at the Quinlan Show at the end of April.
I need some advice on topics to be covered.
The presentation will cover aspects of making more realistic bears and adding realistic detail. For those of you that are interested in trying a more realistic bear what information would you be interested in seeing presented?
I do not have time for actual hands on instruction, it would be more presented in slide show, with me having materials present.

I know that there will also be collectors present, and I would like them to leave feeling more informed also.
Collectors, are there aspects of realistic bear making that may interest you? How do they move? How they are shaded, realistic eyes, joints, etc? I will have materials present. Are there things that I could discuss that would help you make a more informed decision when purchasing a bear?

Thank you in advance for your help. I appreciate any and all advice you would like to give.

Churton M Posts: 43

ooo sounds very interesting I wish I could be there to see your presentation.
As a maker who has never attempted a realistic bear but would love to in the future I would be interested in hearing about how to do the realistic eyes and jointing. I know there are such things as lock line etc but how to know where to put wrist joints; multiple neck joints etc would be fascinating.
Good luck

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

Thank you for your response. I will address a double neck joint. I do not use wrist joints, because I use lockline, so I will talk about lockline. Realistic eyes are a good topic too. I know where to find them. Thanks again.

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,002
Website

Of course you'll need to show pictures of your black-bear muses, and then I'd want to learn about your observations on proportions (e.g. Head size) the leg/joint location, and other ways in which real bears differ from old-fashioned teddies.

How to set realistic eyes also gets my vote, as well as your technique for rooting mohair into a needle-felted muzzle.

Whatever you decide to show, have fun! I know the audience will be super interested - both makers and collectors.

Becky

peterbear Boechout, Antwerp
Posts: 4,755
desertmountainbear wrote:

I know that there will also be collectors present, and I would like them to leave feeling more informed also.
Collectors, are there aspects of realistic bear making that may interest you? How do they move? How they are shaded, realistic eyes, joints, etc? I will have materials present. Are there things that I could discuss that would help you make a more informed decision when purchasing a bear?

Hi Joanne,
What I'm particularly interested in adopting a realistic bear, is the way you can make him sit in different positions and how these different positions can influence the "attitude" of the bear (how his personality shows: shy, happy, sad, ...)  I think collectors wouldn't be very interested in the real technical aspect, but I think they would like to know what kind of techniques exist and how they influence the "look" of the bear.  Some realistic bear artists also make open/shut mouths, open/closed eyelids; that could be interesting too.   As you mentioned, a few words about shading and how it impacts the expression of the bear would certainly be appreciated.
The main thing I think, if you want to make it interesting for collectors, is to have plenty of illustrations of your bears!     bear_thumb
Good luck!

student bearmaker Northern Ireland
Posts: 283

I haven't tried a realistic bear yet but have always admired your fabulous bears Joanne,they are so detailed and individual.
If only I was lucky enough to be able to attend your presentation, eyes would be top of my list and then how you create those fabulous noses with realistic moist nostrils, you can imagine them sniffing the air. I would also love to know how you make the lifelike pawpads.
Hope you have a great day as I know all your attendees certainly will.

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

Thank you for the input, I so greatly appreciate it. I cannot go into great detail on any one area, and I do not want to get to technical, but I will be discussing how all of these details you have mentioned can enhance the personality of a bear. Especially the movement Peter. That is the one aspect of the realistic bears that appeals to me most, and I have spent a lot of time designing the bears around that. I am glad it is of interest to you as a collector.

Becky, there will be plenty of photos of my favorite real bears. I have plenty of pictures of all types, but since black bears seem to draw my attention the most,they of course will be the stars. I have decided my gallery piece will be a very iconic picture of my favorite two, and I think I will be contacting you to help me name the piece if that is okay.

Peter, would seeing soft pellets, lock line, and doll eyes, claws, and things like that interest you if they were being passed around?

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website
student bearmaker wrote:

I haven't tried a realistic bear yet but have always admired your fabulous bears Joanne,they are so detailed and individual.
If only I was lucky enough to be able to attend your presentation, eyes would be top of my list and then how you create those fabulous noses with realistic moist nostrils, you can imagine them sniffing the air. I would also love to know how you make the lifelike pawpads.
Hope you have a great day as I know all your attendees certainly will.

Student Bearmaker, the moist noses are done with some gloss inside the nostrils.

dangerbears Dangerbears
Wisconsin
Posts: 6,002
Website
Desertmountainbear wrote:

Becky, there will be plenty of photos of my favorite real bears. I have plenty of pictures of all types, but since black bears seem to draw my attention the most,they of course will be the stars. I have decided my gallery piece will be a very iconic picture of my favorite two, and I think I will be contacting you to help me name the piece if that is okay.

It is beyond OK, Joanne. I would be delighted!  bear_original

Becky

peterbear Boechout, Antwerp
Posts: 4,755
desertmountainbear wrote:

Peter, would seeing soft pellets, lock line, and doll eyes, claws, and things like that interest you if they were being passed around?

Joanne, yes definitely; I think I have seen a lockline once, but it certainly would be interesting to show how it moves and how flexible it is (in contrast to or in combination with simple, double or even triple joints).  I didn't even know that doll eyes were used for realistic bears and come to think of it, I have absolutely no idea if you buy ready made claws bear_wacko  or if you make them yourself; how do you prevent them from coming loose; do you want them really sharp (or is that pushing things too far bear_shocked ).  It's all very interesting to me.

Having slept on it, there is another item that might be interesting for both artists and collectors: how far can you go in creating realistic bears without them turning into "taxidermy"-like specimens (and thus losing all appeal).  I know that your creations always still have that lovely "awwww"-factor, but I have also seen realistic that are "too close to realistic for comfort".  So where do you draw the line and how do you avoid crossing it?   bear_wacko

zsuzsi Posts: 25
Website

Joanne, as a novice  I'd be mostly interested in pattern design with realistic proportions, limbs-, ear- and eye placement. Of course, I'd be interrested in every other detail of your knowledge, that You decide to share.
I've read the blog posts You've shared on Your site concerning Your technique, and I'm really thankful for Your attitude towards teaching!!! Sooo much to learn! Thank You!
:-)

Zsuzsi

student bearmaker Northern Ireland
Posts: 283
desertmountainbear wrote:

Student Bearmaker, the moist noses are done with some gloss inside the nostrils.

Thanks Joanne,sounds so simple yet it's so effective.
Renee

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website
zsuzsi wrote:

Joanne, as a novice  I'd be mostly interested in pattern design with realistic proportions, limbs-, ear- and eye placement. Of course, I'd be interrested in every other detail of your knowledge, that You decide to share.

Zsuzsi

Thank you Zsuzsi, these are things that I certainly want to cover. I think design, and placement of limbs, eyes, ears are probably the most important detail in realistic bear making.

Peter, yes I do agree with you about making an animal too real, but some do love them.  I refer to my bears as realistic teddy bear. The focus will be on a realistic teddy bear. There are quite a few artists making them. I am interested in showing how traditional bear making can be a jumping off point to realism by adding realistic details.   
They do not make claws, well maybe they do, but they need to be made to fit the bear, so that is a good one to discuss. I will bring some with me. The realistic looking eyes are doll eyes for the most part. Taxidermy bear eyes are used, but when you think about the size of a bear, you can see how that would not work so well with the smaller bears. They only sell two sizes of them, large and small. I use the small size for my largest bears, I will bring both, doll eyes and bear eyes. I appreciate you helping me out.

edmondnutmeg Padfield bears
Derbyshire
Posts: 1,343
Website

Oh how wonderful Joanne I too would love to see your presentation. Would there be any way someone could video it so we may all have an opportunity to see it?  What I love about your work the most is the way you manage to create the 'magic' of a teddy bear. Your bears are wonderfully anatomically realistic but what makes them truely realistic is the way they have personality and character in conjunction with your technical skill. I would be interested to know about this and what keeps you motivated in what you do and how you think about bringing your bears to life. Also the time scales involved in each process might be informative too. 45 mins will fly by with so much to cover!  I'm sure whatever you come up with will be fabulous and a roaring success  bear_flower

eddybare eddybare
cape town
Posts: 51
Website

Joanne will there be any way we could 'see' your presentation without actually being there.......eg an online live stream perhaps.......for a fee, for those of us unable out the continent and unable to attend.  I would love to hear anything and everything about the design process of the pattern making.

EJ Netcong, New Jersey
Posts: 1,540

I'm not sure if I'll be able to attend the talks they're having this year, but I'll definitely go to the show!  (YAY)  Anyway, as a collector, I'd like to know how you got interested in bears, for example, why you started making bears, what kind of journey you've had in bear-making, what were the ups and downs, and what goes into your ideas for making a bear.   What are your other passions in life and how do they affect your bear-making?   I just love hearing an artist's story...it's always very inspirational!  When i'm talking to an artist about their bears and their eyes light up with passion and joy for their trade as they tell me their story, it does influence me on whether to purchase their bear. 

Anyway, best wishes on your presentation!  Sounds very exciting!!  Good luck!

zsuzsi Posts: 25
Website

Joanne, I'd like to join in: If You decided to record Your presentation and share, I'd be happy to attend.

"When i'm talking to an artist about their bears and their eyes light up with passion and joy for their trade as they tell me their story, it does influence me on whether to purchase their bear. " -by EJ

EJ, this is completely off topic, but that is the kind of joy I sought in the faces of children and adults when I presented my craft to them, It's the most rewarding and precious part. I've never thought, that could work in the other way as well! :-)

desertmountainbear desertmountainbear
Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 5,399
Website

Thank you your your responses, I appreciate your input. It is helping me a great deal.

I do not think I will video tape this presentation. I would not know how, and I think I would not like seeing myself up there. Thank you though for the interest.

EJ, please stop by and say hi during the show.

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