I've been digging around the library for an hour and I am not finding my answer. So either it's a huge secret or I am not understanding.
I am seeing muzzles that are very sculpted, some pinched looking, and some with unique shapes. I keep reading that they are "needle sculpted." I don't know what that means. Are you taking a nip and tuck from inside the head or making darts? Since I am coming from a needlefelting background, needle sculpt means to jab with a needle until you get a desired shape if you are needlefelting. But since I am looking at traditional bears (and currently making one), somehow I don't feel this is what you guys are talking about. Some muzzles are obviously left alone after they are stuffed, but others I can tell have very precise moulding happening and are being referred to as needle sculpting...and I am not sure how y'all are doing that...?
(P.S. I am not referring to the inset muzzles)
Nedle sculpting mans the use sewing techniques to change the shape of thebear. They may sew through the muzzle side to side to give it a pinched look. the may sew through the head to give an eye socket appearance.
There are many different ways of doing things to change the appearance.
Needle sculpting has traditionally been done (long before our beloved Needle Felting appeared on the scene) to shape certain areas by using a longer needle and a thread like Conso or Mastex - Heavy duty nylon upholstery threads - to sew through a stuffed head (closed at neck or not yet) to bring a different shape or direction to the finished surface of a fabric bear.
In creating eye sockets & leg sockets, it replicates a more natural look to these body parts before attaching. Mouths are created by judiciously placing sculpting sts. It's possible to create entirely different expressions in 2 matched, sewn heads by where, how many and how strongly the sculpting threads are pulled.
Darting is an entirely different technique, usually employed by those ready to create more inventive shapes. These works can still be needle sculpted—or not—afterwards, depending upon what look you're trying to achieve.
There is nothing more it than sew & stuff a few basic heads, get out a doll needle and the heavy thread—and start pulling in sections by 'needle sculpting' some areas!
I've referred folks to Andrea Brewer's free pattern page before...I think for pulled toes.... she gives a quick blip on needle sculpting with a little pic that might help you out. I like visuals myself. It's a really cute pattern too, if you're just starting out with mohair and want to try a few techniques. It's one of the first I tried years ago.
Hope it helps a little!
I've read this only recently but can anyone tell me if kranbeary.com still runs the on line needle sculpting courses if not can anyone recommend a book showing how to do needle sculpting of the muzzle etc
Anatomy of A Doll by Susanna Oroyan has some information about needle sculpting, though it's for human-like dolls that are generally made from different materials than teddies.
Here's some online tutorials as well:
https://www.deviantart.com/thisusername … -214111813
http://sfmclothdollswithattitude.blogsp … orial.html
Oh and here's one more specifically for eyes
https://www.deviantart.com/dot-doll/art … -496330994