Teddies Worldwide

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Writing a Bear Tale..

I'm always struggling to come up with things to blog about... Some bloggers seem to be able to post every day with interesting things.. I don't seem to be one of them!:)
Recently, I was asked by Kim, the lovely owner of Bear Essence here in Melbourne to do a project for the next issue of her pattern magazine "Bear Tales" so I thought hmmm maybe I could blog the progress as I go.. So here I am! I thought you might find the process interesting...
Like many bear artists, I have more than a few sketchbooks filled with ideas for new bears waiting to be be brought to life- sometimes I refer to those when I want to make a new bear. Then again there's the fabric inspired bear, which is what this bear is going to be.. I bought a small piece of lovely cherry red coloured short knotty mohair from Kim at the end of last year, and as you'd know, cherry red isn't exactly a colour I use very often! So it had been sitting with the rest of my mohair stash waiting patiently. I thought this would be the perfect time to bring it out... So my brain started working.....how about a little clown?
Kim posted me a piece in matching light tan and I was away! Here, you see the first stage of my pattern development ( that makes it sound so technical! lol) I start with sketching the head, imagining the snout lengthwise only, not allowing for the width of the gusset. Next I sketch the body.. You can see here my dilemma if how long the body should be?
Then I sketch in a rough idea of the arms and legs.... The feet are really just a guide, as once I establish a basic ' look' for the bear, I will then sketch the footpad the size I like, and adjust the foot on the leg to fit the footpad.
Not shown here, I then think about the head gusset, if the bear is going to have one. I fold my paper in half and sketch the gusset out, concentrating mainly on one side, using the fold crease as the centre line, as I will fold the paper in half again and cut the gusset on the fold so it is identical on both sides.
For the snout, I go by eye from the sketched head side for the snout length, then add the width I want. Now, I'll cut out the head, allowing extra length on the snout for the gusset width ( remember, I didn't allow for this in the first place) then the head gusset and body. Measuring carefully, I compare the gusset and head sides making adjustment for fit, and finalise the shape.
Next I'll redraw the arm and leg, drawing the foot to fit the footpad I've already drawn and cut out ( again on the fold)....


Kays Kids said...

What a trooper! I love seeing your scetches. Can't wait to see a little red clown pop out of the material.

Sarah Medina, Jellybelly Bears said...

Love these posts Karen, so much fun seeing you work through to your finished bear, what a cutie too :) XX