Sunday, 17 October 2010

Keeping the Faith

I have recently been working with a beautiful, curly Schulte.  It has been a real challenge for me to turn all those lovely curls into a recognisable teddy bear face.   This is probably due to having working with straight alpaca for quite a while which is a breeze to scissor sculpt.  The mohair does not have an obvious direction to the pile.  It goes everyway possible!

I have really had to take a deep breath before cutting into this curly mohair.  Too much brushing and it loses its lustre.  Too little cutting and the face has no definition.  I think that if I had tried using this mohair a year ago, the head would probably have ended up in a box of failures. 

However, by wetting the muzzle fur and using a hairdrier I have managed to straighten the fur enough to scissor sculpt the muzzle, at the same time avoiding brushing the rest of the fur that I want to remain curly.   He just needs a body now!

Thursday, 14 October 2010


It's funny how something can set off thoughts and memories of loved ones.  A couple of days ago, I was looking for a watch I had mislaid and came across a small jewellery box containing my granfather's 'pips'.  For those of you not from a military background, pips are insignia that are worn on lapels and shoulders.  (He was, during WW2, a Major in the Indian Army who served in Manchuria and was twice mentioned in despatches). My beloved grandfather was Reginald Charles Quentin Von Donop Hardinge, otherwise known as Rex.  He was a wonderful person...very, very witty and a wonderful teller of stories.  Although reasonably tall, he was always very slender and it always amazed me that he ever survived his childhood in India.  He was born in Poonah.  His father, Colonel Henry Hardinge, spent much of his working life posted in India. Rex was also the author of a large number of books, some of the best known were Sexton Blake detective stories. He was a great walker and enjoyed smoking a pipe. Although he was wonderful company, he needed peace and quiet for his writing and spent much of his writing time living on Dartmoor in Devon with his cocker spaniel dogs Jasper and Sandy.  I absolutely worshipped him and still miss him.  He passed away in 1990 at 89 years of age in Dawlish, Devon.  I have always felt that he is my Guardian Angel.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

My Stash and Deadlines

One of the greatest pleasures of teddy making, is to have an idea for a design and then to look through my stash of mohair to see if I have any fur that will suit my idea.  I have spent quite a long time working nearly exclusively with alpaca, but recently have wanted to create bears from two different coloured mohairs.

So today I have dragged out my stash and played around with different combinations of colours...such fun!  I have found combinations for three new bears. 

I am busy bear making for the online Holiday Bear Show on November 20th and 21st and for the British Bear Fair in Brighton on December 12th, so am unlikely to have any available for adoption before then.