Friday, March 22, 2013

Autumn, Summer and Spring

Our bear-making week in photos :)  

We were asked to make another big bendy rainbow bear as a special custom order recently. Something like this bear (from quite a few years ago now!)

So we set out cutting off a rather large piece of our 'Polar' kid mohair and drawing up four bears (the fourth will be showcased in a few days - he still needs his ears attached!) 

When all the pieces have been cut and prepped, we lay them out and get to work painting them in cascading rainbow colours. This is incredibly time consuming - but if you keep the colour strips and blending as even as possible, you'll end up with limbs/bodies what look like they were dipped into a rainbow! The photo above shows the pattern pieces still wet with the colour setting. 

Below we can see these same pieces rinsed and laying out flat to dry. We always get a much softer colour then it appears when wet. The backing soaks ups a brighter intensity of colour and the pile stays pastel. It gives a really lovely effect. 

Then there were a few days of work where there wasn't anything too interesting to photograph - just lots of sewing and turning and jointing. This was the end of one of the days of work - three bears lined up in the corner next to a massive new batch of painted eyes with the hope that if I had them pushed to one side of the lounge room the colours wouldn't catch the attention of Master-2-yr-old and Miss-Nearly-4yrs. (Yes - I do need a studio with a close-able door! lol) 

Fast forward another day or so and we have three bears fully stuffed and just awaiting their detailing and seam closing (the most tedious aspect of bear making in my opinion!). 

The bears in their fully finished glory - in natural lighting. That little aspect makes a HUGE difference to the clarity of the photos my little point-and-shoot Canon can take! We asked our Facebook likers to help us with names again - and ended up calling them 'Autumn', 'Summer' and 'Spring'. Our last little dyed-bear from this batch (mentioned earlier) will end up with the name 'Winter'. He can have his own listing in a few days when his head is attached to his body.... :) 

Autumn and Summer have been adopted. 

Only 'Spring' is left looking for his new home. When you meet him in person his light green/blue/lemon eyes don't look quite so intense... I think the natural light hasn't done him a great deal of justice in that department. But he is still a lovely, handsome big boy. 

I love the photo showing the length of his arms and legs. He does look so serious posed like this though! It's a little bit of an optical contrast - my brain goes 'Why so serious, you look like you're dressed for a Mardi Gras!?' 

lol. Poor Spring. 

We had a bit of dye from the rainbow bears left over on dyeing-day, so we decided to use our last piece of longpile white mohair to make a pretty pastel selection of 'Easter Colours'. Each piece is a one of a kind, and only available until I get too tempted and use them for a bear creation of my own!

(they're actually the same pile length/type as the fur I used for little Aoki shown below... you can see why they might not last as pieces of fabric in this house for very long... the temptation to draw out patterns is HIGH! !! lol) 


  1. Love love love the bears. May I ask what kind of dye do you use for the mohair.
    Thank you

  2. My what a colour palette. Your bears sure look happy chappy's.

  3. We use a locally produced fabric dye call 'Tintex' Donna. We don't follow the usage instructions though - instead we mix concentrated pastes of each colour in small cups and paint in onto the fabric. If you paint it on fur-side-up, you'll get a more vibrant look. If you paint it on backing-side-up you'll get a pastel effect. If you can let the wet fur dry under the heat of the sun you'll get an even brighter end result. It's such a lot of fun!

  4. Thank you so much for the information. Your bears are just beautiful.