I'm working on a new style of traditional bear at the moment. Remember Charlotte, the bear in the knitted dress I introduced you to at the opening of my blog? She's the first of my 'Timeless Teds' collection. I thought she needed a brother bear so I've been working on his head this week. Don't worry, the rest of him will follow shortly! I'm pleased with this design because I seem to have developed a style which leans towards more contemporary bears in the main, but this new design strikes me as hitting a plausibly traditional note at last! It must be something to do with the mohair I'm using and the shape of the head with the centre seam ... sorry, I'm waffling now, would you like a closer look at the head? I'll pop one in here for you to take a look at:
He has traditional amber and black glass eyes - I think there's something very appealing about the expression they give a bear. I actually think it's harder to build expressive personality into a traditional bear, than it is a contemporary bear. After all, there are no tricks of the trade one can draw on, no shading, no embellishment! It's all down to traditional bear-making skills and that is the beauty of it. I will stitch his nose tomorrow and if you'd like me to perhaps I'll take some pictures so you can follow his progress with me.
See how I've flitted off subject again? It's definitely one of those days. So, where was I? Ah yes, the workroom. This is 'Charlotte', sitting patiently on my shelf waiting to be adopted by her special someone. The books on the shelf above are some of my childhood favourites, 'Winnie the pooh', 'Just so stories', 'Peter Pan', 'Jane Eyre' ... that one was my mum's ... there are some things you just don't let go.
Naturally, just out of shot there is a tv, a dvd and a video player, after all, a bear-maker's life is one of isolation and would be hard to cope with were it not for a few simple pleasures. When the tv fails to inspire me, I like to indulge myself with loud music. Today Christina Aguilera has had her turn, my daughter bought me her latest CD for Mother's Day and tucked it inside a pretty gift bag filled with sparkles and love. I have two great kids by the way ... how lucky can a mum be.