Monday, 14 May 2007

Let's bring on the clowns ... there ought to be clowns!

I'm often asked how I find inspiration for new designs and it's a hard question to answer because there are so many things that trigger ideas.

I absolutely love working with colour and after working with the more muted, traditional shades of my Timeless Teds, I felt instinctively it was time to inject some colour back into my designs.

One Sunday morning, I was watching a re-run of 'Antiques Roadshow' in bed (!) and I saw the most beautiful Steiff clown bear from the mid 1920's. He was similar to this bear, but in beautiful shades of faded grey/lilac with a gentle burst of watery purple shades in his collar and hat ... such a beautiful bear!

I hadn't realised clown bears were quite so early in design and it led me into a little research. What a pleasure that was! These pictures are from the early 1920's and 30's ... a golden era for teddy bears! American bears, German Steiff bears, English Chiltern bears ... I was delighted to find such fabulous manufacturers introducing bold colour so early on in the history of the teddy bear.
Pictures of vintage clown bears are quite hard to track down, but via the internet and through browsing my collection of 'Christie's Auction House' catalogues, I began to develop a feel for these fine old bears and that of course, led me to want to develop my own range!
So, this week I've been working on a plan to draw these wonderful early designs through to our present day, incorporating a few gentle contemporary 'brush strokes', to bring them up-to-date, but ensuring I retain their original charm.

I'm very pleased with my first big bear in this new collection ... but no, you can't see him today, sorry!

You'll have to be patient because he's under wraps for the time being! I'm sure you won't mind me sharing these pictures with you in the meantime. We have a wonderful heritage of fine bears with many a silent tale to tell and these particular beauties make me smile ... they were the flambuoyant bears of their day, stylish bears with a devil may care attitude! Teddy bears with a certain 'je ne sais quois'!
Bears with flair!
My own 'Billy Buttons' will debut at the 'Bear Artists Online Summer Show' www.bear-artists-online.com on June 30th, so I hope you will join me in making this a firm date in your diary to log on for his grand unveiling!

2 comments:

  1. Oh Paula! I can't wait to see your new clown bear. Thank you for sharing all those wonderful photos of older clown bears... they are fantastic!! By the way... IF YOU HAVE TIME... "Tag, you're it!" You've been tagged by me... if you go to my blog you'll see what to do :)

    Hugz,
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great to hear from you Laura! I'm glad you enjoyed these great old timers, I think they are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete

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