As you may or may not know, I am the person behind 'The Guild of Master Bearcrafters' (www.masterbearcrafters.ning.com) an internet group I set up a couple of years ago, to help professional bearcrafters promote and progress the concept of 'artist bear'. With that aim in mind, I recently challenged willing members to explore new styles of bearcraft and incorporate at least one bear crafting technique hitherto alien to their work.
The results are rolling in now and I must say, I am delighted with the commitment our Guild challengees have shown to this project! I have been a somewhat shamed by my own limited efforts after being compromised by a lack of available design time when a shop order was suddenly pulled forward, but nonetheless, I did manage to have a go at a couple of things I haven't tried before. There's no point talking the talk, if you're not prepared to walk the walk eh?!
I haven't made a truly contemporary bear in a noticeable while, so opted to tackle a tricky open-mouthed bear with bendy legs and hugging arms; however as these elements weren't entirely new to me, I also decided to introduce eyelashes for the first time and to create pulled toes, which I nervously shaded ... one false move and I was terrified I would ruin my new bear!
Spurred on by my fellow challengees' enthusiasm for the challenge, I decided to squeeze in one last element to complete my 'Something old, something new' design, by creating a prim style rabbit companion - another first for me.
And here is my finished Guild challenge piece: 'Felicity finds her bun'!
It's hard not to be inspired by other artists' enthusiasm for a project, but I am particularly grateful to my Guild friends for this push ... they don't know this, but my laughing bears were always Dad's favourites and I haven't felt able to make one since he died last Autumn.
Thank you all for being such an inspirational force xxx
Guild member Tami Eveslage created two fabulous bears for this challenge! Please visit Tami's blog to read all about her approach to the challenge: