Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pulling Strings

I have always been interested in puppets of all kinds. The way one can make these in-animate objects appear to come to life with hidden hands is something I still find delightful (Although I know many folks who find it creepy!) My toy-making adventures as a child included hand puppets with felt bodies and heads made from styrofoam balls covered in fabric or paper mache, and full-bodied animal puppets stitched from my own patterns made with plush fur, in addition to the childhood puppetry standards-paper bag puppets and sock puppets! My brother had a fantastic clown marionette when we were young and I wanted one of my own, but never thought of making one. In recent years though, I started a couple of times to create a marionette bear, but became side tracked with other projects (as I often do).

Then, last month, when I came an online marionette class taught by one of my favorite doll sculptors, Diane Keeler, I had to do it. It was a birthday present to myself. The class was fantastic, and I finally finished a marionette! It's a young Mad Hatter. If you'd like take a class from Diane yourself, you can find some here along with classes from other talented artists!

Here are some in-progress photos:

The parts are sculpted from polymer clay

Diane Keeler demonstrated her step by step
method for sculpting perfet ears!

My experience in doing "face-ups" on my BJD collection helped with the

The wig is made from a scrap of mohair plush in
 the "use what you have" spirit!

I am pleased with his chubby hands.

This is a "use what you have" project. I bought nothing new.

Here is my finished marionette! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Teddy Bear Extravaganza has begun!

The Teddy Bear Extravaganza at has begun! Visit the show to see new work from 75 talented bear artists from all around the globe.

My studio is buried in bits and parts from all the projects I have had going --bears for this show, bears for the show in Philadelphia-- an online marionette class (I'll share about that here soon), and even a couple of dolls! My mind feels just as cluttered, but it's all fun stuff and now that the online show has started, I'm going to take a moment to clean up the studio and I'm going to take a walk in the nice sunshine to  clear my mind!
I made one of me new smaller bears with big bear details--



I also enjoyed working with a new little classic style design I made for this show. "Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!"







Friday, March 7, 2014

The Teddy Bear Extravaganza preview has begun!

Introducing Happy! This traditional style teddy is my preview bear for the Teddies Wordlwide online show! He's named for the song by Pharrell Williams that was in my head all day the day I finished him, and decked out for a birthday celebration--mine!  visit to see the preview and vote for your favorite bears! Then, be sure to come back March 21-23 to see the show!