I’m working on some micro-mini bears at the moment. Hopefully I’ll have a little group of them to form part of a tableaux I’m working on. It’s not for a competition – just a piece to satisfy myself actually. It’s mostly fun if not a little frustrating at times!! The head of these bears fits on the top of my thumbnail and my hand is sore from holding those tiny pieces. I think the finished bears will measure just over an inch from their heads to their toes and some of them will be dressed, albeit in very simple costumes. I’ll show some pictures of my works in progress tomorrow.
I’ve only made a couple of these tiddly bears before. I do like making them but as usual I have to do things the hard way! A lot of artists when they make bears that small, don’t use gussets or paw pads. My micros are constructed just like my big bears – ultrasuede foot and paw pads and a gusset in the head, and the case of micro pandas a four piece body. They have the teeniest pin joint you can imagine in the head, though the limbs are string jointed. I like my micros to have the proportions of my bigger bears, not be sqaushy little lumps and for them to be imbued with as much personality as my bigger bears but it is hard and I don’t always succeed. So, I am taking this little grouping slowly as I want them to be my best work to date.
I can only work on them for short amounts of time – my hand cramps from holding the tiny pieces and because my stitches are even smaller than normal, I give myself migraines from concentrating so hard. I never quite know how to price them either. Because of the fineness of detail, they actually take me longer to sew than one of my big bears, but I find it so hard to put a higher price on them. People expect that the smaller the bear the cheaper it will be.
I’m determined to finish this tableaux soon. I am my own harshest critic, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. It means I don’t settle for “just ok” when selling my bears but it also leaves me a bit timid to try out new ideas. In my notebook is a set of designs for bears I dreamt up in 1999!! Every time I plan for a show, they go on my list, and every time the show draws closer, they get scratched. I’m putting them firmly in the picture for 2007 and even have part of their design on my agenda for the Christmas holidays (2 weeks off work – yippee!)
Anyway, back to the micros and the tableaux. I hope to have it finished by the weekend, but that’ll mean some hard out sewing this week. The number of bears may yet be reduced from 5 to 3 but we’ll keep going and see what happens.
This is a picture of one of my first micros. Threadle measured just over an inch tall and I created him in early 2006. He’s lucky enough to live in sunny California with some of his siblings. The cotton reel is a “miniature” reel and not true to real life size. One of my old friends always used to say she need to “threadle the needle” which is how his name came about. I haven’t looked at his pictures for ages and I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with the way he turned out. Hope the new ones are this cute! My mother likes to remind me every now and again that I was the girl who swore she “couldn’t and wouldn’t make a mini bear”. Guess I’ve proved myself wrong!