Tuesday, August 31, 2010

If Bears were Hobbits and Rabbits were Wizards

It has been such a pleasure to work with these characters and the ideas in the book of the Hobbit. As I usually do, when I decide on a piece, I see it before I begin the creative process and rarely change from my original idea. I wanted to incorporate my study of clay and pottery into the piece and new that there had to be a Hobbit house. Remember them from the Lord of the Rings movies? Well, they are already building more for the upcoming Hobbit movie. I'll find the link and post it.
The characters: Bilbo
This was actually the second Bilbo I made. The clay shrinks in the two firings and I thought that the first Bilbo was a might big. I reduced the size by on fourth inch and I was happy. The first Bilbo has gone to live with a dear friend. The one in the photo was just over 3 inches tall. He wears two colors of silk dupioni and has a suede yellow vest. His little pipe is polymer clay.
Gandalf: I don't put beards on animals that don't have them, so when I thought of the Gandalf character, I thought a lop rabbit with flowing ears would be just the thing. This Gandalf, the Gray is a tall 5 inches or so and carries a polymer clay walking stick.
All of my tiny creatures are fully cotter pin jointed and are weighted with copper or steel pellets so they feel quite substantial for their size and can be gently posed.
The Hobbit house was a joy to make. With the encouragement of all my classmates at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center (we call it PFAC) it's construction took several months - mostly waiting for it to dry out and be fired twice. I elected to paint it with oils and acrylic paint instead of using glaze. I thought that would look more natural and I could achieve the small details. My favorite part is probably the tiny red and white spotted mushrooms.
There had to be a round door and a brass door knocker in the middle. Oh, and the door was to be painted green. (It's all in the book!)
I put the trees and grass on top with roots and vines coming down to show how the house was underground.
I hope you've enjoyed the story and if you are ever in Santa Barbara, that you'll go and visit it at Susan Quinlan's Doll and Bear museum.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Another TBAI photo!

With many thanks to Carolyn and her friend, Margaret, I received the photo of Penny French and me taken as the gallery winners were announced. Now you can see our hats as well! Once we all had the hats on, we left them as we didn't want to show the "hat head" hair!! I appreciate your indulgence to post a photo of myself.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Last round of TBAI photos

Pokey the Turtle
I always have the best of intentions to photograph each little creature going to a show. Well, that rarely happens as the mad rush to pack and get on the way happens each time. On Friday night of the TBAI convention, the conventioneers get to shop for an hour before the big banquet and it seems most of the little ones are adopted that evening, they go on to celebrate with their new Moms or Dads, and their photo is never taken. I always do take their picture with the new family member, but they are so small, much of their charm is not captured. One exception this year was little Pokey, the turtle. Just before he hoped into his tote bag, I asked his new Mom if I might take a minute for a little photo. After all, he is my very first little turtle - prompted by that glorious green fabric! He started the show with a little acorn cap which went missing. Luckily, Rose and I pick up lots of them on our walks, so I'll be forwarding one to his new address.
Now for more photos of the fun!

Monday, August 16, 2010

More TBAI photos!

Here are more of the fabulous pieces from the gallery of TBAI 2010. If I haven't mentioned recently, TBAI (Teddy Bear Artists Invitational) is a teddy bear show held each year in Binghamton, NY. All the artists invited to participate create a gallery piece based on the theme (this year is was Children's Literature). When a piece is sold, half the selling price goes to the Ross Park Zoo which is there in Binghamton to aid their Endangered Species Program. I have more gallery photos and some of the fun and frolics that go on during the 3 day event that I'll post later. The tags that you see with green stars on them indicate that the piece is 8 inches or under. The two categories for voting were 8 inches and under and over 8 inches.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thought for the Day

I'm home safe from my 500 mile road trip (500 miles one way, that is) to the TBAI (Teddy Bear Artists Invitational) and am exhausted! I have tons more photos to post and will do so tomorrow. I just wanted to pass along a phrase I saw on my journey: Advice from my dog:  Keep it Simple: Love Everyone!!! Don't you LOVE it???

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gallery Photos

I'm up again and about to enjoy this last day of TBAI. Breakfast is at 8 and the show begins at 10. I sold most of my bears last night but do have a few left on the table for today. The folks attending the whole convention get an hour's shopping on Friday night before the banquet. I don't have time this morning to write about each photo, but if you want any information, send me a message and I'll try to find out for you. My piece was bought by Sue Quinlan who owns a bear and doll museum in California. Sue has collected several of my gallery pieces through the years. It's so nice that lots of people will get a chance to see the Hobbit when they visit the museum.
Oh, AND Sue and her husband, Terry, are planning a doll and bear show next May in Philadelphia. If you'd like information on that just let me know!

The Hobbit Wins!

I'm thrilled to report that my Hobbit gallery piece has won first place in the 8 inch and under category. Penny French's "Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe" won first place in the over 8 inch category. The evening's activities included a banquet, judging of the fabulous hats, and the auction of two pieces in addition to the announcement of the People's Choice awards. As luck would have it the photo I took of my own piece didn't turn out well, but I have a ton of other photos of the gallery which was just wonderful this year. As it's past midnight, I will wait until tomorrow morning to post them. The download to Blogger is particularly slow and I'm pretty tired. There was an hour of shopping for the people who attended the convention but the main show is tomorrow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

More photos from TBAI!

I'm just about to dress for the evening's fun here at TBAI. Thought I'd post a few more photos from last night. It's so good to see old friends and meet new ones - including Elanor of Shantock Bears (and mice) - they are just precious. I hope to get some good photos of the gallery tonight and will post after the banquet if I can stay awake!!!!
The last photo is of some of the folks posing with their "mad" hats on! Everyone had so much fun!! Some of the hats were really inventive.

Reporting from TBAI

Last night was such fun! Billed as a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, lots of folks wore their finest hats and all had a grand time. I'm in a rush as usual this morning so will post some photos and try to get back later with comentary. The weekend is a wonderful time of friendship and loads of wonderful fuzzy creatures!!