All of the bears faces are needle felted. I then firmly root mohair strands into the felt. This allows a very natural look and allows me to use the mohair itself to shade the bears face.
Eyes, paw pads and noses are important to me, and I spend a lot of time on these. I use teddy bear eyes, doll eyes, and even taxidermy type bear eyes to give the bears their expressive alive look.
Noses are also needle felted. But then they are sealed, sanded, shaded and sealed again for a natural look.
Paw pads are appliqued leather, and sculpted with needle and thread. I make the claws of epoxy clay and set them deeply into the paw with very strong glue. Again the look is very natural.
I have been working on movement. I have begun using a ‘lockline’ type plastic armature in the bears that allows for lots of movement. I do not use a neck joint, instead the armature is used like a spine from the head to the tail. The bears heads can not turn from side to side like they would with a neck joint, but they can tilt from side to side and up and down. It allows for toy cuddling, playing on all fours, and even sleeping positions. I also use this armature in arms and legs, it can be moved over and over, and will never wear out.
I hope that you will agree that the time I put into these techniques makes the bears individual and unique to me.
They are Desertmoutainbears.