Friday, December 16, 2016

Grizzly Cub Benton Adopted

 Benton has been adopted.

I have one last bear for this year ready for a new home. He is a 16" (40.5cm) grizzly cub named Benton.

I usually name the bears after the state I am living in, and that is now Pennsylvania. Benton is a very nice small town not too far from my house. It is one of my favorite places to go antiquing.

Benton is made with Tissavel luxury faux fur. Working with tipped fur is a challenge especially when the tips are light. I do a lot a shaping with scissors. Grizzly naturally have darker fur on their lower limbs. Using this type of fur made achieving that easy, I usually airbrush it darker. The face though was the challenge. The areas on his face that have been trimmed needed to be lightened. I first gently airbrushed with a lighter shade, and then went back with a pearl white paint with a hint of gold, and lightened up the fur strand by strand with a fine brush. I needed to do it this way to keep the fur soft. The fur is very soft. It was a time consuming process that was worth the effort. 

His face from about half way between his eyes and ears has all been needle felted with wool and a barbed needle. After the face is shaped I unravel the fur from the fabric and with the same needle root it into the felt. It is locked in tight and is not easily removed. Using this technique allows me to use more than one color on the face and to blend it seamlessly. 

His nose has also been needle felted, it is done all in one piece with the muzzle. It is sealed and sanded many times, and then painted and sealed. 

His eyes are glass teddy bear eyes that I have hand painted brown with a shimmer of bronze pigment. The whites are wool felt. 


I like the bears to have a little accessory to play with. I made Benton a little ball of wool felt. 

He has a plastic armature from his head to his tail. He does not have a head joint. The spine allows for easy posing. He also has the same type of armature in his upper limbs.
He has traditional joints in his shoulders and hips.
Over the summer I worked on a new way to joint the back legs, I felt the Lockline type armature was not giving me enough bend in the knees. I have joints inside the legs at the knee and ankles.

He is filled with wool, polyester fiberfill, soft silicone pellets in his belly, and some bbs for weight. He is not firmly stuffed to allow for ease of movement.

His paws are made of leather. His claws are sculpted of epoxy clay, they have been painted and sealed. They are very hard, but not unbreakable.

As with all of my bears, his left foot is signed and dated.


Benton comes from a smoke free home. 

One last picture to give you an idea of his size.



  1. Reading through all the steps you took to create Benton paints a clear picture of an artist who loves her work!

  2. Oh my, Benton is really adorable!

  3. He's amazing, Joanne! Love his face so much! The fur you used is gorgeous, too. Hugs xxxx Janice


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