21 December 2010
It's been such a long time since I wrote about bunnies, that I thought it was about time for an update. Things have moved on quite a bit since I came up with my first bunny design way back in July last year - so without sparing a thought for my blushes over my early work, here is the Evolution of the Quernus Bunnies.
My first ever bunny design was the scary Bunny Head design, born 29 July 2009. The essentials were all there - beady eyes, Bugs Bunny teeth, floppy ears - there was just something a bit disconcerting about the 'floating head' idea. There is a white clay bobtail at the rear, but perhaps we should move on...
The next bunny incarnation arrived at the end of August 2009. They have a certain naive charm about them, and the addition of the feet helped to ground them slightly more, but they were still alarmingly rotund.
I then had a break of several months when I was greatly exercised by various cat designs, and trying out millefiori techniques. I developed the 'fur cane', based on a technique outlined by Donna Kato in her book, The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques. I used this technique for my first bunny commission from Laura, Wee Smudge, in March 2010. Definitely getting more bunny shaped.
A month later, Wee Honey was commissioned. Honey was a more traditional brown and white rabbit, so I had the chance to try out yet another style of design. I used wire armature to strengthen the ears.
The last of a hat trick of commissions came in June 2010 in the form of two wee white rabbits, Miley and Oliver, commissioned by the lovely Sam Halliday (who went on to commission a Wee Slow Loris - of course!) I used blue beads for these eyes, and added a tiny core of black clay for the pupils.
By this time, my appetite for bunnies was whetted once again, and I returned to the quest to find the Quernus Wee Bunny. I still enjoyed doing commissions based on actual bunnies, but I was keen to come up with a general bunny shape that could be part of the Quernus range. And in July 2010, these three wee bunnies were born! They were definitely looking more Quernus-y.
The next development was to add arms - yes, arms! - to the bunny design! And I used a grey fur cane for this wee guy.
The combination of seeing Wee Grey Bunny and Police Mole proved too much for Gemma, who has had a thing about Police Bunnies for many years. And thus Police Bunny was born in August 2010.
In September 2010, there was an interesting diversion from my usual style of bunnies when I was commissioned to make a complete set of Fruits Baskets characters. For those who don't know, Fruits Basket is a Japanese manga story based loosely on the animals from the Chinese Zodiac. I'll write about the complete commission at a later point, but here's the Rabbit from the set. (And if you really can't wait, you can see the rest of the set here.)
There then followed another couple of bunny commissions in the run up to Christmas. First up was Betty Boo, a large rabbit for whom this fur car worked remarkably well, commissioned by Debbie Todd of Angels & Butterflies for a good friend of hers...
...and then Bramble the bunny commissioned by Clare Blackledge of Original Art by Clare. Wee Bramble was the first bunny I'd used the scoring technique to create the fur effect - the way that I do with wee dogs and wee cats. Bramble has the most amazing markings, so it was a challenge to make sure they were all present and correct!
This meander through bunny heaven would not be complete without paying a quick visit to Wee Widget, commissioned by Anna the Bunny Maker, and the slightly mad genius behind Widget the Sock Bunny. Anna asked if I could make a Wee Widget, and Widget himself travelled all the way to Leeds to come and model for me in person. And a few weeks ago, Wee Widget made an appearance! You can read about both Widgets' return to the Warren here, and I'll be writing a separate post about the Making of Wee Widget over Christmas.
And so we come full circle. After a slow start, the Quernus Bunnies have come into their own, with both more life-like commissions and the more traditional Quernus look. All Quernus Bunnies (which you can buy on my Folksy shop) come with their own wee carrot to nibble on the journey home.
The Wee Bunnies can also be found on The Handmade Bunny, a fantastic website dedicated to all things bunny-related, which helps raise money for the Rabbit Welfare Association. A most worthwhile cause!