It’s no picnic judging teddy bears

2012-05-18 00:00

IT was business as usual in the Crafts Hall at the Royal Showgrounds yesterday as the judges got down to the job of judging the exhibits entered in the various categories.

“The number of entries is more than last year,” said crafts president Henrietta Whelan, walking around and ensuring the display cases were ready for the exhibits.

An impressive collection of silverware, all dusted and polished, stood in an office ready to be handed to the winners, while volunteers buzzed around getting the hall ready for the opening on May 25.

Entries for fine handcrafts like embroidery and woodwork continue to impress with their quality and ingenuity, while quilts are not only original, but beautiful.

An array of teddy bears submitted for judging presented a hard task for judge Marion Harper, of Kloof, who has done the job for the past 23 years.

“I have to look at the category the bear is entered into and see if it meets the criteria, and then I have to look for certain features like the fur, the joins, the character of the bear, the detail and the facial expression.”

Harper said some bears have a certain indefinable charm that makes them irresistible.

“All bears are meant to be cuddly and squeezy, but every child will zoom in on a bear that has that quality and even adults recognise it.” Beautiful bears in costumes may look perfect, but could lack that special something, she said.

Wood and furniture specialist Rob Scott and fellow judges Winston French and Walter Baird were scrutinising the objects submitted in the woodwork category. Gorgeous bowls and containers made from exquisite wood seemed to be passed over with a cursory glance while other pieces received high praise.

“It’s all in the craftsmanship,” said Scott as the men ran their fingers over surfaces, with their eyes examining the grain.

The show runs from Friday, May 25, to Sunday, June 3. The Crafts Hall will be open from 9 am to 8 pm on Fridays; 9 am to 9 pm on Saturday, May 26; 9 am to 6.30 pm from May 27 — 31; and 9 am to 10 pm on June 2. It will be closed on Sunday, June 3.

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