OK what has influenced you most to make bears? Two bear artists that I know inspired me to get into bear making. They are Cheryl Ross of Cherbears & Sally Winey of Winey Bears. I can now comprehend why I was paying sooo much money for the little critters as I have seen how much time and work goes into them.
How did you get in the business? Ummm....not really IN the "business" yet. Still doing it as a hobby to add more bears to my own collection and to give as gifts to family and friends.
Want to post your very first bear.......? Sure, He is the bear on the right of my avatar. That wasn't sooo tough
How much did your first bear go for? Haven't sold any yet...Haven't been able to make a design I like, so I am still just using Cheryl's patterns to make my bears. I am not yet confident enough with my skills to feel comfortable selling them to someone, so for now they will just stay with me.
What was your favorite bear character as a child? Probably Paddington Bear...Don't know why though!
What is your favorite mohair to work with and why? I like dense, long and soft mohair, so the KID mohair is probably my favourite
What influenced me most to make bears? My Mum!!! Before I was old enough to go to school, I used to sit next to my mum with a tray of craft bits and bobs, and whilst she sat there and made her dolls, or the mice she used to make back then, I would sit and 'create' something. Of course, I was only given bits of fabric she didn't need, or a bit of clay she had finished with, but I think those early sessions of 'creating' built something in me for life.
The magazines have also influenced me, as it was through discovering 'Teddy Bear Scene' as a child that I think I came to make bears, rather than dolls the same as my Mum.
How did you get into the business? Again, through my Mum. I used to sell my bears alongside her dolls as dollshouse and miniature fairs from the age of 15.
Post a picure of my first bear? It is so dificult for me to know which is my first bear. I have little tiny felt bears that I made when I was about 10. I was also making soft toys before then. I remember my first jointed bear using a 'grown-up' pattern as I thought back then. It was made from velveteen, which was too thick for a miniature bear, and frayed really badly, but I was so proud of the outcome. However, I had better not put a photo of it on here in case someone of a nervous disposition takes a look!!!!!
How much did your first bear go for? I really can't remember - sorry!
What was my favourite bear character as a child? Winnie the Pooh for sure!!!!
What is my favourite mohair to work with? I don't use mohair very often as I'm not very good at it. My favourite fabric changes with my mood!!! I love trying new fabrics, and seeing the effect. I love all the miniature long-pile fabrics, and faux fur fabrics. I love something which allows a bit of scissor sculpting - my favourite part of making a bear!!
OK what has influenced you most to make bears? Being bored and wanting to make beautiful 3D artworks.
How did you get in the business? I'm not really in it yet, but a shop in my town has taken in some of my bears to sell... they're a bit high up though...
Want to post your very first bear.......nah I won't ask anyone to do that, I am not that brave, mine looks like a toad bear_wacko Ohhhhh and I thought it was sooooo good bear_tongue crackup Mine's going to be added: he's called Tedward, and was a Mothers Day pressie for my mum in March :)
How much did your first bear go for? Awaiting payment on my first bear for sale...
What was your favorite bear character as a child? I dodn't really have one...
What is your favorite mohair to work with and why? I like the curly finish: seams are less obvious!
Notice that his arm is being held up with my Doll Needle XD I couldn't work the cotter pin joints...
OK what has influenced you most to make bears? I was most infuenced by two very special gift my parents gave me as a young child. From my mother, a passion for art, and from both Mom and Dad, a bear I dubbed "Teddy Buba". These were the beginnings of my bear making. My favorite toy became my favorite artistic subject matter, created in clay, cloth, and drawn and painted in all manner of mediums.
How did you get in the business? I first sold bears to friends and family who happened to see them. Then I saw a bear magazine and read about Teddy Bear Artists and thought "Hey, I'm a Teddy Bear Artist!" I attended my first bear show/convention in 1995 and sold a couple of bears I had brought to enter the contests. The following year I had my first table.
Want to post your very first bear.......I don't have it. I remember it though. My first stitched and stuffed Teddy Bear was made from a tiny scrap of brown velour and I made it for my dollhouse when I was about 9 years old. I drew a simple pattern, just an outline of a teddy bear really, and sewed two pieces front to back. I drew two eyes and a little nose with a black pen. I suppose he was pretty pitful, but I wish I had him today because I remember loving him. He didn't end up living in the dollhouse as I carried him around with me in a little box I made ino a bed, complete with a tiny pillow and quilt.
How much did your first bear go for? I made a lot of bears before selling any, but my fabric store synthetic fur bears sold for $35. I also made quite a few mohair bears before selling any. The first mohair bear that I sold was also my first award winner and he sold for $295. I was thrilled to pieces.
What was your favorite bear character as a child? Well, I adore Pooh, but I LOVE Paddington!!!
What is your favorite mohair to work with and why? I love the extra dense, longer kid mohairs, and the dense alpacas best. I have expensive taste, I know!
Well I don't sew bears for a business but my story about how I got into bear making started with being diagnosed with breast cancer.
One hour after having my mastectomy, a nurse came my room with a bear. She said so many people focus on the children that everybody forgets adult suffer too. She said this organization sews bears for the adult cancer survivors. She presented me with a "Sorjorne Bear". I was so touched that when I felt better I called the women who started this group to tell her how much it meant to me to receive the bear. I said "I don't sew but if there is anything I can do to help with this cause let me know". She invited me to the monthly group. There I met Margaret. She pulled out of her purse a mini bear and told me how she love to make bears. She too was recovering form ovarian cancer.
I was so taken with the little bear I asked where can I learn to make them. Sadly the class she took in mini bear making was not being offered. When I saw Margaret again, I told her about my disappointment. She offered to teach me herself. Thus began my world of bear making.
Sadly, Margaret passed away a year later from her cancer. I still have my very first bear she taught me to make on my desk at work. I can see every stitch I made and it is my favorite bear.
Ok, I am going to just spill all here, since every single teddy person I have ever met has been so incredibly sweet...I know you all won't mind, right?
I began making bears because I had a really terrible bout of depression. I had just gotten out of a really terrible relationship, and had moved back home to be with my parents. Well, we went to our home in Montana for some much needed downtime, and hte mountains certainly helped in the healing process. But it wasn't enough- my most favorite bear, (Mr. Bear) was with me at the time, and I got to thinking how cool it would be if I could ever learn how to make my own bear. I went to the bookstore in Billings, and lo and behold, there was a huge book on bearmaking!! I took it as a sign! Since we were all stuck in hte house together in a Montana winter, I just started, teaching myself using others' patterns. It was a great feeling! My first bear is in my sister's room, and seriosly looks like Kermit the Frog. But I found that bear making is the best form of therapy around!!
Thanks for bearing with me- didn't mean to post so much!
I had a real thing for 'Big Ted' on 'Playschool' when I was very little. There was something quite magical about Big Ted and his friends ... Little Ted, Hamble, Humpty ... I even called my own bear Big Ted in his honour!
Will think about the other questions and pop back when I have more time, but for now, here are a few pics of my childhood favourites from the 60's!
How did you get in the business? answered in the question before
Want to post your very first bear? No it is hideous but I will post one of my ewoks, this is the first one I did
How much did your first bear go for? 24 dollars, Man I was so excited I almost pee'd my pants
What was your favorite bear character as a child? Little Bear, I love those books, I used to tell my oldest when he was about to go to sleep and I was turning off the lights : "Goodnight Little Bear , I love you" he would answer "I love you too Momma bear". That book series is sooooo good for little ones.
What is your favorite mohair to work with and why? Curly mohair I agree it does hide the seams really well.
I had one more question
If you could make one thing that seems to be hard and can't do, what is it? Traditional bears
OK on those of you that posted that you haven't sold any yet, why not your bears are wonderful!!!!!!
Hope it's ok for me to answer some even though I'm not an artist.
How did you get in the business?
I've loved bears and collected them my whole life. DH had his own computer business and wanted to start a business together. DH and I opened Sunny Bears last year.
What was your favorite bear character as a child?
I couldn't pick only one: Pooh, Fozzie from Muppets, Yogi, Gummi Bears, Corduroy, ...
Before I head to bed I just had to quickly write about Big Ted and his friends! I loved them too Paula!! Even made a Humpty for my niece I suppose you have to be from the UK or Aus to know about these guys huh? I'm a Pooh girl too, just adore him and still read the books when I can't sleep. Corduroy too. Loved that little cartoon. Later on Little Bear, as far as I know he was only released in Australia in the last 10 yrs? They are all the bears I've been influenced by. Oh and I suppose Humphrey B Bear. Maybe only aussies know who he is