Tuesday 12 February 2013

Happy Travels Little Bear

It must be bear season; which is a little bit like kitten season. After weeks of no activity, all of a sudden I'm getting 2-3 emails a day asking for custom bears! An heirloom bear is a special thing, if you can make one yourself it's a wonderful legacy and if you can't, finding a handmade good quality bear is the next best thing.
a quick pic before postage!

This little Grizzly is on it's way to Norway I'm told. I always love it when a buyer is gracious enough to tell me where a bear of mine is going; it's so nice to know each and every one is going to a good home.

As I brush each bear for shipping, I fall in love with them all over again. When you make an heirloom by hand you do become attached to the characters you create as the faces and paws take shape. They're hard to part with!

When I was making bears I spent a long time (too long sometimes) sourcing the best German mohair, threading the nose thread through beeswax (manually of course) and shaping each face. I love a nicely hand stitched bear nose and I admit, it's one of the first things I always look for when I come across a hand made bear. It's such an important detail and really shows off the maker's skill.

I'm no longer making bears - they're just too time consuming. It takes a lot of skill and intense work to make a bear so I won't be taking on any custom orders or repeating patterns. What I have left in my Etsy shop is my attempt at downsizing what remains of my bear making days - they're the last of a lovely lot!

I have one small box of tools and premium mohair packed away just in case I have a family request in the years to come. Other than that, it's a hobby that I've enjoyed and moved on from.

Interestingly, my own DDs didn't have bears as children. Both were interested in dolls- and goodness knows I've made a few of those! They do both have a hand made bear of mine now, but they chose them in adulthood and I believe both are currently stashed away in boxes!

Did you have a special bear in childhood?  Do you still have it? Or did you have dolls?

1 comment:

  1. I had a black and white bear when I was a toddler called Mr. Sweeney. I have no idea how he got named that. He was quite large and I slept with him every night.


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