Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Anime Teddy Bears

Nutmeg the Bear

 I started making teddy bears in 2002 as a university student living in Adelaide. I attended my first teddy bear show in the town hall and was blown away by the bears I saw. Here were unique artist bears lovingly handcrafted by artist who were themselves bear lovers.

I spent the day there taking with talented artist who hared with me their crafts and the finer points of bear making....from what good mohair feels like to how to tell a well made bear. I left with a kit to make my own bear and a little flyer for the Adelaide Bear and Dolls Club. Both became a wonderful source of joy and friendship in my years living in Australia.

Poppy The Anime Bear

At the bear club I met these creative fun and funny folk who loved their bears and took bear making seriously. Many of them helped me in my quest to make my own bears. I will always be grateful for the kindness and generosity of the club members who shared and taught me skills.

Twig and Poco freshly made!

My first bear from that kit-Albert was completely hand sewn - with eyes that were off level.but I thought he was wonderful. I wanted to make more. I combed charity shops for old coats an anything that could make a good bear. Flea markets were also a good source for old boot buttons that could be used for eyes. I made friends with staff in the curtain department of big stores who would sell me off cuts and sample books to help me make bears. I made large ones and minatures. There was never enough money to buy good mohair fabric to make them - as a student at I used what I had. I was delighted when friends of mine started to ask to buy my bears....I sold them to friends, staff of the university and even my university doctor.

Poco excaping into the trees!

Work life after university slowed down  by bear making as I put all my energy in my work. It was not such a happy time but I continued to put my energy into chasing the dollar and climbing the imaginary ladder to no where. I longed to use my time to create and do what I had a passion for.

Nutmeg waving Hello!

With the support of my partner Greg and inspiration from our beautiful farm - I have began to make bears again this time full time and with more creative expression. I now design my own bears and source my own fur fabric. I have fallen in love with the Anime style of bears with their large heads and off kilter eyes....Bear making is now part of our work here at Mystic Hills Ngaroma and I am proud that we have bears that are sought after and have gone to live all over the world...

You can see our bears at our website on

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Our friends- please share with us your thoughts and words too. We welcome hearing from you and your unique insights.With love ..Greg and Tammy