Saturday, February 28, 2009

When my mother was a child growing up in England she was given bears to play with by my grandmother. Mary, being a master bear maker, bears were an affordable choice for a toy. Here are my Mum and uncle playing in the back yard in England with one of my grandmothers creations.

This is Mary Wicks ~ Canham, my grandmother, with her "rabbit bears" and the last teddy she ever made. Mary was a factory teddy bear maker in England in the late 1930's. Mid 1940's after her marriage to my grandfather she moved to Toronto, Ontario Canada and continued to make bears my entire life. It was inevitable that I would end up with the bears as my companions and after she left us I got serious about my designs and love for them. I was left her machine, her patterns and all of her tools and that was my final push to try one of my own for the first time. I was very lucky to have her as a mentor and miss her daily however the bears are my connection to her and every moment I am working on them, she is right there by my side.

This is the machine that my grandmother made all of her bears on which now belongs to me.
She was a bear maker in London England and continued to make bears throughout my life when she moved to Canada in the early 1940's.

The teddy pictured here was my fathers bear when he was a child, "Georgie". He was given to me when I was a child and he has been a great inspiration to my aged bear creations over the years.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hi everyone. Well... I made a bear about two years ago and it changed my life forever. I was an award winning doll and quilt artist up until that point but the bears have stolen my heart. Pictured below is the very first bear I ever made of my own pattern and of course his pattern has grown into a different design but I still love him. His name is "Ben-Ben" because he is the most wonderful shade of grey blue like the sea; Ben-Ben was the name for the Egyptian God Ra's ship mass. He is a little awkward looking, like a teenage boy, and like a teenage boy shows a glimpse of what the future holds. With growth and practise changes have occurred but you can still see "Ben-Ben" ~ if you squint really hard.Creating my own bear image was the challenge and although I love so many of the bears I see out there, it was important for me not to create a bear that was a copy of another bear artists image. Finally my bears found me through much inner journeying and they emerged with sweetness on their faces. That was the moment I knew I found my "Aawwww" factor and had created a bear style and image that I fell in love with.This is my very first blog experience also so I hope that I can keep up and begin a wonderful journey with all of you who take interest in sharing my beary wonderful experience with my bears and even possibly some of my quilts and dolls.Hold onto your honey pots.... here we go!