Bruin Mischief by Sarah Forrest
All of my creations, be they a vintage looking teddy bear or a dragonfly, originate from my own pattern designs and are created using mohair plush fabric. A variety of techniques including soft sculpture, dying and painting are applied to achieve the desired effect.
I have been creating teddy bears since 1993. Iíve collected bears since my childhood. When I was six my family went to Yellowstone, as we stopped to look at the mother bear with her two cubs, I got out of the back of the camper to see them. My parents, not realizing this, drove away, leaving me with the bears; thus I was nicknamed "Goldilocks"
My brother, myself, and teddy before his unfortunate demise. On that same trip my 12 year old brother tore the eye off my favorite teddy, my 10 year old cousin felt so sad for me she gave me her teddy - a wonderful 12" Steiff Zotty. My brother had an 18" Zotty who I confiscated, and the two bears, along with a 3" Schuco became my constant companions. The Replacements
Almost twenty five years later I was complaining to my favorite bear (one of about 300) how unhappy I was with my job, it suddenly occurred to me - I should try making my own. Why not make bears to give someone else the joy, companionship and unconditional love Iíd found in my teddies. My mom was a professional seamstress. I had learned to sew from her by osmosis. I would sit at her feet while she sewed and play with my bears. Today I sew my bears on the very same machine my mom used when I was a child. I started making bears with a pattern I found in a teddy bear magazine. The finished bear looked more like a mouse than a bear so I developed my own patterns in hopes of achieving a more "bear like" bear. Originality in design and quality workmanship are very important to me. From that first bear I wanted a creation from my soul that I could be proud of. About a year later I exhibited my bears at a teddy bear show, sold one, and never looked back.
I love all kinds of bears, and this is reflected in my work. My bears run the gamut from traditional, old looking teds to contemporary fantasy bears. My work is very much influenced by my childhood. I had quite an extensive Steiff collection as a child - lots of different animals. As a result, I also make animals other than bears. Another area of inspiration for me is literature. Since fantasy is my favorite genre, there are often a few fairy bears in my menagerie. I believe that teddy bears are a window into our soul. I try to capture the childlike wonder that the teddy bear magic gives to me with each and every bear I create.
The teddy bear world is a wonderful place comprised of wonderful people, the other artists, the promoters and most specially, the collectors. I feel so very lucky to be a part of this world, to be able to share the joy of teddy bears with others. The most amazing aspect of creating teddy bears are the people. I knew it would be fun and magical to create teddy bears, I knew I would find happiness and satisfaction in creating teddy bears, I did not know how much pleasure I would feel from the look on a persons face when he or she has fallen in love with one of my bears. I knew of the magic of a teddy bear but I didnít realize how powerful it was, how much my bears affect peoples lives. Or how these people would become so dear to me, collectors who have become my most cherished friends. I feel very fortunate to be able to share my bears, to be able to give the magic of teddy bears to others.
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