Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Learning curves

It was a Bank Holiday here in the UK, which basically means we have an extra weekend day, so no work if you're one of the lucky ones who can indulge! With the Hugglets' show drawing close, I couldn't risk taking an entire day's holiday with the rest of the great British public, so instead nipped into my workroom from time to time to finish my 'Cornelius' show bear, between family visits. He's a lovely mix of antique mohair, complemented with modern mohair head and paws. Working with the antique mohair is an education in itself and I must admit, it can get a bit scarey at times! Each bear teaches me a little more about working with such old fabric and this beautiful burnt orange and wine coloured antique mohair even seems to have lent Cornelius his venerable expression!

20" Cornelius will debut at Teddies 2008, on September 14th!

I was honoured indeed yesterday with a visit from my niece. She came to show me her latest purchase ... no, not shoes, handbags or jewellery, oh no! For the very first time ever, my seventeen year old niece drove across town to my house in her very first car, complete with 'L' (learner) plate on the bonnet and a slightly nervous mum strapped safely into the back seat. This extremely proud auntie had camera poised and at the ready, before said young miss zoomed back off down the road and out into the big wide world. Here's to your independence Lauren, stay safe Tin Ribs xxx

Hey, Lauren's on her way!

For those of you wondering whether the 'TOBY Public Choice Awards' have been announced, I can now tell you they have! As you know, my 'Billy Buttons' clown bear won his prestigious 'TOBY Industry's Choice Award' this year, such a proud moment for me. I am happy to tell you the Public Choice Award for the 'Big Bears Undressed category has been awarded to lovely Ellen Borggreve from the Netherlands, for her super bear 'Marbles' ... my warmest congratulations to you Ellen!

You can read Ellen's personal account of her success and take a peek at her lovely bear 'Marbles,' at:

And on the subject of competitions, after failing to make the first ten of the 'Taiwan Teddy Bear Association's Olympic Challenge' with my 'Victor' bear, together with several other excellent entries by talented bear artists, I have reached the conclusion I probably won't compete in such heavily themed competitions in future. Congratulations to those participating countries who were placed in the 'Olympic Challenge' top ten and well done to the team for raising funds for their chosen Moon Bear charity. No, this isn't a case of sour grapes by the way! I simply don't think themed competitions suit my style of work and I would rather focus my efforts where I feel the quality of my bears isn't likely to be undermined by a theme, because for me the true test of an artist bear has to be first and foremost, the bear itself, rather than any contrived theme. I guess that makes me somewhat of a purist eh? Well, I make no apologies for that. My instincts warned me of this potential pitfall before the 'Taiwan Teddy Bear Association Olympic Challenge' team invited me to participate and I now know I should have stayed true to that little voice in my head ... isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?!

Victor, my Olympic Challenge bear

I was originally asked to create 'Victor' by the UK's 'Teddy Bear Scene' magazine , and when the magazine ceased publication without notice recently (sadly before they could publish their 'Olympic Challenge') the 'Taiwan Teddy Bear Association' kindly stepped in to create their own online version of the competition to raise funds for the Moon Bear charity and I was asked to submit my bear to their competition, as mentioned above. At the same time, I was also asked by the editor of US 'Teddy Bear and Friends' magazine if she could publish 'Victor's' picture, alongside the original 'Teddy Bear Scene' magazine's invited 'Olympic Challenge' bears, so if you would like to, you can now see the original invited Olympic Challenge bears proudly featured in this Sept/Oct issue of 'Teddy Bear and Friends' magazine. Here is a link to the magazine's website: www.teddybearandfriends.com

I am, of course, still committed to participating in competitions offering teddy bear artists an opportunity to promote bear craft as a highly aspirational art form. So, now that I have a clearer head on the subject, I will look forward to entering a couple of carefully selected aspirational competitions next year ... thinking cap on Paula!


  1. Paula I wish they could have had 2 winning bears in that category - as I feel yours deserved to win as well! I am very surprised that Victor did not win - he is fabulous! Cornelius is simply wonderful - love that effect with the vintage fabric. Hugz, Laura

  2. That's so lovely of you Laura Lynn, hugs of thanks to you x

    I'm delighted you like Cornelius because I'm really pleased with him. I think he turned out to be a rather handsome chap and the rich colouring of the antique mohair is such a pleasure to look at!

  3. Cornelius is wonderful!! He looks very distinguished and you have chosen the perfect name for him (You are good at that!)

  4. Hi Tami and thank you! Delighted to find you here!


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