Friday, 22 August 2008

Old Timers

There are only three weeks until the 'Teddies 2008' show in Kensington and of course, I'm starting to feel the usual gnaw of pressure now. No matter how early I start my preparations, I always seem to approach bear shows with a sense of rising panic. Over the years I've learned just to accept my paranoia and do the best I can, whilst worrying the least I can! It is such a huge responsibility to create special bears guaranteed to delight show collectors - what a nightmare it would be to disappoint those eager visitors! It doesn't matter how much of an old timer I have become, each looming show has me feeling every bit of a newcomer as the one that went before.

'Ezra', an 'Old Timer' bear

I am hoping to finish show bear number 5 today. In fact, I'm looking forward to working on him because he's one of my favourite bears to make; yes, you've guessed - he's a clown bear! I've incorporated antique and modern mohair this time and so far, it's looking pretty good, even if I do say so myself!

'Ezra', 14"

Never mind that I have the London show to prepare for, the All Bear website still needs a little TLC. I wanted to use some of my antique German mohair stash to create a teddy bear for sale on the website, rather than use all the antique mohair for the show. It's a tricky balance to strike, but my website collectors are always so loyal and supportive, I like to try and share the good stuff with them whenever I can, rather than snaffle it all away for my shows. Little 'Ezra' has been waiting patiently, in pieces in the lap of a big ol' Frank Webster bear on my workroom floor, for a couple of weeks, but yesterday, I finally made the time to finish him. He's a very traditional bear, in vintage 'Old Timer' style, created from a rich honey coloured piece of antique mohair and today, he will make his debut on my website. Ezra is a dear little chap in the fur, I don't think the pics really do him justice ... there's something very special about the wonderful age of this mohair which annoyingly, the camera just doesn't quite capture.

Ezra profile

Prior to my show commitments, I also have three special bears to finish for a brand new venture. These bears will be collected at the Hugglets show in readinness for the grand launch of ... oops sorry, can't tell you just yet! I know, what a tease! Suffice it to say I have been asked to create them by a very special lady, for a very special launch. I will be able to let you know more about this mysterious new project later in September.

Before I return to my clown bear, I want to tell you about a call I received yesterday, from Eric Petit, the owner of the 'Musee du Jouet' in the South of France. I mentioned in an earlier post that thieves recently broke into Eric's museum, stealing many wonderful antique trains and dolls. Speaking with Eric on the telephone brought home the full impact of what has happened to him and his family. Seventeen years of collecting dedicated to building a wonderful history of play to share and inform, has been ripped apart by selfish greed. This callous act has undermined Eric's business, forcing him to partially close his museum and leaving him uncertain of the museum's future. Eric says he will 'keep smiling,' but it is clear his world has been rocked.


  1. Paula he is simply wonderful!!!! And yes, you ARE such a tease :)

  2. Poor Eric...what a blow to him and his family......

    I hope he is eventually able to salvage something, somehow, with his remaining collection of memorabilia .....

    sometimes this old world is a cruel place....

  3. Paula, you will never ever disappoint anyone! You will have gorgeous bears on your table and collectors leaving the show with happy hearts.

    Ezra's mohair is wonderful! Kind of 'crimped'. Love it!

    Hugs, Sarah x

  4. You ladies are so supportive and I am so appreciative of your kindness ... thank you!

    Vee, this has indeed been a terrible blow to Eric and his family, with far reaching consequences ... sometimes the world's cruelty reaches even the least suspecting corners. Such a shame some people are so greedy, willing to steal from someone, rather than create something for themselves.


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