Hi everyone! I have never bought a bear before because of the price but now that I have been making my own for a while I have begun to realize really how much time and effort it takes to make one. So as I have been searching around for my first bear to buy I feel overwhelmed, there are so many different styles out there, fabrics, sizes, and even techniques. It is so difficult trying to choose that "perfect bear" . My question to you is what do you look for when buying? What qualities or characteristics make that bear so special to you that it catches your eye? Everyone has their different views and no two people see things exactly the same way.. so Teddy-Talkers what does the perfect bear look like to you?
Such a great question, Heidi! I don't necessarily have a good answer... but I did buy myself a new bear this evening! Whoo hoo!
It's been quite awhile since I felt I could afford one, but I had enough for this one, and when I saw him, words were spoken in my head: "I want to give him a good home!" I imagined how nice it would be to hold him (long, thick mohair), and I imagined smiling every time I looked at his cute face. Simple enough!
It is really difficult to choose when there are so many different bears available. For me, the bear's face is the most important factor. There needs to be something in his/her expression that 'speaks to me' - something that tugs on the heartstrings. That is much more important to me than the type of bear. In my hug I have traditional, vintage, realistic, contemporary, character, miniature, large, anime and wacky bears. If they have anything in common, it is that they are all very well-made and nearly all made from mohair or alpaca. I also have a couple made from viscose. Looking at my hug I can see that none are made from faux fur or dressed - I prefer my bears bare and am not very keen on the feel of synthetic plush. I know several people who cannot stand the feel of mohair or alpaca, and some bears are certainly exquisitely dressed, so it is down to my personal preference. If you let your heart choose your bear, you will not go wrong. When I look at my hug, there isn't one adoption I regret. I love them all.
I actually have my perfect bear. I bought her about 5 years ago on ebay. She is an old lady, she wears a very plain simple calico dress, she is or should I say was white, she is mohair. I saw her and I fell in love with her, she belonged to the auctioner's mother. She had no eyes, so no one was bidding on her, she now wears antique shoe buttons.
Even though I make contemporary bears, I love the old ones, and I have a few very nice ones. Something about this bear though is just perfect to me, and I really love her.
What a lovely question!
I don't really have a perfect bear but I think a uniting factor in all my bears is that they have to make me smile. I think the closest one to being perfect is actually a cheap plush bear I got a long time ago. I was out shopping with my mum and she held it up to show me from across the shop and I burst out laughing (embarrassing! ). He was this strange, lanky hairy thing with a big smile and massive feet and I just loved him, the shape was so original, who-ever designed him had an amazing sense of humour. He still makes me smile even though I've had him years.
I have to say that I prefer buying bears "in the flesh" though, I have to hold them and feel them. I love that feeling when you pick up a bear at a show and realise that you won't be able to put him down
My perfect bear would be made of alpaca and stuffed just firmly enough for a good hug. My perfect bear would have traditional black glass eyes and an embroidered nose and mouth. Hmmm....I have a piece of alpaca....maybe I ought to try designing and making my perfect bear.
Fat body, jointed limbs, humpback, and stitched claws. I absolutely adore him. I did make a bear for myself, years ago, from a commercial pattern, which seemed like the perfect bear (for me) at the time. He's really fat, too, and firmly stuffed with wool, but made from sheared raccoon fur so that he's super soft and snuggly. I had no idea, before I made him, that a raccoon's undercoat is so dense and soft! I made him button-jointed at first, because I was new to bear-making, and still intimidated by safety joints, but then his leg came off (:whistle:). So I put in "real" joints and since then there's been no problem.
Ok, I am going to stick my neck out here at the risk of unintentionally offending bear artists, but the very first thing I want to know about a teddy bear is its size!
Yes, my name is Peter and I am a "hugaholic".
All my favourite teddies are bears that you can hug. When I am at a show, the big guys speak to me first: "look at me; I'm big and heavy; wouldn't you like to give me a big hug?" :lol:
I once wrote an article for Teddy Bear Times called "in defense of large teddies" and despite all the drawbacks of having a house full of big bears, I still can't resist them.
Don't get me wrong, I can admire the work of miniature or small bear artists, but given the choice (and the funds), I will choose for the larger one.
As far as the "perfect bear" is concerned, luckily so far I haven't yet seen him or her and frankly, I hope I never will. :wacko:
Because if I were to find the perfect bear for me, there would be no point in looking at other bears would there?
I don't even have a clue what my perfect bear would look like, but like most collectors, you know when a bear speaks to you and that is the moment to say: "there's always room for one more..." (even a big one).