It struck me with my recent adoptions of Leo and Buddy from Dangerbears just how much information I like to collect about the teddy bears I am adopting, as well as the teddies themselves.
I've bought quite a few teddy bears from wonderful artists from these forums -- some of you I've even spoken to in person -- whether you realised it or not, and when I've done so, I've always asked for the artist's opinions and impression about the teddy bear, with typical questions being:
* What made you choose the design you did for the teddy bear(s)?
* What you like about the teddy bear(s)
* What inspirations you had for coming up with the design
Many of you when you're selling teddy bears produce wonderful tags for them with some lovely detailed information. What I personally do is collate it all, I have a special folder which I put all this information in, including a little snapshot of the teddy bear so that I have a dossier on each teddy.
The information I am referring to above is oftentimes missing when adoptiong teddy bears, but I, as a collector, consider it vital -- it says so much about why the teddy bear came to be, and also reflects what the creator; the artist, thinks of the teddy. :) Why I purchase a teddy, I am not just buying the bear, I am buying a piece of that person -- the bear almost personifies that person -- so such information is important to me.
As an example, I asked Becky of Dangerbears if she'd be willing to, and the response I got was great. I am going to share it with you all as an example of what I am talking about:
For Thomas Adam 30 June, 2009
From Becky Chase, DangerBears
Your request for more information about Buddy and Leo is welcome because I love to talk about teddy bears, and it keeps me away from my (paying) writing job for a few minutes.
We already shared some of the things we like about Buddy, and since Leo's basic design is very similar to Buddy's, I'll talk about other things.
I like the color combinations of both bears. Buddy's is subtle—honey brass fur, dark brown backing, olive tan paw pads, and an antique olive-brown nose. Leo also looks great to me with his soft yellow fur and nose and paw pads in a pinkish tan (the dark backing material is less visible on him).
Both bears have engaging faces, too. I love it when I walk past a bear and have to stop and pet or cuddle him because he's caught my attention with his facial expression.
I also like the way the bears are stuffed. This factor is under-emphasized sometimes, with many artists using only polyester fiberfill. That can be fine, but these two bears have sheep's wool (very nice for holding the shape of the head and giving a nice firm softness to hands and feet), excelsior (the original bear stuffing and still wonderful for arms and legs, especially) and in Leo's case, leftovers from cutting out patterns. Starting with my first bear, I couldn't stand to throw away the pile of mohair that's left over after cutting. I started stuffing the scraps into a bag, and soon realized that they were great for that—stuffing! (My avatar bear was the first one I stuffed with shredded mohair fabric. It gives a very nice weight and warmth.)
I think you'll enjoy the feel of both bears. Leo feels especially huggable, but the excelsior in both of them lends an old-bear feel that's very reassuring. And wait until you hear Leo's growler! It's gooood. May the three of you and all your other bear friends be very happy together!
This is a great sample -- and I have already printed it out -- one for Leo and Buddy for their little dossier. :)
It's something to think about, for sure. As a collector, I am *just* as interested in this information as I am the teddy bear. :) So who knows, maybe we'll see more mini-bios being shipped with said teddy for future adoptions? :)
-- Thomas Adam
great post Thomas, its always good to hear from the collectors and your thoughts and views, but its great you want to know that little bit more about the artist and our creations. for me its always difficult to part with my bears and always hope they go to good homes.
Funny you brought this up. I was thinking about this yesterday. Gijzette and I did a swap. And funny things happened while making the bears. It would have been great to have a "diary" of things that happened. Line when I went to get the flowers for her skirt etc. Almost like people document their pregnancies....
This is so lovely to know, that collectors don't collect "just" the bear, but they do want to have also some "tiny storys" around the bear. When a bear leaves my home, it is always a very exciting time, first of all the bear will have his own and very special certificate of birth mostly in two languages, and of course a letter with pics of the bear and a nice story for the future bear-mom. So for me it's not only puting a bear into a box and going to the postoffice, it is part of creating my bears when they start their journey to their new home and I love every moment and I can't wait receiving an "ok" from the future-bear-mom or dad to tell me, that "my baby" arrived safe - you know moms always want to know, where their babys are around .......... bear-making is such a lovely thing, it changed my life in a very special way and I'm that way thankful