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ruth Flutter-By Bears
Posts: 870

Hello Debbie !
I just had to add to this thread after reading the recent additions this morning ...... I'm honoured to say that it was your book
" How to Make Enchanting Miniature Teddy Bears" which set my foot on the mini bear road  bear_smile  I never dreamed I would have a chance to
tell you "thank you" right here !  :redface: My little bears are now a huge part of who I am  bear_original So glad I got that wonderful book ! bear_thumb
Mini Hugs , Ruth  bear_flower  bear_flower

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Not to derail the topic here... but Debbie, glass blowing is so cool!!!
My family and I went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival yesterday, and witnesses sword duels, jousts, and a "mud show", and had a chance to try our hands at 'throwing stars" and archery. We saw many people dresed up in great costumes, but the whole family agreed that the best part of all was watching the glass blower work his magic! My youngest son has added "being a glass artist" to his always growing list of what he wants to do when he grows up.

Gijzette Elfin Bears
Mount Dora FL
Posts: 1,507

IMHO, the price should reflect the artistry of the bear no matter what the size is. I personally can spend just as much time on a miniature bear as is spent on a large bear.

Debbie, I am so happy to see you here. I'm with Ruth, your book inspired me to make miniature sewn bears and I would like to thank you.


Princess4Paws Princess4Paws Designs by Marge Wiese
Apopka, FL
Posts: 110

I have to comment on this subject as well.  I totally agree with Gijzette.  The price should reflect the artistry of the bear, no matter what the size is.

For me, I find that the crocheted miniatures are strongly desired by the collectors that I deal with.  I can put an item on eBay and have a great sale, or have no bids, but eventually the right collector will find it. I feel that the time needed to create the detail I put into my bears is essential.  If this raises the price and the bear does not sell, I would rather keep it, than sacrifice my work.

The issue here is finding the collectors that are the right match for your creations.  I am certainly no expert on this.  I am still learning. 

One of the main things that I have heard often from artists and collectors is, “Does the bear (or friend) speak to me with its expression?”  If it does, the bear (or friend) is desirable, regardless of the size.  If you find the right collectors, the miniatures are very much in demand.

Christine Christine Pike Bears
Norfolk, UK
Posts: 683

Definitely - I agree!!!  The face and personality either 'speak' to a collector or they don't - no matter what the size.  And I know of several miniaturists who charge a premium for their bears and who have long waiting lists and never have anything left at the end of a show - because their work is exquisite and the artistry is clearly apparent.  Collectors can see this and are happy to pay for quality.  Also, many collectors are running out of space so are looking to small and miniature bears to continue their hobby. 

Making miniature bears requires a whole set of special skills and I truly belive that, being able to make something on a tiny scale that is as lovely as its full-sized counterpart, is a gift not given to all - it should be cherished and celebrated, and the price charged should reflect the quality of the work, whatever its size bear_original

wazzabears Wazza Bears Australia
Posts: 623
Christine wrote:

Making miniature bears requires a whole set of special skills and I truly belive that, being able to make something on a tiny scale that is as lovely as its full-sized counterpart, is a gift not given to all - it should be cherished and celebrated, and the price charged should reflect the quality of the work, whatever its size bear_original

I totally agree with you there Christine. I am so proud that I can make minis and my collectors always comment on the detail I have achieved. I am how ever useless at large bears. I have found even at Uni with Glass or ceramics, I work on a small scale. I struggle with a couple of assignments they ask for the finish piece to be 40 cm or large.

mingrul Our Blue Iguana
Posts: 233
Christine wrote:

Making miniature bears requires a whole set of special skills and I truly belive that, being able to make something on a tiny scale that is as lovely as its full-sized counterpart, is a gift not given to all - it should be cherished and celebrated, and the price charged should reflect the quality of the work, whatever its size bear_original

I second this motion!  bear_original it's really hard to make mini's and those tiny ears! bear_wacko keep those mini's coming girls..  bear_wub  bear_wub


Jaina Emo Bears
Dudley, West Mids
Posts: 862
Christine wrote:

Definitely - I agree!!!  The face and personality either 'speak' to a collector or they don't - no matter what the size.

I have to totally agree with Christine here. I wouldn't class myself as a collector yet any more tha i would class myself as a bear artist (haven't designed my own yet!)

What I can say is that i own two artist bears, Little Verdi by Kesseys Bears who is 12 inches tall and Hayai, a Jenny Lee anime kitten who is 6 inches.

I paid more for my little 6 inch guy. To me, they are two totalyy different bears, with totally different styles - the only thing i do tend to go for is I like a Soulful look, with bears that always look slightly depressed with an innocent expression.

The size was totally irrelevant, the bears spoke to me  bear_wub

I have seen some stunning minatures that i would like to own, but for me, the general price is not affordable. I don't earn much, and i'm saving to buy a house, so I wouldn't spend £100 + on a bear - although i totally think bears at these prices can represent value for money for the artistry involved. Me, I have a general price that i won't go above, and it's not high so i don't win most of the bears i bid on anyway.

So for me, as a potential collector, i have to say, size is irrelevent although i do make most of mine around 9-14" that's the size i like - although bizarely, my first ever bear kit was 2" mini called Albert. he looks like he's been in a car crash with an understuffed head and his body backwards  :crackup:

The moral of the story is, I paid more for my smaller bear than my larger bear, so price really doesn't make a difference in relation to the size.

Laurie Brady Bears By Laurie Brady
Posts: 101

A ton of great comments. 

My take on the topic is this; what ever the size , the quality of the workmanship/techniques being used  and the amount of experience the artist has is what affects the time it takes to make a bear. And, I try to price my bears based on that, letting the collectors actions aid me in setting prices. (and not so much on the cost of materials)

As far as how the collector values a mini vrs. a larger sized bear -
I think that generally, seasoned collectors do not discriminate against size.  I think if you run into someone who can not bring themselves to "paying THAT much for SUCH a TINY thing",  it will be a newby to the bear scene.
But that's just what I think.
I haven't made any minis (yet) but I do collect them - I tend to collect what I can't/don't make. They are every bit as appreciated in my hug as the bigger bears.


Jare Hares & Bears Jare Hares & Bears
Polo, IL
Posts: 983

I remember in the late 80s and in the 90s that many miniature artists had no problem getting what their work was worth.  Then entered the manufactured miniatures.  That was a turning point for many artists.  People could not see the difference between a manufactured mini and an artist made mini.  Why was this one only $15.00 and this one $300.  They did understand the work involved and the difference between someone getting paid $.50 a day to work and an artist.

No matter the size an artist made bear is worth the price the artist places on the bear.  If a miniature artist is asking $300 for a 3" bear, then fine by me, as long as the workmanship is excellent.  If a bear artist makes a 20" bears and is asking $600 for the bear it is worth $600.  In the end, something is only worth what someone is willing to give you for it.

Understand, collectors today are much more sophisticated than collectors 20 or even 15 years ago.  Information is more readily available via the internet and a greater awareness of artist teddy bears.  Collectors are expecting more from artists in terms of designs, concepts, and personality of the bears.  Long time collectors are downsizing collections, only collecting small pieces, or even just collecting those really special bears, no matter the size.

Just my rambling thoughts.

KJ Lyons KJ Lyons Design
Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,413

Exactly what I've been seeing. Just look at the pieces in this year's TOBY's, totally new designs and techniques! And look at the artists; Asia, Europe, Russia and more! I don't know if it's the internet, but there are so many more teddy bear/other animal artists out there, now. I think once it all settles out we will have a very rich new dimension to our art. But right now it's pretty wild  bear_rolleyes And, yes, I do have some collectors that are interested in my small kittens because their collection is getting too large. All the more reason to search out new collectors  bear_flower I don't mind doing the smaller pieces but I really love the detail in life size cats.
P.S. I do collect miniatures. ANd I appreciate the work! It's a whole different form of art from larger pieces, even the tools and materials are different.

2catkiss LALand Bears
Posts: 448

Hello everyone
I have stuck with miniature bears for about the last 10 years.( 4 to 7" )
I did try larger bears at one time and found it so much more difficult to bring out the "expression" I wanted in the face.  I really admire artists who can do both bear_original 

I used to make ice skating costumes for teams and would have YARDS and YARDS of fabric and dozens of zippers, elastic, thread etc plus a HUGE mess in my sewing room.  When I discontinued that business and just focused on my bears, it was so refreshing to work with such small pieces of fabric.:) bear_original

I think it has been said many times above, do what you love to do but stretch yourself occasionally by trying something new.

Best Regards
Lee Ann

bearyfun732 Cutiepie Bears
Posts: 579

quite the interesting subject...making bears a smaller size seems to take the same amount of time for me to make a much larger bear, though i personally would like making larger bears better, because they are much better for cuddles and snuggles bear_original

ThomasAdam Thomas Adam
Posts: 310
Amanda wrote:

Do miniatures even rate as Teddy Bears or more as collectable/ornament.
I'd love also to hear off collectors. How do you feel about miniatures versus larger bears.

Well, I can answer this part at least.  :)  I was fortunate enough recently to have visited Teddy Bears of Witney -- a fantastic place, absolutely crammed with teddy bears of all shapes and sizes.  What struck me most was the number of miniature teddies there -- they were tiny, some only a centimetre or so in length -- and yes, if one were to look closely there's any amount of detail put into them.  To me, this is wonderful, the time and effort it must have taken that person to put that level of detail in is amazing -- and it's done in such a way that the teddy still has lots of character and charm.

I have absolutely no doubt that a collector would see miniature teddy bears as the same as larger teddies; I know I do.  Just because the bear is small, doesn't mean to say he has any less a big hug to give as another larger teddy bear.  :)  Peter Bull must have thought the same thing with Theodore; perhaps now not the most smallest teddy, but still considered miniature.  And having seen him recently, he's certainly a teddy full of charm.  :)

I suppose though like anything, miniature teddy bears might well find a niche amongst collectors, I can well imagine certain collectors collecting nothing but miniature teddy bears.  :)

But to me, they're just another teddy bear, deserving to be loved, regardless of their size.  :)  If anything, collectors should be appreciative of their intricacy and detail, it's what defines their charm, if only because in some ways, the level of detail is more obvious because of their size.

-- Thomas Adam

tindlebears Tindle Bears
Xenia, ohio
Posts: 116

I started making mid-sized bears and kept going BIG! I LOVE a bear with physical substance that can take a good huggin'.
but I must confess I am in AWE at the tiny treasures I see around here.  Half the time I don't ever realize how small they are until you see somthing else with it in the pic for size comparison.  They are absolutly NOT less than teddy bears.
A note on pricing...(my opinion only mind you) I think it is up to the individual artist to determine the worth of their bear, and should go uncontested.  We simply can not make judgements on art...I'd  only pay 50 bucks for the mona lisa, but then again she's not my fuzz LOL

WildThyme Wild Thyme Originals
Hudson, Ohio
Posts: 3,115

Hello to you Thomas and you as well Karen Searls!  Always nice to hear such lovely things about miniature bears!  bear_wub  bear_smile  bear_wub

Blessings to you both!

Kim Basta

LEllenBrown Posts: 213

What an interesting discussion! I find that there is a market for minis and there is a market for larger bears. The price seems to be more related to the appeal and originality, the talent that is evident in a piece more than to the size. Any artist will tell you that there are certain pieces that just have more appeal, and they should reflect that in the price. I do not base my prices on simply size, material and hours put into the work. I base it on the results, the overall appeal of the piece! Perhaps my work in oil painting and folk art has given me a different attitude about price.  I think a bear of any size should reflect a price that is based on the artistic appeal...the emotion you feel when you look at it, or touch it. If you think about it, our teddy bears are as much art as a painting on canvas is. The price of a painting is always related to the appeal and the emotions you feel when you look at it. An 8x10 canvas and some paint are not the consideration for price. It is the art itself you pay for! And so it should be with the bears we make. Ellen

edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

Oh Ellen, I can't tell you how happy I am to  have read your message! It totally reinforces what I have always felt. I posted a topic about this years ago on another site and got TOTALLY  shot down for it. I always meant to try to find out from painting artists if they priced their work by the size of the canvas or by the finished results and just never had the opportunity. I am SO glad to hear that someone else thinks the same as me - 2 similar size bears are NOT created equal even if made by the same artist! Sometimes there is just a little extra magic that happens and sometimes even if the bear is techinically executed perfectly that little spark of appeal is just not there and those bears SHOULD not command the same price! I know appeal is an individual thing and not every bear will appeal to everyone but I still think there are some that seem to turn out extra special - and often without a lot of extra work and time involved, they just seem to happen, whereas others are a real struggle and still don't seem to totally reach that extra level - it is just the way of art!

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Hi everyone, I have read this topic on and off since it started.......................I am a recent convert to mini's

I just wondered if you had any thoughts on the sale-ability of minis in this economic climate???

My reason for asking is at my last 2 shows it has been my minis that I have sold, been the most admired and picked up. After I had made my first few I couldn't decided whether to persevere with them.............yes extra skills and lots of patience are required in spades  :crackup:  In the Pemblington household there was a big discussion about minis v big hubby is a big bear fan. I held up 2 bears a 4 inch mini and a 15 inch big fella and asked the question "if I came home with the the big bear, what would you say?" the reply was "how much was that". Second question was "if I came home with this little (4 inch) fella what would you say" the reply was "Oh thats nice"

I know that my point is slightly off topic but do taught me a valuable lesson, the bear world rates all bears on it merits regardless of size BUT in the non bear world size equates to price and price is an issue in this climate

??? just my thoughts  bear_grin

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