Yes you could say I'm a bit fluffy..........
My childhood bear Ted the Red is still with me. He's a little threadbare and unfortunately completely blind. He lost his sight as a young bear when my Dad unintentionally stepped on him and broke one of his eyes. I gave him new ones the best I could think of - shiny silver buttons cut from my new purple cardigan (I sure got into trouble for that!) but over the years the silver has gradually worn off and he got used to not being able to see. No matter how tatty or scruffy he becomes he will always be my first love x
My working process I think is typical of a lot of crafters and involves industrious adrenalin highs, insecure lows and occasionally a happy medium. Bears are such joyful beings and I can’t say how they develop or whom they want to be. I am a self-taught bear maker and enjoy learning as I go. My ideas are drafted into paper patterns and then sewn into fabric mock-ups, followed by a seesaw period of adjusting/remaking until I am satisfied. My bears are constructed using traditional metal pins or bolts and sometimes armature.
I was the kid who was always making stuff, inventing stories and colouring in. I found it easy to be creative. You were either an outdoorish type or an indoorish type – my idea of being outdoors was picking rose petals to make magic potions or looking for the way into fairyland. My hometown was a mill town and the market stalls were heavy with woolen textiles at roll end prices. My Mum knitted, crocheted and made our clothes and my Dad liked to build stuff from his own designs. We were the only house on our street that had a purple curved sofa, lime green velvet curtains and shag pile carpets (well it was the 70’s). Then I grew up. Nothing much has changed. I'm still thrilled by the smell of wool and the feel of fabrics. I get giddy when nosing through button boxes and get over excited by the colours and textures of lichen growing on a dry stonewall. It's still easy to be creative it's what makes my heart sing.
As my bears are traditionally constructed with metal pins and glass eyes they are not suitable for children under 14
Hand made in the United Kingdom
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© Padfield bears by Michelle Doig 2017

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