How did you begin your bear-making journey?"
I've always loved teddy bears and I've always been surrounded by them. For many, many years mum had been subscribed to "Australian Bear Creations" Magazine & I've always loved looking through it & reading about other artists & the bears they made. Then one day I asked mum to teach me how to hand-sew & how to make a bear.
I think I surprised her when I finished that bear completely & was eager to make another! Straight away I started designing my own patterns. I've always loved craft and creating things from my imagination.
What do you love about designing & making bears?"
I love that, through the artist bear craft, I can create the creatures from my imagination to share with others. I also love that no two creations are ever the same, and that each creation has it's own personality & character. They take on a "life" of their own. I love that.
What inspires you to create your bears?"
My imagination most of all. I also love music, and sometimes a piece of music is inspirational enough for me to see a new bear or creature in my mind that wants to be created.
How do you feel about working with your mother, Robyn to create GJOYful Bears?"
If it wasn't for mum I would never have made my first bear. I love working with mum to make our bears. We inspire each other and help encourage each other when something doesn't quite work right. I feel very lucky that we both love what we do, and that we can work together.
Where do you most prefer to create your bears?"
In our studio, and also outside. I also love to listen to music while I create.
What is your favorite style of bear to create, & how would you describe your preferred style?"
I would describe my style as fantasy based. My favourite kinds of artist bears and soft sculptures to make are around 8" tall. When I make bears, I like to make whimsical "baby bear" styles. However lately my creation style has been more fantasy based, with the creation of my "Attic Creatures" and other imaginary animals and creatures.
Do you have any particular style in mind you'd like to work towards in the future?"
I would really love to create some realistic style animals soon, with as much detail as possible. However I do feel that I have now found my creative style in my fantasy based creatures.
What are your favorite mediums to work with when making your bears?"
Any fur that is really dense whilst still on the scruffy side, and that can be easily needle sculpted and scissor sculpted. My favourite fabrics at the moment are alpaca and Tissavel faux fur.
What is your favorite bear-making tool?"
My favorite tool is my stuffing stick. This may sound unusual, but it is such a great bear-making tool. I use it for turning pieces (especially the fingers and toes of my Attic Creatures), stuffing the bear's heads tightly, applying eyelids, measuring claw-lengths to ensure they're even, and even checking proportions when designing a pattern.
What would you like to say to the collectors & customers of GJOYful Bears?"
Thank you for loving our bears and creations, as without you we wouldn't be able to keep making them. I really hope your GJOYful Creation brings you all the JOY in the world! :)