Friday, March 4, 2011

Handmade Teddy Bears Spotlight Artisan: Lisa of Lisa Bears

Welcome Lisa of Lisa Bears to the spotlight!

1. Do you have a favorite style of teddy bear?

[The above photo is] what I would say is at present my favourite bear style, I think that the face on this bear is very cute and the body is well proportioned. This bear in question has only just been born so if any of the blog readers want to have a go at naming her (I think it is a girl) I think that would be fun.

2. Do you have a favorite medium/texture/plush you like working with?
About 90% of my bears are made out of Mohair because I love the look of the finished bear. We have done a couple out of alpaca which is a lovely thick, soft fabric. And at the present I am experimenting with silk velvet (23% pure silk) for very small bears, tiny bears don't look that great out of long shaggy fur, however the fabric I've got at the moment is being a bit of a pain and showing the seams when turned the right way round. Never used upholstery material to a great extent......not sure if I like it for bears??

3. Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master - whether dealing with teddy bears or any other artistic endeavor?
I am still very much into developing the bears, creating the perfect bear is very much a process of trial and error - and what I think is perfect may not be so when it is trialed in the marketplace. Will I move away from needle and thread to other artistic media, I guess photography takes my fancy a bit.

4. What kinds of other artistic projects do you like to work on?
In reality the bear business takes up alot of my time together with being a busy mum and working at my local school as a dinner lady/first aider. I do do the odd ocassional sewing job for friends & family.

5. What do you like to do in your spare time when you're not creating art?
Walking our border collie, cinema, cooking/eating out, gardening......mostly being together as a family.

6. How long have you been making bears?
I made my first bear about 10-12 years ago. For a first bear he turned out to be a bit of a mutant - eyes, ears & limbs not right! I want to do major surgery on him but Chris, my husband, won't let me. I gave up a bit after that until about 5 years ago when I had another go at it, the bears were alot better and it all snowballed from there.

7. When did you first start selling your handmade bears? What inspired you to do so?
I sold my first bear about 4 years ago on dare I say eBay, the primary reason was that it was another source of income that fit around the demands of a young family....It'll never be a primary income but it's family pocket money and a craft that I adore doing. There is an ever increasing social aspect to the whole Lisabears thing too.

8. What style do you decorate your home in?
Our house was built in the very early 1900's so the decor reflects the Edwardian/Art Deco era to some extent, but the style inevitably becomes tempered by mordern electronics and the desires of 2 young boys.

9. Were you artistic as a child?
Not in the painting sense, was good then with a needle and thread though.

10. Did you like teddy bears as a child? If not, when did your love for teddy bears begin?
I have always loved Pooh bear!

11. Did anyone inspire you as a child or when you were starting to become artistic?
My mum regularly made clothes/altered clothes, I am part of a family of 4 girls so money was a little restricted, the old phrase about "cutting your cloth according to your means" really had resonance in our childhood home.

12. Was there a point when you realized "Wow, I'm an artist/artisan!"
I guess the penny only dropped last year after selling a few hundred bears on ebay. We had always received fantastic feedback from customers but I never believed that people really liked my teddies. My husband finally gave me the kick up the bottom that I required to have the belief in myself to enter my bears onto artisan sites like Etsy.

13. Confession time: What does your craft room/studio really look like? Is it organized?
The Lisabears empire occupies a total floorspace area of 5 square feet in a tiny corner of our living room. It's all neatly boxed and hidden away not to impact on the house. My husband on the other hand sits in a computer room with a hundred or more little eyes staring at him from every direction LOL.

Please list where people can find your bears:
Lisa Bears website and Lisa Bears on Etsy.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. It is fun getting to know other artists and how they work and live their busy lives.