Category: toymaking

a small, quiet companion

“In a world where everyone seems to be larger and louder than yourself, it is very comforting to have a small, quiet companion.” Peter Gray .

I have a particular fondness for making traditional style teddy bears, the smaller the better. Their fur is made from mohair fibres woven onto a cotton backing. It is produced in Germany and has been used in toy making for over a century.

I design and make every single bear myself, sewing mostly by hand but also occasionally on my vintage Singer sewing machine. Just before a bear is finished, I given them a “woollen heart”, carefully filling their head, limbs and finally tummy with local-to-me French wool. From soft to coarse, lofty to curly, crunchy to smooth, crimped, short or long, the wools of French native breed sheep are as varied as the landscapes in which they are raised.

My bears may be small side, but with their woollen hearts they embody for me a sense of unwavering inner strength. Small enough to fit into the palm of a hand, they can sit happily on a bedside table, be slipped into a handbag or project bag. A small, but reassuring companion, always by your side and forever ready for whatever encouragement you need. Making these small bears helps me to pursue my life with greater courage and hope. It is forever my hope that every time I send a new little bear out into the world that they will become a dearly loved companion for whoever needs a little more quiet strength in their life.