Bear makers and teddy artists are always welcome to contact us for a portrait. We're looking forward
to hearing from you.
Monica, please describe your bears in your own words.
My bears have their own personality, being happy, cheeky or truly sad, you know ... the kind of look that tells you: '..I need a hug...' Most times I think that's the look that makes me look twice at a bear and know he/she can win anyone's heart.
When did you start making bears and what was the occasion?
I started making bears in 1992. I had been creating a large doll house for a few years. Once I had finished furnishing the nursery room, I realized the only thing missing was a teddy bear. So, I went to the local teddy bear shop and purchased a kit to make a 4" teddy bear.
Do you recollect the first teddy that you made yourself?
My first attempt at making a teddy bear was horrible as my sewing skills left a lot to be desired. But I persevered and my second and third little bears looked better. Such were the results that my friends started asking me to make some for their collections. Once I started showing my bears to other friends and family, I realized everyone liked them as much as I liked to make them ... and I never looked back.
How do you get ideas or inspiration for new creations?
I don't look for inspiration or ideas. Sometimes it might be the combination of colours I see in flowers, or fabrics while browsing through shops. Sometimes it might be an old pattern that suddenly changes in my head and have to see how it turns out within hours. With some of my elegant ladies, it has started with an vintage brooch or a row of pearls I've seen in an antique shop.
What do like most when making bears?
Their faces and clothes. Funny enough, their faces develop as I make them. I never have the faintest idea of what the bear's going to look until it's finished. Then, the bear tells me how it's going be be dressed. I can spend hours looking for the right colours and texture of fabric to give the right look to a bear, but that's the fun part!
Do you have a dream regarding the bear making?
Just that I hope my body lets me work till there's no more ideas in my head. I can only dream of myself being old and still making teddy bears.
Do you think there is a perfect teddy bear?
Oh no ...!!! I don't think there's such a thing. There's always room for improvement. We're not perfect and I can honestly say my bears aren't either, but I love them just the same.
Which sizes and materials do you prefer?
Always mohair in medium to large bears, and long mini fur for my mini bears. I don't have a preference for size, as I'm always changing. Maybe that's why I never run out of ideas.
Do you have a favorite bear?
My last one.
Please tell us something about the place where you live. What's your place of birth?
I now reside in Melbourne, Australia, but originally I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When I was 17 years old, my parents decided to migrate to a better place, due to the poor economic situation of our country. My father wanted to give us (my mother, younger brother and I), a better quality of life, and so we moved to Australia.
What about the teddy bear scene in Australia?
As in most places around the world, teddy bears have been around for many years, and even though our budgets have taken a beating in the last year or so, teddy bear people have managed to stay true and keep making and bringing new ideas to keep us amused and enticing us to add more to our forever growing collection. The bear shows and magazines help us to keep in touch with other artists and the rest of the world, and I think they play a major key in the circle of bruins.
Do you think that your bears are influenced by Australia?
No, I think I would have tried to make bears in one way or another ... no matter which place I lived in ... although it helps to have a wonderful and understanding husband who loves me to be happy making what I like the most...!
"Monica's Attic Treasures"
Exquisite collector's teddy bears
designed by Monica Spicer