Why do you make bears, toys and dolls?

Posted by Rikey Austin on

Wendy asked me really good question when I walked into work clutching the doll that I had just put on Instagram and Facebook.  She was my bonus jointed doll. (I had made one for work and had almost enough fabric left over to cut out another one so made a second one when it was fresh in my head – I also thought the boy doll I made needed a sister…..)
Why do I make them?
For Wendy it’s to make the pattern, to prove to herself she can, to see which bits she likes out of patterns (her brain is one of these that can just put things together without instructions, we joke she has a 3D brain).  She just has an idea and like magic it is made.  She is an incredible bear maker but give her a bit of felt and you’ll end up with something wonderful.
So we asked Maria the same question as soon as she walked through the door……
For Maria it is the story behind it, a rag doll made by the sea, the outfit made out of her children’s clothes.  The fact that she can look at something she has made and it has a memory journey, for example someone made her a kit, gifted her a pattern.
For me, well, I like to make them, to give them life, personality, I chat to them. I want to make them to become a child’s special friend.  Then they look cold so need a jumper, a hat, scarf…….
When I first started working at Alice’s Bear Shop I started as admin and opposite the desk was the doll in the bear onesie.  I couldn’t take my eyes off him.  I’m sure he was asking me to take him off the shelf and sit him on my desk. When I picked him up he felt lovely in my arms, he was the tradition doll, he had ginger hair poking out from under the hood on the onesie. I knew I needed to make my own doll and then the obsession started. 
I can make them to gift if I know that is the plan but I really wouldn’t be able to give away any of the dolls or bears I have made for me.  Weird huh!!
I’m 49 and although I don’t ‘play’ with them I do chat to them. I like them to be a mini me, I want to be able to dress in Christmas trousers and a chunky jumper with a pair of Ugg boots on. When my 27 year old daughter comes to stay I notice she puts them in a draw, she finds it a bit weird, but then they come back out and sit on the spare bed.
(I hope she realises one day her children are going to be bombarded by Granny made toys!!)
So why do you make the toys you do? We would really love to know.  Also tell us what future outfits, bears, kits or creatures you would love to find at Alice’s Bear Shop.
Have a lovely week in the build up to Christmas.

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