I was born and raised in the county of Wiltshire, England and as I grew older I became fascinated by arts and crafts. In the early days this took the form of sketching and painting - I was happy as long as I had a sketchbook and pencil – and in particular I loved making likenesses and caricatures of people I knew and admired. I even acquired a few commissions of work along the way, of which I am very proud!
When I was 19, I went out on a blind date, and as the driver was driving far too fast and without much care, we were involved in a road traffic accident. I now use a wheelchair, which has nothing to do with my bears, as all bear makers make their bears while sitting down!
As the years went by I used my skills to design and make toys for my children, as well as selling things at local craft fairs, and occasionally in small shops.
When my children started at primary school I made many toys with an educational purpose for the teachers, as well as stocking fund-raising events for the PTA, of which I was an active member.
Then inevitably the children grew into their teens and had no need of my artistic creations…
I then turned to teddy bears, which I had loved above all toys as a child and had never actually grown out of! My old teddies are still with me, battered and threadbare, but nonetheless loved all the same.
I had made many teddy bears in the past for children, but the real passion started in the mid 1990s when I realised that I could buy all I needed to make jointed mohair bears…
On entering the world of teddy bears I have made many friends from all over the world, some who have given me invaluable help and encouragement in all facets of the craft, from design and creation to finding new homes for the bears! To these lovely people, whether they are collectors, artists, magazine editors or just plain related to me, I thank them with all my heart.
It has taken many years to develop my ideas and designs, which I trust is evident in the bears that you see here today, and I would like to add that despite my disability I can confidently say that life does go on, and my bears have helped me to be who I am today!