"I like my bears to be doing something, or at least looking as if they have been up to mischief!" is how Maria Collin describes her contemporary creations. With big noses, fingers, and sometimes toes, each strikes various poses. She is crafting her bears to keep the fun in bear-collecting and make the collectors smile.
Need a hug!
Down and out in toyland
Noses and poses are important. Noses are just a matter of patience while the poses are a challenge. “I sew everything by hand, so it is a very time-consuming and labor-intensive process,” she said. “Some of the bears have asymmetric bodies and differently positioned arms and legs, which requires a fair amount of experimenting and repositioning.”
Maria's humor is evident. Even with her company name "Púca Bears."
"The Púca is a creature from Celtic mythology. It is a shape-changing and mischief making hobgoblin". With that in mind, Maria uses her vivid imagination to make different situational frameworks for her bears. Maria stated, "I have always been craft-oriented and have explored many avenues; knitting, sewing, embroidery, quilting, tapestry, and silk painting. I am just someone who cannot sit still and do nothing. I even dream bear designs!"
Born in London, England, she traveling extensively and now, Maria and her husband Jeremy, live in Wald-Michelbach, Germany. She has her roots deep in the earth. Really deep! She was a geologist by profession, but the craft world uprooted her.
Securing all sorts of craft-oriented jobs, such as hand-painting miniature cottages, making designer knitwear, illustrating books, and as Maria tells, "Probably the oddest of all, making fossils (a long story)."
She started making teddy bears in 2001. First inspired by great artists and cartoonists, she was really motivated after visiting a craft fair where she met bear artists for the first time.
Maria started her own bear making adventure with a kit, a few magazine patterns and a desire to learn. "I am still learning, experimenting and generally having great fun," she adds. All of Maria's bears are hand-made. "Each teddy bear is made with my utmost care and attention.
"I want the collectors to own the best bear I can make." Maria participates in a few shows a year, attending the Teddybär Total in Münster, All Bear Show at Wallau (near Wiesbaden), and the Hugglets shows. "I prefer bear shows, although
I can see the advantages of bear and doll shows - the doll aficionados buy bears to complement their dolls (and vice versa) and the doll accessories work well with a lot of the bears!"
BärReport, Teddybär und Seine Freunde, Teddy Bear Scene, Teddy Bear Club International, Teddybear and Friends, Bearsandbuds.com and an upcoming article in Teddys.
BAG (internet Bear artist Group) Literary Challenge - second place "Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles"
Meister Teddy, category - kunstlerbär unbekleidet - 35-70cm - first place "Torngak"
Teddy Bear Scene Readers Choice Award - category: dressed bear - runner-up "Down and out in Toyland"
BAG (internet Bear artist Group) Christmas challenge - first place "Angelino"
"Category: Subject:Bear - 2nd place.
" Public Prize - first place "Down and out in Toyland"
Meister Teddy - category: kunstler bär unbekleidet - 35-70 cm - second place "Do not Disturb"
Teddy Bear Scene Readers Choice Award, category: dressed bear - runner-up "Wake me in spring"
Euro Teddy - category 7 - third place
Teddy-Baer tour (Wiesbaden) - third place "Ice"
BAG (internet Bear artist Group) "you make me want to shout" challenge - first place "T'Leaf"
Bears and Buds (internet webzine) Christmas challenge - second place "Angelino"
Category: subject:bear - second place
Public Prize - third place "Teddy Bears' Picnic (after Manet)"
Teddy Bear Scene Readers Choice Award, category dressed bear - runner-up "Wake up, it's Spring"
Teddy Bear Scene Readers Choice Award, category undressed bear - runner-up "Bruno"
British Bear Artist Awards - category 2 - first place
Teddy Bear Club International Award (for best bear in show) "KiXXi"
British Bear Artist Awards - category 7 - first place "Close to the Chest"
Der Goldene George - category bear with accessories (to 40 cm) - runner up "Friends"
Der Goldene George - category undressed bear (to 40 cm) runner up "Charon"
Ted Worldwide 2007 nominee "Wake up, it's Spring"
TOBY Industry's Choice Award "If you go down to the Woods"