The Original Online Teddy Bear Magazine
  Gill Cattroll                                            July -August 2018

If you’ve been around the artist bear industry, you know that bears can come in all shapes, sizes and can pop up out of the most unlikely places. And so it is with BowerBird Bears.

Gill Cattroll, the face behind BowerBird Bears started making bears while working for a custom furniture maker and retailer.

Part of her job was to advise customers on the fabrics for their sofas and armchairs.

 

Customers would scour through large fabric sample books to find just the right color and texture of material.

 

When a number of those books became surplus, rather than throw them out, Gill took them home trying to find a way to repurpose the beautiful material.

Her husband, Iain, found a free teddy bear pattern online, without instructions and using these fabrics and a bit of ‘trial and error,’ Gill created her first BowerBird Bear.

Initially, she sold the little bears as accessories through the furniture shop and she quickly developed her own designs. Sadly, the shop closed but Gill turned lemons into lemonade and bear-making became her full time passion and profession from that point on.

“After forays into wild and wacky plush fabrics, I have largely settled into using traditional mohair and alpaca ‘fur,’ but I also specialize in using woolen tweeds and designer fabrics for something a little more unusual.” This is the style she’s become most known for.

In addition, she's commissioned and has produced ‘memory bears’ made from the clothing of the dearly departed relatives of her collectors.

Pocket


 

 

Serian


 

Aubrey


Bjorn


 

 

 

Idris


 

 

 

Nathaniel


 

Gill draws inspiration from the stunning country she’s called home for nearly 25 years. She and her husband live in Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, Wales.

 

“My focus now is on producing sustainable bears inspired by the rugged landscape of Wales and the ‘Green, Green Grass of Home.’

 

To that end, she’s using Welsh wool tweed fabric, carded Welsh wool for stuffing and up-cycled American boot buttons for eyes.

Ever evolving, Gill expands her creativity to make raccoons, rabbits, foxes, pigs, sheep and dogs alongside her bears.

She credits her mother, Jean, for her skills in producing knitted cardigans and hats to keep her bears warm in the inclement Welsh weather.

Most of her one-of-a-kind creatures are directly adopted from shows or from her Facebook page.

“Although I have a website, my bears hardly ever get featured there!”

 

Gill can be found at special UK Teddy Bear shows and various craft fairs in the UK.

 

“It is always great to introduce artist bear-making to new audiences at these more general shows and fun to meet some of them again at traditional teddy bear shows as converts to the cause.”

Since the inception of her business in 2011, she has produced 1011 individually named, unique creatures and been honored in several competitions.

“I am so pleased to have been able to share a little of what I do with people who appreciate 'teds'.

And wish you all ‘Beary Hugs’ from Wales.”

 

Gillian Cattroll
BowerBird Bears
Member since June 2018

Pepper & Ginger


 

Panda

Paddington

 

Where is

Abergavenny Monmouthshire Wales?

 

 

Click on the map >>>

 



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