For a long time bears have been a part of my life. At 17, and after 18 months at Art College, I was appointed Assistant Designer at Chiltern Toys, a long established soft toy factory in south Wales which made the famous ‘Hugmee’ bears. My very first design for Chiltern was for a non-jointed bear on a tricycle. After ten years as designer I had to leave, since my husband (a sculptor for the same company) was transferred to Lincolnshire. A few years after the move, I rented a small workshop about six miles from home. Continuing to design and make a variety of soft toys including bears, I was there for over 25 years.
For many years mohair was very difficult to obtain, however, I was sometimes able to buy small quantitates from helpful suppliers. The bears I make are very traditional in style, buy usually come back to my ordinary bears which have nice gentle faces. I like to dress some bears in vintage clothing and also to decorate some with antique lace collars and jewellery. However, not all bears suit being dressed. I highly value the awards given to me by the British Toy Makers Guild for my bears and other animals.
Began selling retail: 1972