Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Susan Donaj creator of 'The Wild Things'

A word from Susan Donaj
Creator of 
'The Wild Things'
Bearcrafter for more than 30 years


"My name is Susan Donaj and I'm a 52 year
old German bear maker. When I was 15 years old, I made my first bear which was more a dog than a bear, but from this moment I was addicted and over the years my hobby turned more and more into a profession. 

Susan Donaj

These days a lot of new bears come into the world in the attic of our home where my studio is located. 


My three cats are a great inspiration for my Wild Things because I love these sweet, helpless and innocent faces and I try to give every bear this expression. 


When I'm not behind the sewing machine you will find me horse-riding, creating mixed media journal pages or reading Guild news.



 To be a part of the Guild is wonderful because it is a great place for information around the bear world and to meet people with the same interests."

If you would like to find out more about Susan's work, please visit: 


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Five Featured Artists

Congratulations to last week's 'Five Featured Artists', who were selected for their outstanding contributions to teddy bear design.

'Nate' by Vicky Allum from the United Kingdom

Cleverly distressed to lend authentic looking careworn qualities, 'Nate' is a soulful vintage style bear, with timeless appeal.

'Battina Butterfly' by Mireille Begijn from The Netherlands

Artistic expression, whimsy, humour, bold colour ... an exciting teddy design!

'Aprille' by Linda Bean from Australia

Such an endearing, pretty rabbit design!  Her lovely feminine face has been achieved by Linda's masterful use of needle felting.

'Arion' by Karen Lyons from the USA

  Intricate pattern design and artistic shading combine to create this wonderfully realistic impression of a young snow leopard.

'Jonty Jolly' by Jo Nevill from the United Kingdom

Carefully shaded to create subtle contrast with an unusual rust red colour, this fun centre-seam teddy has wide-eyed appeal!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Boys, boys, boys!

Boys, boys, boys!  

'Boy bears doing boy bear stuff' is such a fun theme for Bearcrafters.  Gardening, driving, trekking, pirating ... you name it and you'll  see those boy bears get up to it!

'Anthony' by Rasa Kaper from Lithuania

'George the gardener' by Lesley Stipanov from Australia

'Shaunessy & Sparky' by Nancy Dontigney from the USA

'Eagle Rider & Lady Rose' by Lynette Littlejohn from the UK

'Davey & Crockett' by Ron & Kristy Northman from the USA

'Nat Silver' by Katherine Hallam from the UK

For even more teddy boy fun, please pop over to www.masterbearcrafters.ning.com before Friday 26th April 2013, to enjoy our 'Boys, boys, boys' slideshow presentation!

Monday, 15 April 2013

Celebrating Springtime!

Spring has arrived on the Guild website and it is positively blooming with fresh inspiration!  This week's showcase slideshow on our main website is entitled 'Celebrating Springtime', a fabulously energised display of members' seasonal creations.

Below are a few wonderfully creative examples to whet your appetite ...

'Sybil' by Michelle Lamb from the USA

'Springtime' by Rachel Rolfe from the United Kingdom

'Spring' by Ina Smirnova from Lithuania

'Spring Arrives' by Doreen Frost from the USA

'Tulip' by Oxana Lyashenko from Canada

If you have enjoyed this glimpse into the Guild's seasonal celebration, please pop over to www.masterbearcrafters.ning.com before Friday 19th April to watch the full slideshow ... it really is a lovely Springtime treat, guaranteed to make you smile!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Five Featured Artists

Today I'd like to share another five of our 'Featured Artists' with you.  These highly talented Guild Bearcrafters were selected on the Guild members' website last week, for setting a high creative standard ... enjoy!

'Aileana' by Cheryl Hutchison from the US

'Aileana' is a lovely example of Cheryl's work.  Those sweet little needle felted paws and eyelids and soft shading, ease this beautifully presented teddy girl from traditional through to contemporary style.

'Caramba' by Ellen Borggreve from the Netherlands

Ellen's interpretation of the raccoon is utterly endearing, bridging the divide between realism and 'teddy' perfectly!

'Anastasia' by Katherine Hallam from the United Kingdom

Katherine's fabulous felted faces bring a fresh and humorous flair to teddy bear design and her technical detailing is outstanding!

'Hughey' by Michelle Nunnery from the USA

Michelle's 'Hughey' is a fun take on the teddy bear theme, proving that little bears aren't just cute, they can be batty too!

'Faun' by Zhanna Rassi from the Lebanon

 'Faun' is a wonderfully expressive example of Zhanna's approach to teddy bear design ... a fascinating mystical creature from her imaginary world!

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into the work of some of our outstanding Guild Bearcrafters and am sure you will agree that our members' teddy bear designs in 2013 are artistic, creative and above all, inspirational!

Friday, 5 April 2013


The panda bear has been closely linked with our much loved teddy bear since the 1930's when he was first designed as a souvenir, in celebration of the arrival of a giant panda at Brookfield Zoo in the United States of America.  Since then he has remained an integral member of the teddy bear design repertoire and a very appealing one too.

'Atwood' created by Vicky Allum from the UK

Guild members have a notable fondness for panda design and create many delightful examples each year.

'Autumn' by Nichole Encinas from the US

Our members are never afraid to tackle a variety of challenging genres in their panda design, from heart-breaking vintage, all the way through to contemporary needle-felted character pandas. 

'Abeku' created by Katrina Ndrejica from Australia

Not only do members create traditional seated panda bears, some members also enjoy pushing design boundaries further by injecting fun new panda poses such as this hand-standing panda!

'Celeste' by Margaret Burke from Australia

And members also relish challenging the conventional black and white panda theme .. they prove time and time again, panda bears can be frivolous, fanciful and really rather fabulous in every imaginable colour combination!

'Lesley Soup' by Claire Ryan from the UK

There are many pandas created on The Guild of Master Bearcrafters, some traditional, some contemporary, some black and white, others boasting a wide range of creative colourings; many are designed in the buff as indeed befits a traditional panda bear, but now and again members enjoy showing that even a panda bear can dress to impress!

'Bao Ai Ma' by Melisa Nichols from Canada

Realism in design isn't forgotten either, we have talented members who deftly capture the natural essence of the panda bear in their work.

'Panda Boo' created by Rasa Kaper from Lithuania

As with everything else in life, fashions in teddy bear design may come and go and collectors will of course, have their own preferences, but the panda bear it seems, will always remain a firm favourite with designers and collectors alike because he is so very versatile!

'Pixie' by Susan Mitchell from Australia

If you would like to see more wonderful panda designs, please visit the Guild website before Friday 12th April 2013 to enjoy our 'Pandamonium' slideshow:

Finally, to prove there will always be new creative avenues for Master Bearcrafters to conquer, here is 'Peregrine' ...

'Peregrine' by Gregory Gyllenship from the United Kingdom

... an outstanding panda bear and a first for internationally respected Guild member Gregory Gyllenship, who after 'making a few panda like teds' during his two decades in the teddy bear world, has this week produced the real deal for the first time ever ... a stunning representation à la Gregory and I think you'll agree, well worth the wait!
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