Friday, 24 May 2013

Tami Eveslage creator of 'Tami Eveslage, Original Bears and Dolls'

A word from Tami Eveslage
Creator of 
Bearcrafter since 1993


Tami Eveslage

There probably are not very many children who think, “When I grow up, I want to be a Teddy Bear Artist.” I certainly didn’t. I didn’t know such a career existed, although I expect if I did, I would have latched on to the idea in an instant, because it seems like what I am made to do! I loved my childhood bear more than any other toy, and much of my play time was spent making things; drawing, painting, sewing, and sculpting. I was never bored when my time was my own. I designed my first stitched and stuffed teddy bear – a flat pancake of a bear made with just two pieces sewn together pillow style--when I was about ten. He was simple because he was so small—sewn for my dollhouse. I had made my own cloth dolls before that, and they were more complex, with many pattern pieces drawn directly onto old sheets and completely sewn by hand. I didn’t know it at the time but, these were the seeds of what was to become a 20 year career in Teddy Bear artistry.


My childhood creations looked, well, like a child had made them, and I have evolved quite a bit since then, but I think my inspiration then and now comes from the same sources, classic Teddy Bears, real bears, and story book illustrations. My preferred style is a mix of classic and contemporary, I think. I employ some contemporary techniques, but my goal is always to create a timeless character, comforting and cuddly. I have recently enjoyed creating some other animals and I think they have the same appeal, a whimsical sort of realism found in illustrations of fables and other children’s stories. I am hoping to follow this common thread of children’s book illustration into the creation of sculpted dolls as well.


I create my Teddy Bears in the basement studio I designed and remodeled myself, with some help from my husband and brother. It is a nice space with three work surfaces, lots of storage, and a lovely, “helpful” feline companion called Missy. I tend to be quite messy when I work, but the organized storage space allows me to clean up when I need to. I dream of a studio with a big window out onto the back yard—and also a sink!

'Cricket, Colby and Cali'

While I know I am never going to become very wealthy in this business, I have achieved a level of success which makes me feel a little pride.  My bears sell as quickly as I make them, and they are in the homes of collectors all over the world. Over the years, I have been honored to be the recipient of awards at shows as well as two of the industry’s most sought after accolades, the TOBY and the Golden Teddy. My most recent honors include three 2013 TOBY Industry’s Choice Awards and Best in Show at the Teddies Worldwide Teddy Bear Extravaganza. Of course the greatest reward is hearing how much a bear is loved in its new home.


I am pleased to be a member of the Guild of Master Bear Crafters. The guild provides a wonderful sense of community and great support for business questions which just wouldn’t apply to other types of businesses. I enjoy the size of it, the inspiring challenges, the thought provoking discussions, and of course all of the “eye candy”!

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


  1. Wonderful to read Tami! Love your creations and what a wonderful world the bear world is! So much talent :)

  2. Tami, I just love your creations and artwork. You were definitely born to be an artist. I can tell that you put your all into all you create. Congratulations on 20 years!

  3. I love your work, you are my example and inspirer. I wish you continued success and hope to meet you in person someday, bear hug.


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