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Artist of the Month

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The featured Aritst of the Month for March is Christine Welsh of Australia!

My name is Christine welsh and I have been making bears for about 2 years now. It all started when my sister-in-law, who is a bear collector, bought an acrylic bear making kit. Now when she showed me her half finished creation and we had such a laugh at the unstuffed thing in her hand and wondered how that ever could possibly look like a bear, I knew I had to have a go myself so I raced straight out and bought a kit too! Each stage of the way had me in fits of laughter and by the time we actually finished our creations, we discovered that they did in fact remotely resembly something people call bears! I remember well how proud I was of that first bear! (She now sits on my bedroom window sill BEHIND the curtain with nothing but green pastures and cows to peek in on her!

After several more attempts at bearmaking with patterns from magazines and acrylic fur I felt brave enough to go out and buy my first piece of mohair. Mind you, it was several weeks before I plucked up enough courage to actually cut it! A couple of mohair bears later and I just had to try my hand at designing my own and as I discovered all those wonderful personalities emerging I knew I couldn't stop. I was hooked! When the need for more fur became more than my pocket could bear and space in my home was fast running out I knew I had to sell something so "Nioka Bears" named after the property on which we live and meaning 'Green Pastures', was born.

As I enjoy trying out the many varied mohairs available and experimenting with different looks, many of my bears are one-of-a-kind or part of a small limited Edition. I use only the finest quality materials and accessories and my "near enough is definately NOT good enough" attitude ensures that A "Nioka Bear" will become a family heirloom to treasure for decades to come!

The biggest thrill for me though is when a new adoptive Mum or Dad sends me a pic of my 'baby' happily sitting amoungst their new siblings and continues to keep in touch. Many of my customers have now become great friends which is one of the wonderful things about the bear industry! Another is the friendly "great big family" attitude there is amongst bear artists from all over the world!

And when someone comments to me that they could never make a bear like mine......I just show them Debbie, the bear on the window sill!

Please stop by and visit me and my bears and maybe you too will find a little face that just begs you to take them home!
Nioka Bears

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