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Artist of the Month

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The featured artist of July is Tex Tulluch of Australia!


If I had to set a date, I'd say that the 'bear bug' first bit me back in February of '97, when my daughter asked me to make her a teddy to take with her to boarding school, a request with which I happily complied - I had been sewing since I was eight years old, and had made all manner of things, from several years of costume making for a local ballet school, to dozens of intricate wedding dresses, so a bear seemed quite an easy task. While she seemed quite delighted with the gruff looking bear, being a perfectionist I was determined to do better. I was limited, however, by the amount of free time I could squeeze in between running a florist and bridal shop in Stanthorpe.

It wasn't until my friend, Shirly Smith, asked me to help out with her business of making and selling bears and bear kits while she cared for her terminally ill husband that I found my life turning totally in the direction of bears. Using her patterns initially, and then drafting my own, and, at Shirley's insistence, using mohair (discovering an important fact along the way - you can only create little people from mohair: anything else just makes cuddly toys), in a matter of months I was making little creatures that captivated me with their twinkling eyes and mischievous expressions. On a whim I entered five of my bruins in a bear show on the east coast, and took out first, second an third in every category I entered in, as well as winning bear of the show. Things haven't slowed down since.

My bears are rather traditional in design, fully jointed with embroidered noses and shoe-button eyes. I love to use the more richly-coloured mohair's available - deep burgundies and pinks - along with the more mundane golds and browns. The legacy of antique laces and fabrics left to me by my aunt, and years of sewing, knitting, crocheting, and painting, have left me with a wealth of materials and experience with which to dress my bruins, and while my daughter prefers her bears au natural, I find almost any bear will look well-dressed in a hat.

Of everything I've done im my life, bear making has been the most rewarding. From long nights, spent with only the company of my Himalayan cat, stitching and stuffing, to the look on people's faces when they come into my shop (which, somewhere along the line, switched from a florist to a teddy bears' den) and fall in love with this or that particular bear, everything is a pleasure. And while life has certainly seemed a lot busier since the bear fairies came and spirited me away from my free time, I can certainly say I have no regrets!

You can see more of Tex and her bears at her website!

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