29 Mar 2009

Artisan of the week, Karen of Tindle Bears

Yippee it's Sunday and I have waited for weeks to publish this Artisan of the Week article. Today's featured Artisan is Karen of Tindle Bears and I have so fallen in love with all her beautiful hand crafted scrummy bears. I found from Karen that it is not only gorgeous bears she makes. Check out her own website to see what other talents she has.

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
My name is Karen (Ren) Searls of Tindle Bears and I design and produce one-of-a-kind artist teddy bears.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I don't really know. I do know, growing up I hated to sew. I couldn't read patterns even after my seamstress mother tried to teach me how. At about age 15 I decided to make the pattern work for me, and took an existing pattern and "tweaked" it, so that I could put it together my way. It worked, more or less and I knew with my drawing skills, I could do my own patterns. But at 15 who cares about that! I never touched another pattern until I was 24 when I started Tindle Bears.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
Stuffing and assembling is my favorite! It is at this point in the production of a teddy bear where they come to life for me. Even if I haven't attached the head yet, they still look loveable and silly.. I find my self talking to them while they are still in pieces. When they are totally stuffed and stitched closed (though not finished) I cuddle for a bit with them. I know it sounds weird, but that's me!

4. Which part do you find hardest?
Packing and shipping is the hardest! I worry if they made it ok. I worry if they were damaged in transit. I worry if the customer REALLY liked it, as I want them to be COMPLETELY satisfied. Saying goodbye isn't easy either, I love them all!

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
In 1 years time I am hoping to still be in my studio making bears and money LOL, instead of dividing my time between that and a 9-5 job. Between being a mom and working, I fear there wouldn't be enough time to really make my business work.

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I have had lots of advice pass my way, I don't recall any particular one being more prolific than the next. I try to remember that every one I meet is having their own personal crisis, and that I shouldn't add to their suffering by acting like a jerk, no matter what my day has been like.

7. Could you name artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
ALL OF THEM!!!! LOL I would recommend from my own personal experience...Spoonerz, great unique personalized jewelry, I own one of the spoon endz bracelets. Phippsart has wonderful tees. Luka jewellery has an ADORABLE robins egg nest ring that I LOVE! Planetjune has really well put together and concise patterns for amigurumi that I am currently collecting. Christy DeKoning does some really breath taking watercolors!

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
Honey ham with mozzarella cheese; toasted with mayo, lettuce and Bob Evans Honey mustard! YUM!

Thank you for joining in with the Blog Karen. So readers as you can see the bears really are scrummy and the polymer clay sculpted piggie above is adorable. Karen is quite obviously an amazingly talented lady. You can visit her shop, website and blog to see more of her fabulous work.

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops


  1. I love the poses Ren comes up with for her adorable bear photos! They look SO lifelife and sweet. She really captures CUTE!

  2. Great feature and I just love Karen's bears!

  3. Hi Ren, the bears are adorable. Your pictures are wonderful. You are very talented. I have trouble parting with some of the things I made, so I understand that. If I had teddy bears I would be cuddling too! :) Wishing you much success!!!

  4. I love her shop. The work is just incredible.

  5. What a fabulous shop--your bears are so huggable.
    Karen you are a very talented lady and so lucky to have all those cuddlies too.


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