Online, Monthly Teddy Bear Magazine

Claire Ryan                                                   July 2013

Jim Jam

 

 

Jeremy

 

Popcorn

On the edge of the City of Warndon Villages in Worcester, England, artist Claire Ryan of CopiKhatz lives with her fiancé, Mark, and their pair of rabbits.

Three years ago they set up their home here creating a cottage garden haven for nesting birds, squirrels and even hedgehogs. It also lends a hand in influencing a taste for adventure and literature that comes out in her work.

Growing up, Claire learned how to sew by hand from her mother and used her newfound abilities to craft rag dolls and figurines to look like her favorite characters from TV and books.

She remembers her first original bear well. "A stumpy little fellow pieced from scraps of corduroy and his face drawn on with purple felt-tip pen." She assures that she has improved much since then but still stitches her creations by hand using the needle crafting techniques she learned growing up.

Her and Mark's hobby of antiquing led to her first mohair creation she made as a special gift to her fiancé. The monkey, Jeremy, was made to capture a storybook charm. One thing led to another and with encouragement from her colleagues she created her own web site and began sell her bears on Bear Pile and Etsy.

Claire finds her inspiration and creativity springing from nature along with the numerous books she reads.

Her aim is to create toys that look like they're ready for an adventure. Taking advice from her high school art teacher who taught her students how to be truly original with one's own ideas: sketching from life, taking inspiration from a variety of sources and making it your own.

Because Claire has several styles of creative art, she likes to adopt themes. Often she loses herself in thought so she can look at objects that fascinate her all from many different angles.

"The joy of this approach is that the research of a theme sends me off in unexpected directions" she says. Researching clowns and finding herself looking at the work of famous artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky and Miro.

Claire designs about 75 new pieces each year but only about 50 that will be brought to life.

She makes each creation from the first sketch to the final stitch. She feels as though she's carrying on the her family's tradition, since it's filled to the brim with crafters, although they might not be of the bear and friends kind.

Her bears appeal to a wide range of demographics. She sells to men and women of all ages and from around the globe.

Claire takes special care of her design, sketching the animal and then reducing the form to "its basic geometric components" and using these as a basis for stylization.

 

She experiments with dramatic angles and enjoys creating her own modified fabrics through knitting, dyeing, painting and needle art. She even plans to plant a garden so she can use natural dyes like wood and chamomile.

Their hobby of antiquing also gives them her opportunity to add to her burgeoning collection of textiles and collecting antique picture books that all seem to influence her designs.

They both enjoy rambling on the Malvern Hills (a landscape that inspired scenes from J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings') and visiting a Chocolate Deli in town to play chess and eat chocolate. They enjoy trips to London to visit the galleries.

Her work has been featured on The Guild of Master Bearcrafters, Bear Pile, Etsy, her own web site, Teddy Bear Artists and Friends and now in Bears&Buds' Online Teddy Bear Magazine.

Claire Ryan

CopiKatz

Member since April 2013

Jaffles

 

Spoigal

Calico

Hymie

   
 

Learn more about Warndon Villages in Worcester, England

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