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Meet

 

Michele "Shelly"

Freeman

 

 

Eden & Friends                                         July 2020
Michele Freeman, who often goes by my nickname of Shelly, came to the United States from South Africa in late 1998.

"I have been in Texas since then and have become a citizen of the United States of America."

"Currently I am a homemaker to a very supportive husband Glen and a teenager.

I retired from Industrial Engineering to become an artist and then a mom. and when I am not taking care of family issues, I make bears."

"I have always loved designing and making all kinds of things. I studied Industrial Design but ended up working as an Industrial Engineer. I kept designing, painting and eventually making jewelry to keep my creative spirit alive and sane."

She had never thought about collecting or making bears, i
n fact she had no idea there was such a thing, until her daughter Eden asked for something special that only she would have. She wanted something Shelly made and was not purchased from
a store.

Together Eden and Michele designed a puppy dog and "that was the start of my adventure and why my logo is a dog not a bear."

The dog was their original design.

Xingfu Panda

 

Snowball

 

Carnivale Bear


Aberdeen Angus

 

Artemis Monster

 

Berengaria

 

Bones the Hyena


"It wasn’t long before I started to look for bear patterns that I stumbled upon a whole new world! Teddy Bear art!

I named my business after my daughter Eden who was responsible for me finding this teddy world.

I have been designing and making bears and friends since 2012."

When Michele discovered the process of needle felting she found pleasure in the research and see how to utilize the technique in her work.

"I needle felt better faces than
I could ever sew. Judi Paul (Luxembears) was a great inspiration when I started felting bears faces.

Joann Livingstone was always ready to answer questions
I had. I have had the pleasure of taking bear making classes from Michelle Lamb and Tami Eveslage."

Michele's paternal Grandmother was a sculptor and painter and always had time to teach her new techniques. "I use many things I learned from her in coloring my bears and sculpting the faces."

She enjoys attending shows
and selling in person.

"My favorite is that personal meeting with the collector who is buying my work. It is a fantastic feeling."

You'll find her at some local shows in Keller, the Quinlan Doll and Teddy Convention once held in Philadelphia, The Teddy Bear Artist Invitational in Syracuse New York and Hunt Valley Teddy Bear show in Maryland.

She flew to London to attended Hugglet's Show and she hopes to be able to do that event again!

With market climates changing Michele will be participating in Bright Star Promotions and BearHugs4U online teddy bear shows.

You can visit her Etsy store where she sell some of her bears and critters along with other needle felting projects and "fun things I make."

Michele has a range of standard patterns that she tweaks to make new bears.

"Sometimes it’s a whole new pattern and often it’s a few small adjustments."

She does try to do a serious one-of-a-kind pieces and commission work which happens at least four times
a year.

"I average a bear a week and I can make about 50 – 60 bears a year. I work alone making all aspects of the bears including the costuming." She does not rush to finish a piece, as she wants the bear to be near perfect.

"I do end up with several bears set aside and not finished because something is not quite to my liking. Inspiration comes later to complete them."

Michele's bears are more contemporary in design. She is known for using glass doll eyes or hand painted glass eyes along with the needle felted faces and paw pads.

"When I do a detailed, elaborate costume for a bear or critter, I often use a historical reference as a starting point in the costume design.

I am very fond of the Steampunk theme but try to not let it take over. My bears appeal to those collectors who want something a bit more unusual than the traditional style bears and
I am not good at the sad look. My bears are either deliriously happy or very somber. My collectors have a good sense of humor!"

Bubbles Bunny

 

Day of the Dead Bear

 

Dongtian Panda

 


 

 

Michele Freeman

Eden & Friends

Member since May 2020

 

The Time Thief

King Richard the Lionhart

Mrs Mole


Let's Fly Bear

Freckles Bear

Fletcher Gray
Steampunk Aviator

Awards:
2019 Beverly Port award for Bear Making Excellence;


2017, 2018 and 2019 TOBY for Industry Choice

2017 Public's Choice TOBY award.

ITBAA First Place in the category (International

Teddy Bear Artist Award) for my pirate bear

2015 and an acknowledgement of Excellence .

2018 for the Bristol Bear Awards

Articles in:


Teddy Bear Times


Teddy Bear and Friends magazine


"Recently I have been involved with an online learning platform dedicated to Arts called Curious Mondo. I present two classes. "how to make a bunny with a needle felted face" and another on "beginner costuming."

 

 

Learn more!

 

 

 

Where is

Keller, Texas?

 

 

 

Click on the map >>>

 
 



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