The beautiful city of Odessa, Ukraine, sits along the majestic Black Sea. It's people and visitors enjoy the fragrance of acacia trees mixed with the wonderful sea air. It is here that teddy bear artist, Tatiana Scalozub of TS mini bears, calls "home."
"This city is like its own little country. It has its own traditions and cultures. The people who live here are cheery, talented and out of the ordinary."
All of which happens to describe Tatiana, as well.
For Tatiana, her adventure into teddy bear making is a combination of hobby and business. The first time she made her bears, they were thread crocheted, but now she does mostly hand sewn work.
"It is great to do my thing, to see the results of the effort and to have people appreciate my work."
Preferring to do clothed bears, she makes dresses of organza or silk, with touches of crocheted lace; with beads and ribbons, flowers, feathers and miniature buttons.
"My artistic development started in my early childhood. When I was 6, my Grammy taught me knitting. Later, I was crocheting when I was in kindergarten."
She attended a school for the arts for 8 years, which further honed her creative skills. "I am very grateful to my teacher for building my love of art, classical music, to have appreciation of nature and for animals," she commented.
"It was a happy period of life for me to be in the open air, attending museums, learning to batik, wood carving, clay modeling and various other outlets for my creativity."
Now Tatiana tries to use various elements of applied art such as modeling, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, sewing, tatting, painting, tinting and coloring in her bear making.
"My crazy hobby of homemade toys began in December of 2006. I had an idea to make a gift for my family," she recalled.
"I tried to crochet little pigs but when they were made, I realized they were not bad, even for a beginner."
Since Tatiana had worked with the technique for several years prior, she found that the technical part was still fairly smooth and precise. She made three pigs; two females and one male which she entitled, "Party in the Barn."
Since then, she started making crocheted animals without time-outs.
"I wake up thinking about what animal I will create next and fall asleep in the evenings with thoughts of what clothing I will dress them in."
Tatiana has taken part in exhibitions in Russia, Germany, Ukraine and Switzerland; feature articles have appeared in several publications. She has won numerous competitions and has published several of her bear patterns, as well as articles on her trade.
With her mind full of ideas, she has turned her attention to mostly creating teddy bears.
"As I have three children, I try to use all my spare time towards making teddy bears. Probably for this reason, I always have in my bag, a hook with yarn or needle with a piece of mohair, instead of a mirror and lipstick."
Ts mini bears
Member since June 2010