Online, Monthly Teddy Bear Magazine
Artists Challenge  Tampa Teddy Bear Show  February 19, 2012
Creativity is a trait that we all have; we express in many different ways. You have only to look at the variety of bears, created for this challenge, to see that it is the artist that brings something special and unique to the table.

These crafts people are ARTISTS because they use the resources around them to make something fantastic.

Lil Buddy


JoAnne O'Hanlon

Lil Buddy is made of  German mohair and synthetic plush with glass blown eyes, poly fill and copper pellets for weight. Paw pads are upholstery fabric and he wears a brown ribbon collar is around his neck. He stands 8" tall.

The Challenge was on!

Months before the Tampa Teddy Bear Show opened, artist were given a simple teddy bear pattern and instructed to "make it their own" through the use of fabrics, colors and needle felting enhancement to the face and paw pads. They created adorable facial expressions including putting a sparkle in the bear's eyes.

For it is the artist that brings a bear to life!

During the Annual Tampa Teddy Bear Show, sponsored by Bright Star Promotions, artists were given an opportunity to prove this theory.

Artists were given the same pattern with only the ability to change just a few features, such as the height of the bear and enhancing the muzzle,
paw pads, and the inner ears.

Attending collectors voted for the bear they liked best. They were amazed by all the different bears that all came from the same pattern!

Bears stood 5 1/2" inches tall and others were twice that size and ranged in colors from white bears to every color in the rainbow.

It was amazing to see what each artist completed, putting their own special twist to the pattern.

Everyone seemed to have a favorite; they were all so cute!

While stores ensure sameness, artist bears assure individual uniqueness. 

It's not just the one-of-a-kind nature of artist bears, it's the piece of the artist's creativity, their special point of view and perspective.

It's the glance into their imagination whether made with real fur, material, plus or mohair.

It's knowing that the artist designed bear you choose is as much of an individual as you are . . . . . that is priceless!

"How can I choose?" was often heard and "It's amazing that each is made from the same pattern."

One collector even questioned Valerie Rogers, the show's promoter, "Are you sure the bears are all from the same pattern?"

Valerie reassured her that they were!



Pat Berkowitch

Zulu is a 11" teddy bear made from German synthetics and has German glass eyes, Ultra-suede pads and is stuffed with pellets/poly-fil. Hand shading around muzzle and eyes. He wears a cord necklace with an ebony wooden elephant around his neck. 



Margaret Jackson

Koi is made with white mohair. His paw pads are cream colored suede. He is fully jointed and is stuffed with poly-fil and glass beads. Koi has a needle felted nose, German glass eyes and stands 10 inches tall.  

Left to Right the top winners are:  George Weber, Art Rogers, Dian Pete, Pat Berkowitch, Valerie Rogers, Meg Jackson and JoAnne O'Hanlon.

The votes were tallied at 2 p.m. and awards presented by 2:30 p.m. Included in their awards was a duplicate of the poster, cash prizes, ribbons and an engraved award for JoAnne!

Everyone will be waiting to see what next year's challenge will be!

Spring Flower

Bears for Pete's Sake by Dian Pete

was 9" tall - Multi-colored mohair


Chatham Village Bears

Art Rogers & George Weber added their look to this 6" tall made from mohair and synthetic plush

Ashenberry's Judy Eppolito used pink mohair to create Rollo a relaxed 6 1/2" with a matching ruff.

Bearly Collectibles's Isabelle Hoffmann

created a large 10" German Mohair called Adison

Deb Canhan found a white wool coat at a consignment shop that gave her inspiration to create Woolie a 6.50" bear

B.J.'s Bears - Betty Franks loves little bears and she used a man's silk tie to create a 7" tall bear named


PRFect Pals. Pat Fairbanks used a soft pink, imported German Feather Mohair and vintage lace for the collar on Precious a 8.5" tall bear.

The Teddy Bear Maker, Carol Miller used fabric and gave the bear a special coating that turned out to look like leather! 11" tall and named: Leatherby

Cookie's Critters' Donna Nielsen used

mohair with Needle-felted face to create Challenger just 8" tall.

Heir Bears' Jane Woodard works with re-purposed fur. Her 9" white mink bear wore a big bow. Name: Body

Jacquie Pollitt challenged herself to do something unique with tipped, matted mohair on her 8" bear called Pivin

Martha Burch's Cotton Candy is 6" tall and made from a soft pink mohair with cotton paw pads.

Mulberry Meadows' Susan Harter took a walk on the wild side creating an 8" tall bear using an animal print plush. she calls him the Wild One

Pochung Mountain Bears' Mary Kolar bear was 8.50" tall and made from imported German "mink" plush and called him Chance

Princess4Paws' Marge Wiese took on the challenge as she usually crochets her little bears. Andrea is 7 1/2" tall and made from sparse curly German Mohair.

Quilts n Critters' Marilyn Wagner little bear is 8.50 tall, loves to sail and is made from Alpaca. His name is Chance

Next Tampa Florida Teddy Bear Show will be on Sunday February 24, 2013
Complete Bright Star show schedule
click on the calendar
See the complete Tampa Florida Teddy Bear Show Review

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You don't want to miss the fun and excitement!

Article by: Rachel Emerson, Dawn Emerson and Diana Stanton staff writer.

Photos courtesy of Bright Star Promotions, Jerry Franks and Meg Jackson.



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