My name is Samantha-jane seeley, I live in beautiful Berkshire with my cats Teddy, Kato, Dali and Louella in a house filled with bears and dolls and lots and lots of magic…..I started collecting bears when I was a little girl, I remember my Dad buying me a book of collectors bears for Christmas one year and just being transfixed by the nostalgic images and just wishing I could own one….I had no idea then that one day I would become a Teddy bear artist selling my creations all over the world and winning awards.
I had always been a dab hand with the needle and thread and would spend hours making dolls clothes and soft animals out of bits of material. It was an old boyfriend of mine who in 1997 suggested I make my own bears, I thought he was mad but had a go anyway from a kit I bought. I became hooked straight away and it was not long before I started wanting to create my own designs, I went through all the strange experiments of oversized feet, narrowed muzzles and wild mohairs in all lengths and colours and ears in all postions, various fillings and costumes, finally I settled on the good old fashioned traditional bears that I had seen in that book all those years before but with my own twist of glitz and glamour. I swear that everytime I put a bears eyes in it blinks at me and comes to life….I love my work with all my heart, I love creating something unique with the hope it will bring as much pleasure to someone as it did me creating it, I have many witches, fairys, clowns and jesters in my collection, I believe in magic and all of my creations have been touched with a little of this.
In 2012 I created my first kitten, I have been a big cat lover all my life and this is something I had always wanted to do. Again as a child I had seen a display of cats in a glass cabinet in an antique shop dressed in bridal costumes ( I was only about 7 at the time and didn’t realise this was the handy work of a taxidermist!). However when I finally achieved creating my less gruesome kitten my next goal was to bring to life what I had seen as a child in the antique shop. The kitten pattern itself took months of planning working with my own live cats as subjects to study. I wanted to create both the beauty and mysterious character of the cat then dress them in fine costumes….I think I’ve achieved this and have named my cats The Scallycats, as someone once said to me remember your cat is just an ally cat in a posh fur coat.
All my creations are my own and one of a kind, I have so many characters queuing up in my head that sometimes I’m not sure if there will be enough time in my lifetime to fullfill all my dreams…..But I’m having a go!! A lot of my creations find their new home’s online these days and it’s such a fantastic thrill to be able to talk to people all over the world who love my creations as much as I do. I love exhibiting at bear fairs, the whole buzz and excitement of the day makes the long hours I spend creating in my bear room worth the hard work when I see the expressions of peoples faces when they come to meet my creations. I’ve made a lots of friends through the bear world and think it’s a wonderful and magical world to be part of. Not only am I making and selling something I love so much but I am also getting to meet so many lovely people.