Rosalie Marwood Mellor Bear Artist
I consider myself to have the best job in the world, designing and creating heirloom bears Marius Marwood Bears and hand woven textiles, Marwood Mellor Yarn Comapny. I am so lucky to be blessed with the ability to transform a pile of fibres and fabrics into a unique one of a kind bear or designer accessory, a truly magical alchemenical process. I have been sewing and creating since I was eight years old, ragdolls were my first creations, then onto patchwork quilts, couture millinery and in recent years hand woven textiles and heirloom mohair and alpacaTeddy Bears.
I live a simple happy life on our narrowboat, Gently Bentley, based in Warwickshire, where I design and create my bears from my small studio, drawing inspiration from nature and life lived on our inspirational canals. I love life and the opportunity to fully experience the wonders of the world in its many forms: the fickleness of fellow humans, the enchanting ways of the animals; the diverse landscapes of rivers, ancient woodlands, majestic trees, mountains ,valleys; sheep grazing, spring green grass, ripened wheat in the fields, lambs frolicking in the meadows, the feel of the breeze against my skin, the touch of Mother Earth beneath my bare feet, the caress of rain against my cheek, the crunch of newly arrived crisp white snow… I love hugs, kisses, kindness, loyalty, authenticity, reliability, excellent customer service, quality gifts made with love and attention to detail, and mindfulnes.
My Heirloom Bears were started at a sad time in my life, when my beloved affectionate real teddy bear "Dachshund Mowbray Marius" died unexpectedly, leaving me totally bereft, and missing of his lovely cuddles. With time on my hands after his passing, I decided to make myself a teddy bear to cuddle in my arms,and so enjoyed the making experience of this bear , that I went on to create more and more one off bears as gifts to friends and family. Orders and commissions soon started to arrive and so "Marius Marwood Bears" came into existence.
Each Bear has its own personality and character, I use the best quality fabrics, Mohair, Alpaca, silks, tweeds, cottons. All stuffing is hypo allergic, eyes are glass and joints are traditional cork cotter joints. Each bear originates in my sketch book, with research into which fabrics I will use and then the bear slowly comes to life, as I work in my small studio aboard our narrowboat, I like to rise early to catch the morning light, which I find is the best time for stitching, especially the hand embroidered facial features. Desiging and stuffing tends to be best completed at night whilst sitting by the wood stove in the dimmer lighting!
Clothes to enhance the bears character are sometimes added. I also design and make commissions using a customers fabrics, an old school dress, fabric from a wedding dress or other special event, which makes the bear a very precious family friend, with treasured memories. Christmas bears sometimes arrive in the sketch book, as do bears for Weddings/ Christenings or baby welcoming ceremonies.
Each bear comes with its own name tag, a signed certificate of originality and date of birth. I only ever make one of each bear and each one has a heart button with MM and a label, somewhere on its body or clothes as my signature. I am also a bobbin lace maker and so enjoy adding handmade lace to my creations, so keeping this ancient skill alive.
My textile creations are hand woven or knitted using hand spun yarns, some of which I hand dye. I weave on a beautiful Kromoski rigid hedde loom, whilst cruising the waterways, inspired by the colours and textures of our ever changing British landscape.
I attempt to live with authenticity and respect for Mother Earth and our environment, to quote Prunella Scales, I am content as one of the last English excentrics, keeping time honoured traditional crafts alive, living with humility and grace.
The following endorsement from a fellow artist basically sums up my ethos:“I have enjoyed working with such a positive person and feel privileged to know you. You are such a determined and kind Woman and I admire the way you GRAB life and live it to the full”