22 July 2011
There was plenty of quality on display when the winners of the 2011 National Teddy Bear Artist Awards were announced at the recent Minstead Hall Teddy Bear Fair. ...
There was plenty of quality on display when the winners of the 2011 National Teddy Bear Artist Awards were announced at the recent Minstead Hall Teddy Bear Fair. Scooping the coveted ‘Best in Show’ award were Jean and Bill Ashburner who have been delighting the arctophile community for many years with their Bear Bits creations. Their award-winning entry, a fabulous open-mouthed creation with features reminiscent of real bears, also took first place in the class for naturalistic bears.
Minstead Hall Teddy Bear Fair and the National Teddy Bear Artist Awards are organised by Brewins’ Bruins, a specialist teddy bear retailer located in Swanage. With 11 separate classes in the awards there is plenty of scope for diversity and there is even a class specifically designated for first-time competitors. The cash prizes awarded to the first, second and third place winners in every class act as a strong incentive to enter the awards, although for many the kudos of winning first place in a national bear artistry competition means more than the monetary prize.
This year, event organiser Lesley McLinctic gave the winners a special treat by arranging for their awards to be presented by Antiques Roadshow regular Bunny Campione. Planning is already under way for the 2012 awards and with Lesley’s fine organisational skills and strong commitment to the world of teddy bear artistry, the stage is set for them to become one of the key events in the teddy bear calendar.
PICTURED: Bill and Jean Ashburner of Bear Bits accepting the ‘Best in Show’ Award from 'Antiques Roadshow' regular Bunny Campione and Lesley McLintic. (Image Chris Davenport©)