Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

Martha DeRaimo-Burch and Her Bears
by Rita Vainius

Martha DeRaimo-Burch, who comes from a family of 10 children, began making teddies to provide Christmas gifts for her large family. Her mother owned an antiques shop and furnished Martha with a multitude of old textiles that were too worn to be used as-is, but perfect for Martha's creations. Martha took to making bears so enthusiastically that she had an excess, so she brought the extras to the store and all of them sold the same day. Martha describes them, "The first bears were FAR removed from the work you see now. They were made ofquilts, rugs, blankets, and coats transformed into fat little string jointed bears with button eyes and noses."

In 1985 Martha found a Teddy Bear & Friends Magazine that listed a source for mohair. It inspired her to rethink her bear design and she made her first fully jointed, traditionally styled bear. Now Martha lives surrounded by fur and threads and a surplus of design ideas. She insists, "I truly enjoy each bear that I make." This is obvious as each is an unique individual, made with love and exquisite attention to detail. In 1996, Martha had a new brainstorm; while contemplating an alternative to a "plain" bear nose, she tried stitching flowers on the bear's face. Her new noses won raves and her Garden Bear collection has grown by leaps and bounds ever since.

Martha admits to a split personality when fashioning bears, "Everyone has a mischievous side and Marfa is my alter ego who sometimes goes wild in the sewing room. She never puts anything away. I've seen Marfa distressing mohair by running over it in the driveway with her car. I've seen Marfa buried in a box of stuffing, looking for?..Who knows?" What we do know is that the many facets of Martha's own personality find an exceptionally expressive outlet in fashioning her unique bears.

Martha's Garden Bears

A collection of bears that is truly magical. Each sports a hand-embroidered nose featuring an enchanting flower, leaf, fruit, nut, or other motif from nature that provides the perfect finishing touch.


Carnation is 10" tall, made of peach and white mohair, with shoe button eyes and ultrasuede paws. A carnation is embroidered on the nose.


Flake is a 12" white mohair bear on all fours. Flake has shoe button eyes, ultrasuede paws and is fully jointed. Flake has a snowflake embroidered on his nose.



Holly is 10" tall, made of green and white mohair, with shoe button eyes and ultrasuede. A holly sprig with berries is embroidered on the nose.



Morning Glory is made of mohair, 10" tall with ultrasuede paws. A Morning Glory is embroidered on the nose.


Other Bears from Martha's Workroom:

Fairy Bears: Hollyfrost (far right) is 7' tall, made of white mohair, with an outfit of frosted leaves and holly berries. The wings are made of skeletanized leaves that have been pearl painted and glittered. Whisp (center) is 8 1/2" tall, made of mohair with an outfit of velvet and silk leaves and flowers. The wings are made of skeletanized leaves. Willa (bottom-left) is 7" tall and made of pale green mohair. Her outfit is made of silk and velvet leaves and flowers.

Snow Beary is a 10" mohair bear dressed in an off-white snowsuit with snowflake buttons. He loves winter all the time! Snow has ultrasuede paw pads and shoe button eyes.

Forest Mother is 18" tall and made of mohair. Her dress is made from a pair of drapes dating to the turn of the century. She wears a shawl of antique wool and comes with her driftwood "forest" scene and crystal ball. With the crystal ball, she can watch over the forest creatures and make sure that all is well.


Father Klaus (on left) is 18" tall and made of gold mohair. He wears velvet pants, coordinating shirt, belt with watch, and a mohair and gold braid trimmed coat made from an antique crazy quilt. Father Klaus carries a tree and a sack of toys for good bears everywhere. Katrina (on right) is 14" tall and made of light old gold mohair with a dark back. Her coat is green velvet trimmed in mohair. She has mohair-trimmed boots, a mohair muff and wears a cute little dress under her coat.
All of Martha's open and limited edition bears are available direct from her; she accepts all major credit cards. Some are available for immediate adoption; others are made to order and require approximately 6 to 8 weeks. For more information contact:

Martha's Bears
PMB 142
337 N Main
West Bend, WI 53095
Phone: (262) 338 -6954
E mail: mdrbear@aol.com
Website: http://www.marthasbears.com

Martha's upcoming show itinerary:

Candlelight Show - Rocking Horse Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA, Dec.1 & 2, 2000 (540-371-1894)
Trunk Show, Signing and Class - Wonderland, Hollywood, FL, Jan. 6 & 7
(800-736-2327) http://www.wonderland@wonderlandteddybears.com

The Linda Mullins Teddy Bear Show - Scottish Rite Center, San Diego, CA, Jan. 13 & 14, 2001 (760-434-7444)

Teddy Bear Show at the American Club - Kohler, WI, Feb. 24 & 25, 2001 (708-798-0290)

Beginner's Bear Making Class - Rocking Horse Gallery, Fredericksburg, VA, Mar.17, 2001 (540-371-1894)

Teddy Bear Show - Schaumburg Marriott, Schaumburg, IL, Apr. 14 & 15, 2001 (708-798-0290)


© 1997 The Caron Collection Ltd./ Voice: (203) 381-9999, Fax: 203 381-9003

CARON email: mail@caron-net.com