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.
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
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
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
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:
337 N Main
West Bend, WI 53095
Phone: (262) 338 -6954
E mail: email@example.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
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)