What do you make?
I make teddy bears. All of my bears (and hares!) are handmade using Irish tweed sourced from Hanly’s Mill in Tipperary.
Could you tell us a little bit about your studio? Favourite thing about the space and how do you get into the mind set of making?
My studio, named Teddy HQ is a wooden cabin on our small holding in North Tipperary. We live in a beautiful place called Grousehall on the edge of the Slieve Felim Mountains. Teddy HQ is a wonderfully peaceful place and is its own little world. Once inside I seem to forget the rest of the world exists and the hours fly by. I listen to audiobooks when I am at the sewing machine.
What is your favourite tool or process and why?
My favourite part of the process is finishing the faces. It is such fun to see how each one turns out as they are all subtly different from each other. This is the last thing I do, so when I make a batch of bears, I might do 20 faces in a row and it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see them all come to life.
Can you describe the making process and inspiration behind your bears?
The making process begins with cutting out the bears. I am so lucky to live near Hanly’s Mill and to have such a quality fabric to work with. They also offer a great array of colours, so I am spoilt for choice. Next is machine sewing the pieces, then each piece is turned and the bear is jointed. Each bear is then hand stuffed, this is the most time-consuming part. The eyes are then added and the head is stuffed. Then I have to hand sew shut all the stuffing holes. Next, the ears go on and finally I embroider the nose and mouth.
The inspiration behind the teddy bears was born from a desire to make something; I always wanted to create things but didn’t have any training. The inspiration behind the bears was my mother. I set out to recreate a bear for her to replace her childhood one that had been lost. It turned out so well and I enjoyed making it so much that I knew I found what I wanted to do.
What led you to choosing this craft as a profession? What do you love most about it?
Once I started making the bears it just seemed like I had finally found the perfect job. It is very important to me that I can offer an affordable, handmade Irish gift option to people. The thing I love most about this job is the happiness it brings to other people. The bears make people happy and it delights me to be able to do that.
You can purchase Edel's beautiful handmade Bears and Hares both online and from our Drury street location.