Medium: Textile Art and Handcrafted Teddy Bears

Mary Lynn Polano crafts handmade bears, bunnies, and other characters fashioned from previously-loved fur coats. Mary Lynn's creations take approximately 40 hours to bring to life. From choosing the fabrics and the pattern, to giving the bears moveable limbs and dressing them up, each stage contributes to the development of the furry companion's character. Mary Lynn explains that "each bear comes into existence, during its creation, with its own unique personality. While I imagine the general end result of each bear, it is the bear itself who shows me his or her personality".

Before the bears are ready to join their new homes, they must be given names. "Everyone deserves to have their own name, even bears!" Mary Lynn says. "Sometimes I think of a name as I'm creating the face and it suits the bear so well that it cannot have any other name..." 

Mary Lynn Polano lives in Lively, Ontario. She grew up watching the generations of women in her family create various arts and crafts and learned to sew as a young child. Creating handmade, one-of-a-kind toys provides her a retreat from a hectic world. Mary Lynn is member of Artists on Elgin.