This year's URSA-Awards remind me of my early days as a teddy bear artist, as one of them, "A Tribute to the King" is a remake of the first bear I ever sold.
It was way back in the 1990s, I had just started to make teddy bears as a hobby and was a big MJ-fan.
In early 1997 I made my first MJ-bear: It was one of the first patterns I had ever designed myself, about 30cm /12 inches high and made from that cheap knitted fur that you get in department stores.
As I said it, I had been very new to teddy bear making and simply didn't know anything about mohair, alpaca and all those other beautiful materials that you can use to make bears.
Some time after I had finished this bear, I attended my first Teddy Bear Show, where I saw mohair for the first time. It looked and felt so great and I would have loved to work with it.Unfortunately, it was much to expensive for a starving student like me. But then, I saw those beautiful miniature teddy bears and thought: This is it!
They are so small that even I can afford the supplies! And so, I started to make miniature teddy bears.
In July 1997 I went to Michael's concert in Munich, the one that was on TV the other night. I just loved it, was very, very inspired afterwards and so, I made the next MJ-bear, together with musicians and dancers on a little stage.
When I showed these bears to a friend, she asked if I could make one for her as well, dressed in the Billie-Jean outfit with paillette-jacket and glitter glove, if possible? She would even pay me for that, 50 German marks, a fortune for me at that time.
Of course, I agreed and had a lot of fun making this little bear.
In early 1998 Michael spend almost ten days in a hotel in Munich together with his oldest son (his daughter was born a few weeks later). Every day there were reports on TV, of Michael on the window and screaming fans outside. It seemed as if everybody was having a great time there, except for me: I couldn't go, because I had to work for the designing school, there were some deadlines to meet and several tests to write. But the holidays were only a few more days ahead and I hoped that Michael was going to stay that long so that I could go and see him, as well.
Of course, I was not that lucky, he left only a few days before my holidays started. You can believe me, I was really frustrated at that time.
Until I received a letter from my friend, who had bought the little bear. The lucky girl lived near Munich, so it was not a problem for her to go to Michael's hotel. I really envied her.
Then, she told me that she gave Michael a very special gift: the little teddy bear she bought from me. Okay, she could only give the bear to his bodyguard, not to MJ himself, but the bodyguard liked the bear and was sure that Michael would like him, too.
Can you believe what I felt at that moment, when I read that? I was sooo totally overwhelmed!!
My little bear was with Michael and he liked him!!! That was really a motivation for me to go on with my bear making and now, see what has become of it: Meanwhile, I'm a professional teddy bears artist, have won several awards already and who caused that all: Michael Jackson.
After Michael's death last year, once again I had to think of that very special moment when my little life was touched by one of the biggest artists that ever lived. Desperately, I was searching for the photos I had made of the little bear before I sent him to my friend. Unfortunately, I couldn't find them anymore, I'm sure they must be somewhere, but I don't know where exactly. Finally I decided to do a remake, something that I had wanted to do for years but never had the time for it.
Unfortunately, I had been very busy preparing for several shows from last summer until this spring, but after the Teddybär Welt in March I finally got the time to do my new MJ-bear.
I had planned to make him just for myself, but then he was so beautiful that I decided to send him tu the URSA-Awards where everybody can see him.
If you want to support my little Michael, just click the button on the right.