Wendi starts by listening and working collaboratively to capture the history contained in each aged fur, and helps shape each bear around their unique story to bring the past to life in each Bearloom Bear.
DONCHI BEARLOOM BEARS
have been shared with hundreds of people all
over the world; for those starting out in life like
graduation, wedding and baby-shower gifts, to
those celebrating life’s milestones like birthday’s and anniversaries.
These bears have also been created to share in
the memory of those who have gone before us
as memory bears, and Wendi is honored to be
part of the journey to design bears that pay tribute to those remarkable remembrances.
“Oh my goodness those bears are BEAUTIFUL! The girls have them on their shelves in their rooms and Lukah calls it the “honey guy” thank you so much!”
“Thank you Wendi! The bears are so special and we feel so blessed to have them thanks to your amazing talent – The Saunders Clan!”
“When we asked if Wendi would donate one of her handcrafted bears to our cause we could NOT have imagined it would turn out so well. Thank you so much for your generous donation – such a beautiful gift, thank you!”
“Absolutely in LOVE with the Bearloom Bear Wendi made for my son Sam. She took in everything I talked about and I see so much of him in each detail. He loves that his fireman bear wears glasses, just like him!“
“My bears have arrived! They are gorgeous. Thank you so much. They will definitely be handled with much love and care. I was chuckling to myself when you commented on how fragile the fur was. I guess it would be considering George gave it to me almost 35 yrs ago!”
“I really love my bears and I can’t thank you enough for all the time and love that you put into them. I can’t believe the energy that I feel from them. I’m sure it’s coming from mom and Kay and also from you.”
“My son received a Bearloom Bear for his Birthday. The added personal touch that was done to his bear for him has made his bear extra special. Love the details from his little tie to his toes.“
“Wendi, thank you so much for everything. It was a very emotional day and seeing my sons picking their favourite bears while tearing up was really overwhelming.”
“Thank you Wendi for understanding my deep love for my mom, and my need to create a lasting tribute to her that I could pass on to my daughter and granddaughter. You captured the spirit of my mom completely in this precious little bear.”
Wendi Donchi has been an artist and sculptor for 20+ years.
Finding her medium in recycled fur, one of the first things Wendi learned was how fragile old hides could become with age; reconditioning the hides and old fur coats was a process that she came by through trial-and-error, work that must be completed before an heirloom bear can even begin to take shape. Sculpting these bears is a true labour of love.
“Working with the hide, cleaning and mending the old fur takes a lot of time and multiple processes to complete, and each one poses a unique challenge; like the age, wear and type of fur” says Wendi, “But hearing the story of these heirlooms, the people who wore them, other places and times, the history that these old furs hold, that history is often more important than the old fur itself.”
Wendi starts by listening and working collaboratively to capture that history and helps shape each bear around their unique story to bring the past to life in each heirloom bear. It’s about transforming that story into a keepsake, a Bearloom.
Donchi Bearloom Bears have been shared with hundreds of people all over the world; for those starting out in life like graduation, wedding and baby-shower gifts, to those celebrating life’s milestones such as birthday’s and anniversaries. These Bears have also been created to share in the memory of those who have gone before us and Wendi is honored to be part of that journey to design Bears that pay tribute to those remarkable remembrances.
“So many of these old furs have been tucked neatly away in the back of a closet, an old trunk or hidden in the corner of an attic, with so many people unsure of what to do with them” says Wendi, “Their inherent value is no longer in the opulent fur or status it may have once brought it’s original owner; many people have inherited a piece of family history without ever knowing quite how to honour it’s memory.”
Up-cycling these coats into heirloom bears (Bearlooms) lets people tell that story, gift that memory, and share in that history. It’s more than recycling, it’s about transforming a story into a keepsake, a Bearloom.
Working out of her stunning country studio nestled in the Foothills, South West of Calgary, Alberta on a sprawling wilderness retreat, Donchi’s Bearloom Bears are known internationally for their high quality and stunning details. Welcome to Bear Country!
Over the years Wendi has donated many bears to both local and international charities such as Ronald McDonald House, creating ‘Bears of Hope’, a remarkably special bear for Hospice, Hospital and Home-Care patients. These bears are designed to make sure a child or adult never feels alone in times of need.
Bearloom Bears have been featured on Oprah, Christmas In The Country (CTV), Big Breakfast Morning Show (A-Channel) and can often be found at the Millarville Market in Alberta.
Up-cycling timeworn fur coats into heirloom bears (Bearlooms) lets people tell a story, gift a memory, and share in the history contained in those old furs.
It’s more than recycling, it’s about transforming a story into a keepsake, a Bearloom Bear.
Some of these furs have become fragile with age; the first step is in reconditioning the hides and restoring their luster.
Each restored fur poses a unique challenge. Once restored, Wendi can determine: what kind of bear, what size of bear and how many the fur can produce.
These bears are made with so much more than re-purposed
fur; each one tells a unique story – your story. Love is sewn in to each design.
These bears are created as sculpted art pieces and are intended for display only. Not intended as a toy(s) and not child safety proofed.