The Berd Bears

A Berd Bear (pronounced: Baird Bear) is a one-of-a-kind, 100% handmade teddy bear crafted through an ancient technique that was initially introduced to the region of Berd, Armenia by a German nun.  A woman in Berd recognized that the bears were unlike any other and recruited some pioneers to join her. The craftswomen then united with toy-expert and Norwegian Consul Timothy Straight, and together they re-designed a modern classic.

the women of Berd are mostly mothers who aside from this project and their craft have limited options for income, particularly due to closed borders and barren industry.  They are also artisans who finally have the opportunity to put their world-class craftmanship to work and are empowered by the camaraderie that comes with being part of a creative community, in a town that previously held no place for one.

Each bear takes over 20 hours to make, is 100% handmade, and no two are the same. They also measure a substantial 15 inches (38 centimeters) tall, and the joints rotate a full 360 degrees for unconstrained imagination.  Old world meets new.

Info from http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/525757888/berd-bears-old-world-meets-new

More about Sister Hanna and her unlikely move to the town of Berd: http://archive.hetq.am/eng/society/0407-hanna.html

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