Birdy Heywood
Artist with a Magical Touch

Birdy Heywood
Artist

Tiny Bears and Magical Things

Not long after creating the full sized man bad luck and hard times followed, and a part of my life I would rather forget. This resulted in me having to leave my home. My eldest daughter had by then already flown the nest. 


I moved with my 2 youngest children into a caravan with my close friend Tony Heywood who I later married. We lived for a few years in the middle of a field with no running water. It was an experience and we learned to manage. Though difficult coping without modern amenities, it was great being so close to nature. I loved waking up to the sound of the rain on the roof of our home on wheels. To walk barefoot in the grass and wander in the surrounding woodland. 


Having very little money makes one resourceful. Necessity is the mother of invention they say and so it was in my case. I have always loved bears so I set to creating some Teeny Tiny ones to sell at Miniaturist Fairs. Making them so small meant I could create at least 5 out of a block. I wrote several articles for magazines with instructions on how to make them. I also created little curled up cats for dolls houses but sadly have no photos. I became known as The Bear Lady! 


A sample of an article from a magazine

Nanuk the Great White Spirit Bear

I am a dreamer as are most people who create. One night in a dream,  a great polar bear walk towards me and I just knew I must attempt to create it.


It took 2 whole weeks to make as I used a needle to create each hair seperately. I enjoyed every moment of it and was able to capture the essence of this powerful creature I had seen in my dream.


I named him Nanuk the Great White Spirit Bear. Many people wished to purchase him but I could not part with him and still have him here with me.


With Nanuk a spiritual journey for me began. His essence pulled me in the direction of the Native American story.  


One day I was busy creating the teeny tiny bears for an up and coming Teddy Bear Fair when a voice said, "create an indian" 


I did not listen but carried on creating little bears. It came again and again and i finally gave in and mixed white with the bear coloured clay to create a skin colour. 

Grey Owl & the Rainbow Tribe

In what seemed no time at all a face was in my hands. I worked for a further few hours until there in front of me sat a very powerful being. I couldn't stop staring at him.


My daughter Ginny came home from school and entered my workroom. "Wow mum, that is the best thing you have ever made!" We both stared at him. 


"I am going to call him Grey Owl," I said without even thinking about it. 


A couple of days later I entered our local charity shop for a poke around.  There was a customer asking the lady in charge if she would take her second hand sofa. I piped up immediately, "I am looking for one." On that I took the lady's phone number.  We chatted for a while and I happened to mention that I created little sculptures. 


I rang her the next day to organise the picking up of the sofa. She asked me to bring one of my sculptures with me. I said I would bring my Indian. I popped him into my coat pocket before leaving.


After loading the sofa into the back of my estate car, the lady handed me a newspaper cutting. "That is your indian," she said without batting an eyelid. There sure enough was a photo of a man named Grey Owl who resembled my sculpture. What followed was quite funny. I asked her if she was psychic and she answered "Yes sometimes, and you?" My answer was spontaneous.

"Yes sometimes." 


The article was about a man from Hastings who for many years went under the name of Grey Owl and claimed to be of Native American descent.  At first he had been a trapper but became later a pioneer for the conservation of beavers in Canada. Being an educated man he wrote several books. He even travelled to England and met the queen. The Attenborough brothers were inspired by him after watching one of his performances. It was after his death in April 3rd 1938 that he was exposed as a fraud and a white man. He had fooled many people but I bet his publishers knew. They made a lot of money out of his books.  


This whole thing about him being a fraud made me think. If someone nowadays passes the remark that they were a Native American in a past life many would not even bat an eyelid. In his time people would have labeled him as insane. Grey Owl may have been a philanderer but he was also a very talented and devoted man who did much good too. On reading one of his books I was instantly transported to Canada as it had once been. 


This is turning into rather a long page but I have so many interesting things to share with you relating to Grey Owl, my bears and my future journey through life. Here is a link to information on Grey Owl 


Listening to my heart and not my head

After Grey Owl followed more sculptures. I began creating Native American figures. I gave each one a name and a message they wanted to convey to the white man.


Here something strange occurred again. One of the figures I had created I named 'See the Clouds.' A few years later I found an article on a man named 'Touch the Clouds,' and yes, he resembled the figure I had created too. Here is a link to Touch the Clouds.


It was here that it really became apparent to me that I needed to follow my heart and not my head. 


I began writing a story. 








I was completely carried away and 'saw' everything that occured in my mind. With only a second hand word processor I just kept writing as it came to me. 

The Bears of The Rainbow Tribe were about to be born. 

The Bears of The Rainbow tribe

The characters were alive and it seemed as if they were asking me to tell their story. 


Each had a lesson to learn and a story to go with it. 


My dream at the time was for the stories to be made into a film. 


Who knows maybe it will come true. I certainly hope so. 



Little Hawk and the Birth of Awareness

The first story was about the Birth of Little Hawk, Indian Bear.


It may seem strange that this little bear has the name of a bird but Indian Bears know very well that all creatures and all peoples are connected. 


I love each one of these wise little beings who have come to help a very sick and polluted planet though their stories. 

Bears and Dragons are Friends

After a few years I became a little  disillusioned as it seemed that I was getting nowhere with my stories about my Indian Bears. I knew somehow that the time was not right. That is when little dragons came into being.


That leads me on to the next part of my own story.


The story of Dragons and Fairies


and little children