About: TheBigForest and Mr Craven:Raconteur. Our felt and paper construction world

Update December 2017

We have been doing so much since we wrote the ‘about’ section of our blog – commissions in the UK and internationally, art work in galleries, wholesale for our gifts, a book….

From July 2017 we diversified into two brands. Mr Craven:Raconteur for Mr Craven’s illustration work and TheBigForest for Mr Rowling’s felt dogs, bears and other animals.

The basic stuff:

Founded in 2012 and based in Brighton on the Sussex coast and London, England, TheBigForest make wondrous art to delight and thrill adults and kids.ModBear2TheBigForestBlog copy

Mr Rowling– Maker in Chief – sits at his studio workbench looking over the gardens to the sea in the distance. He makes extraordinary hand stitched art in woolfelt and his work is available through TheBigForest and to commission. He makes three-dimensional dog ‘portraits’, contemporary bears and animal tableau telling a story; kids’, womens’ and mens’ accessories including dog breed brooches in beautiful subtle colours and ……………well have a look at our online shops or bricks and mortar stockists to find his latest works.

Mr Craven – Mr Craven:Raconteur In July 2017 Mr Craven started his own brand. He still helps out in the forest, particular at Christmas when the wages of your average elf just skyrocket, but he also has his own etsy shop . Do take a look at his amazing paper dolls, greetings cards and illustrations.

Mr Craven also writes (including TheBigForest blog), lectures and his other interests include mid-century design, toy theatres, maps, sound, found photo albums, autobiographical practice, narrative illustration………and baking bread.


TheBigForest are members of Brighton Fiveways Artists Group . As we joined very recently we are not, at the time of writing, featured on the website but will be soon.

The influences:

Our influences include british craft and design from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, illustrators such as SR Badmin, Eric Ravillious and Edward Bawden, Japanese cartoons, dolls houses and model villages, modernist textiles, vintage children’s story books and our constant search for new music and sounds.FeedMeCakeTheBigForestBlog1 copy

The blog:

Our blog is about inspiration, influences, design, cooking, craft and lots and lots of other wonderful stuff! Do follow the blog. It would be lovely to have you along for the ride.AstroBearTheBigForestBlog3

The appreciation:

Our work has been featured widely in books, on-line and magazines. Press includes  a four page article on our work and influences in Made in Felt (a bookazine from the publishers of Mollie Makes), Dilla pa handlaget ( magazine: Norway), Sunday Times Christmas Gift Guide, Inspired London: A guide to the handmade in London (book), Oh Comely (magazine), Muse for life (magazine), The Clerkenwell Post (journal), The Guardian Weekend , Kid Independent (website).

Our first book:


Cute Felt Bears was a side project to TheBigForest and was published in the UK by Fil Rouge Press and Barrons Educational in the US and Europe. Find it on Amazon or the Search Press website.

The purchase: 


Not On The High Street www.notonthehighstreet.com/thebigforest

Etsy. There is a small selection of our work in our shop. We ship to the US, Australia and other counties regularly. Check out TheBigForest Etsy shop and Mr Craven:Raconteur shop 

Bricks and mortar shops and galleries

We often have selections of our work for kids and grown ups and our greetings cards in galleries. Currently we have work in

The Doghouse Gallery, Ireland

The New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, Surrey. A beautiful Georgian town which calls its self ‘craft town’.

And in a shops in Santa Monica, California, Lyon, France, Oxfordshire, England and elsewhere.

We love enquiries for wholesale and sometimes make special ranges for shops.

We occasionally sell at high quality designer maker events. See our blog for details of forthcoming dates.

The commission:

We make much of our work to commission for private, retail and corporate clients

  • Fantastical paper construction window displays, illustrations,  artboxes and greetings cards
  • Birthday and anniversary bears with personalised badges and accessories
  • Wedding/civil ceremony bears – the bride and groom, the groom and groom, the bride and bride (and any other combination  – we aim to please here at TheBigForest)
  • Felt animal sculptures that tell the story of your interests. Previous commissions have included Morris Dancer, DJ, Traveller, Book lover etc.

The contact:

Just send a message to thebear[at]thebigforest.co.uk for more information, press enquires, wholesale enquiries or commissions.

Twitter: thebigforestuk  mrcravenracont

Facebook: thebigforestuk


  1. Thanks for liking my post. You have an exciting array of designs and ideas.

  2. This comment ended up elsewhere but Im going to copy it here as its so lovely when someone gets what you are doing. Check out Joe’s blog here joetowey.wordpress.com

    I couldn’t find an about page to comment on so this will have to do. I love you products! The big visible stitches and lovely color pallets! Mmmm… They all feel nostalgic with slight modern influences. Wonderful craftsmanship!
    Let’s be internet friends! 😀

  3. Pingback: TheBigForest at Craftaganza Live « Elizabeth Anne Norris

  4. I just wanted to let you know that we have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. For more information on what it is and how it works (I didn’t know anything about it, before we “got” it), please visit our blog:


    Hope you will have fun participating.

    Kind Regards,

    • Thanks Kristina – we already have a Liebster so not sure you can have two! But we will happily mention your blog in one of our posts.

      • Ok… Then I’m also not sure if I should nominate someone else or not… I think I won’t, it was meant for The Big Forest, so lets leave the list of nominees as it is. Thank you (in advance) for mentioning us. K.

  5. I nominated you for an illuminating blogger award. You can check it out at this link:

  6. Sinclair 3168

    Thanks for a like on my blog 🙂 I have had a very pleasant hour nosing around on here and smiling at the colourful animals and posts too. My mum lives on Undercliff in St Leonards so will send her your Hastings and St Leonards post, she’ll enjoy it. Will be checking back regularly!

    • Excellent, thank you! We must go along to Hastings and St Leonards again soon for a rummage through the junk shops. We are just having a huge tidy up (belated spring clean) in TheBigForest hut so need to be careful though! Keep on commenting on posts, we love to hear what people think….

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the like, much appreciated! I love what you have going on here and wish you luck in your endeavors. Hope you’re enjoying the Brighton Festival, too, of course 🙂

    • Good to hear from you, thank you. Yes we are loving the festival, just done another afternoon of artists open houses. Inspiring to see so much high quality work by Brighton makers, designers and artists.

  8. Are you going to be at Creative Clenkerwell fair this month? I saw they’re looking for volunteers and maybe I’d like to participate…

    • Hi there. We will be at the CraftCentral Made in Clerkenwell event which is on the 24th to the 27th May. Its part of the Creative Clerkenwell event. Volunteering sounds a good way to meet more folk involved in the creative industries in London. I will have some free tickets to the studio event on the blog soon!

  9. lobsterboy

    hey TBF, thanks for stopping by my blog. Love your work and if I ever get back over the UK I’ll be sure to check you guys out. 🙂

    • Thank you LB. Really loved your blog too. On a more general note we have begun shipping work internationally. Our door hangers and other goods have made their way to the US, Australia and France. Not sure we are heading for world domination by animals from TheBigForest however!

  10. Wow, I love that you’re doing something so different! Where do you sell your creations? Best of luck with the business 🙂
    And thank you for liking my post:Am I finally a Londoner?! I really appreciate it.

    • We will next be selling our work at the CraftCentral open studio and pop up shop event in Clerkenwell, London in May. Check back here as we will be giving away a very very limited number of free entry tickets to our blog friends. Its a wonderful event with the very best quality designers in two buildings over four days.

  11. You’ve got SO beautiful stuff! I think I also have the Stendhalitis that is described below…

    • Stendhal syndrome? Where people go slightly crazy through an excesses of cultural beauty in one place? Love it….made me laugh! Maybe there is another syndrome that describes fainting due to too many art bears in one place!

  12. Thanks for stopping by – loving your product (in my head I’m thinking “I want that one, that one, that one and….that one!”)

    • At the craft markets we have people with the same problem! One guy made so much fuss about a DJ bear that his girlfriend came back and bought it for him and one lady bought a different bear for each of her four nephews and then emailed us to make sure she had got the name and their stories just right. Thanks for commenting!

  13. Good luck with the business. It certainly looks very interesting and I bet it takes most of your time. Thank you for sparing some time to follow my blog. It has been quite a revalation no longer going to work. Travelling has helped me adjust amazingly well. I hope you find time for leisure too.

    • Thanks for commenting Marion – we are loving your blog.

      Not much leisure at the moment but we need an outlet for our creativity so making our goods and thinking up new ideas is fun and work…

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