At the beginning there is an old Korrex proof press, printing format 50 x 70 cm and a magician.

"The Story of the Magician Fernando" - a circus fairy tale. Hand-printed and hand-bound in an edition of 500. We sell the "Magician" at flea markets, because there weren't any handicraft markets in 1978.

On the first stand is an old teddy bear with an even older top hat on its head. He's holding a bell in his hand and there's a cord running from his arm behind the stand. We pull it, the bear rings, people are watching - the bears - press is born.

Market life is hard, in Nuremberg the ringing bear is stolen from us when it is being dismantled.

That's why the Bären press isn't going under. New children's books are created, large-format prints, postcards, stationery. And because old teddy bears were still available for little money at flea markets back then, there will soon be a new market bear and a rapidly growing family of bears that will watch us at work at home.

Finally, the first big cardboard bear made its way into the program of the bear press.

The jumping jack becomes a model for success. In the coming years, the number of movable paper figures grew more and more until the bear press became a pure handicraft sheet workshop. Every year we hatch new jumping jacks, jackas and beasts.

The demand is increasing.

We still make the printing blocks using the linocut technique and print them out on the Korrex. The actual edition is then created using offset printing. In the 1980s, arts and crafts markets sprang up all over Germany and the Bären - Presse went on a journey with their "paper circus". The Bären press also finds its way into the big Christmas markets such as Cologne, Aachen and Essen and inspires the public.

In 1998 Dirk Lampe joined Bären - Presse. He takes over the handicraft sheet publishing house from Steffen Mühlhäuser and Roland Adam and has been running the business successfully ever since. Production, marketing and sales relocate with him to Halle/Westphalia. With renewed energy, he expands the distribution radius of the Bären press. The two "old gentlemen" are left with the pleasant task of developing new products.

Traditionally, a new handicraft sheet is still published every year. Every time we go on the search for new motifs and unusual movement mechanisms. In the meantime, the Bären press range offers everything a hobbyist's heart desires, from the simple flat model to the highly complicated three-dimensional figure.

Steffen Muehlhauser

The painter

Born in 1956 on Bergstrasse. First woodcuts and linocuts at the age of sixteen. This is followed by hand-printed picture books and duck graphics. After school, the hobby becomes a purpose in life. No time and no desire for graphic training. Paint and print instead. Foundation of Bären - Presse together with Roland Adam. Market driving, first handicraft sheets. It's hard to believe, but it's possible to make money with jumping jacks. Steffen Mühlhäuser has been doing this for more than 20 years. Today he lives with his children in an old farmhouse in the Hunsrück.

Roland Adam

The technician

Born in 1958 on Bergstrasse. Fascinated by paper craft sheets of all kinds since childhood. Over the years, he becomes a tinkerer, inventor and versatile craftsman. Does an apprenticeship as a printer and has been working with Steffen Mühlhäuser in Bären - Presse since 1978. Emigrates to Ireland on a small sailing boat in 1981. But he comes back two years later and since then has been helping the paper figures from the bear press to make sophisticated movements. At the same time, Roland Adam built his floating home over a period of ten years. With the 11 m sailing yacht "Cariad" he is now on the seas of the world.

Dirk Lamp

The publisher

Born in Hanover in 1964. After breaking off agricultural training and doing community service in the Lüneburg Heath, he traveled to North and West Africa in order to then complete a proper apprenticeship as a timber merchant in Oldenburg. After a busy time and a subsequent study of pedagogics, the paths crossed with Roland Adam through the passion of sailing. In search of new shores, he offered to work for the Bären-Presse and took over the handicraft sheet publishing house in 1998 with enthusiasm and energy. Production and distribution are now in his hands. To this day he lives in Halle/Westphalia.

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