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Artist of the Month

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The featured artist of the month for August is Cathy Tibbetts of the US!

How did I get into bearmaking?

My beginnings in bear making were, well, on a whim. I had been sewing for nearly 20 years, making window treatments, toys, and clothing for my children and myself. I also had made cloth dolls and their clothing since before my daughter was born. Late in the summer of 1997, I thought, why not try making a bear? At that time, I was working at a job which had no use for my creativity and I desperately needed an outlet for my artistic expression. I found a teddy bear magazine and used the pattern that was published. He was a little bear made with a nubby fabric and jointed with snaps, (his name being Snappy). Although I'd never win any awards for Snappy, I was definitely hooked. After several months of using commercial patterns, I tried my hand at and I've been making
bears and koalas ever since.

What unique quality or feature do your bears bring to the market?

I believe my koalas are very unique in the market. My very first design was a koala and it has become my signature work. I have loved koalas and have been fascinated with this unique creature since I was very young. I am always looking for ways to create koalas as realistically as possible.

Secondly, I believe my bears are unique because of their facial expression. I enjoy making open mouth bears and a fellow artist taught me how to make tongues out of clay. I was a bit hesitant, but I liked the way they looked. One of the first open mouth bears I made had quite an effect on me... he looked as if he were laughing out loud! They make me happy and I hope they have the same effect on collectors.

What do you think of bearmaking today?

For the beginner, there is a wealth of information available....instruction books, videos, classes, shows, magazines, supply vendors are all available to the future bear artist or the hobbyist. For the collector, there are many wonderfully talented artists who make their work available. Makes for a very difficult decision when choosing a new bear.

I believe the Internet has made it possible for bears to be seen all over the world by artists and collectors alike. I sometimes wonder what it would have been like if I had started 10 years ago.

Finally, is there any other comments or feedback you would like to submit?

I'd like to thank all the teddy bear artists that have been so generous in sharing their talents with me. If not for their encouragement and helpfulness, I would not be where I am today.

I hope I can continue to express my creativity through teddy bears and koalas for a very long time. Not only is bearmaking a passion for me, but it has helped me in many other ways. I hope I can be as helpful to others as many artist have been with me.


To see more of Cathy and her Koalas visit her website at:
Cathy's Koala's and the Laughing Bears


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