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Artist of the Month

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The featured artist for the month of April is Trudy Labbe of Canada!

How I got Started in Bear Making:

A friend coerced me into taking a class at a local shop. At the time it was definitely not on my agenda to make teddy bears as I was already very busy quilting. It was a one day workshop which saw me complete and take home my teddy bear. Much to my amazement he was cute to boot. This class led me to make a number of bears for nieces etc.

Then began the dry spell. No teddies to make. THEN along came another friend with a wee mini kit (She, who could not even sew on a button was in desperate need of my help). Would I please sew this wee bear (under 3"), well that did it. I was now hooked. It was the mini's I loved to make. From then on it became a passion. With lot's of encouragement I went into my own designs. Hence I became a bearsmith and LaBears by Labbe were born. This was approximately eight years ago and I still am enamored with the art of Teddy Bear making and designing.

Unique Qualities of My Bears:

LaBears are mainly wee bears ranging from 1 1/4" to 5 1/2" ( occasionally though I do deviate into "The World of the Giants" :) Most of my bears have set in muzzles of a different fabric medium. The mini's are quite often dressed with the costuming being a main part of them. In the larger realm, I like to either embroider footpads or adorn them with large hats. In some cases I will do both. Of course they must be female for this. :)

My Opinions on Bear Making:

Bear making today has come along way, seeing many talented new artists. The creativity is unbelievable and has manifested itself into a large variety bears. Right from the traditional to bizarre. I love to see bears in all forms. I find that the bear quite often reflects (somewhat) the personality of the artist themselves.

Bear shows do a multiple of things for us "the artists" it is renewal of friendships, fun, anticipation and a rejuvenation of our craft, along with the selling of our creations. The main thing for me, as a bearsmith, is the designing of the bears. Of course the sewing end of it does see the actual design come to life. As of most bearsmiths, I would really prefer to do only one of a kinds. Now with the net available, it in fact may let me do just that. What a treat this will be. :)

On that note, I must say "bearry best regards,must dash and get started on the "One of a Kinds""! Happy bear making to all and to all goodnight" :) Trudy

You can see Trudy's wonderful bears at her site LaBears by Labbe

Or if you wish you can view some of her patterns in The Den Shop

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