My son was about 3 or 4 at the time. We were out shopping and he saw a Steiff Bear in a toy store window. My son had a fit because he wanted that bear! I could not afford it at the time so I told him I would make him a teddy bear. I purchased a teddy bear pattern. As I was working on the pattern; I could see that it was not like the teddy bear my son saw in the window. My mom was a very good seamstress and as a child I watched her modify patterns all the time. Just as I had seen my mother do with clothes patterns; I modified the teddy bear pattern.
I was not happy with the first teddy bear I made and I put it in a drawer thinking I would modify the pattern more and make another bear. I did not realize at the time that my son was watching me at work during the entire process.
A few days later, I started a new bear and went to the drawer to get my first bear out for comparison. The bear was gone! I found the bear in my son's bed dressed in his pajama shirt. My son had already adopted and loved that first teddy bear I made.
I exhibited in my first teddy bear show promoted by Linda Mullins. Linda is the author of books about teddy bear artists and teddy bear patterns. She assigned my booth next to Flore Emory a fabulous and famous teddy bear artist. Flore was lovely and her Flore Bears were adorable. Having my booth next to her booth was both intimidating and challenging at the same time. I did not think I would sell anything at the show; but I did. I continued to make teddy bears, exhibit and sell at shows.
In 2000, I took time off from shows and spent the year trying many new and different techniques with bear making. I only exhibited at one show that year It was an International Teddy Bear Show in Honolulu, Hawaii.
I brought all the bears that I had made throughout the year to the show in Hawaii. It was a fabulous experience meeting artists from other countries. They really liked my bears. Because I had spent the year trying new things, making my own designs, and changing and modifying my bears; I did not have one particular identifiable style.
I entered almost every category of competition in the show. Everyone voted for the bear they liked best in each category. I won almost every category. The irony is that I won the "Best in Show" with the last teddy bear I made during the flight to Hawaii for the show.
I named that four inch clown bear "Celebration" because I was celebrating a year of challenging myself to try new techniques with my bears. I sold almost all the teddy bears I brought to that show.
I design and make some of the little outfits and also will use vintage baby and doll clothes that I find.
I have also collected Steiff Teddy Bears and other early valuable teddy bears and restored them for myself and others.
My husband, John, is a musician. We formed a duo and have written and recorded music that can be purchased at our website Trinckes Music and Art. You will also find my paintings and teddy bears as well as musical instruments for sale.
I am also getting ready to test selling some bears on Bear Pile.
I love learning new techniques, working with different mediums, and growing creatively.
Next week; Beverly Warren talks about how she learned to make her One of a Kind and Limited Edition Dolls and shares her special doll story that tugged at my heart strings.