Anyway, it occurred to me today, that collectors and non-bearmakers interested in teddy bear artistry, might find it interesting to know a little more of what lies behind the creation of artist bears ...
Monday, 15 June 2009
The Guild of Master Bearcrafters
Have I mentioned the Guild of Master Bearcrafters to you? I really can't remember! Perhaps I didn't yet, but that's because it's purely for professional bear artisans, somewhere private we can meet up, share our work and 'talk shop'. I set the Guild up earlier this year and already we have 149 members from all around the world ... isn't the internet an amazing introduction agency?! For example, did you know there are dedicted bearcrafters as far afield as Russia, New Zealand, throughout Europe, Australia, the US, Germany, South Africa, Thailand, Japan ... the list goes on and on and ...
The 'Guild of Master Bearcrafters' was established as a central body for bear artisans to join together and progress their creative talents. To that end we actively support participation in international bear competitions and also offer our own quarterly Guild Challenges to help get those creative juices flowing!
The Guild works to provide support for bearcrafters striving for creative perfection and offers workshop tutorials to this end, with photo galleries which invite comment from colleagues. It also offers a a closed forum for discussing business issues and a central 'events' schedule, where bearcrafters can plan show itineraries and promote their bear related events.
Membership criteria is based upon bearcrafters professionally designing and selling their work for at least one year - applicants who don't meet the entry level are declined, to ensure the Guild continues to work as a professional body.
One thing I've learned about creating bears as a business over the years, is it can be very isolating and in time, that can prove demotivating, but with the online support of other professional bearcrafters around the world, it is now possible for those of us with a passion for creating and developing the teddy bear as soft sculpture, to work together in our effort to create original bears for posterity.