Artists enter many contests at shows allowing conventioneers to choose their favorites in different categories. This time at Kansas Cty Jubilee, it was my turn to win in the miniature category. The winner was my little brown mohair clown bear – four inches tall. He and his ribbon now reside with a collector in the Kansas City area.
The 25th Annual Kansas City Teddy Bear Jubilee had a unique concept for souvenir bears. They asked artists who had made souvenir bears in the past to do a set of 5 bears. Conventioneers would be allowed to pick which bear they wanted. Terri Larson and I had each made convention souvenir bears in the past and we also collaborated with Joel Hoy in our Once Upon a Needle group to make souvenirs another year. So we all elected to do a piece. This meant that Terri and I made a lot more bears than Joel. How did that happen?
We decided out joint piece would be a scarecrow since the show had a fall theme. Terri made the heads and passed them on to me. I sewed on the ears and made the bodies and attached them. This was interesting because I had not made a ragdoll body for a bear before. I then passed the bears on to Joel who created the costumes.
Over the years, my bear-making friends and I have participated in many group challenges. When the organizers of Kansas City Jubilee were looking for a program to present for conventioneers at the 25th Jubilee, Joel Hoy, Terri Larson and I dug into our collections and photo files to put together a fun and entertaining program.
Joel was in charge because he does really well speaking before a group and also because I was teaching a Make ‘n Take workshop that same day and Terri was unable to come to the convention. It was a trip down memory lane when we laid out the samples we had brought. I had forgotten about some of these things I had made!
As far as I can remember, the bell hop was made incorporating the bell, a bottle cap which was the base for the hat, and the button which became his badge.
Types of Challenges
Challenges were issued and results revealed whenever friends gathered at a show. Some of them were:
- Make a bear incorporating items from a package – identical packages were given to each participant
- Make up your own package of items and then draw for another artist’s pack to make your piece. The Artist who provided the items received the finished product.
- Mythical creature
- Other animal you haven’t tried before
- Use a material you haven’t tried before
- Incorporate a new technique you’d like to learn
This lion was made from an “other animal” challenge when I was given the mauve fur. You can’t see the tail, but the tip is also the longer mohair. I further challenged myself to make him a nice open mouth.
There were also challenges for two or more artists collaborating on a piece that would be offered for sale or at auction for charity. Terri Larson and I made many fun pieces for Kansas City Jubilee inspired by Daniel Epley’s wild imagination. Sometimes we also enlisted the woodworking skills of Terri’s dad, Dick Chloupek.
Here’s one that came from Terri Larson’s imagination. Terri made the little boy bear pretending to be an inspector and I made his hound. This was way out of my usual scale, I hadn’t made a dog before and I hadn’t made a figure posed and unjointed, either.