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Stewart Studios by Deborah Stewart


49 Meadow Pond Drive Unit A
Leominster,MA 01453
US
http://www.stewartstudios.com

For her sixteenth birthday, Deborah Stewart's parents gave her a $15.00 gift certificate to a local craft shop (a lot of money back in those days!). One of the many things that gift bought was a kit to make a stuffed monkey. "Mr. Monkey", as he was later called, was an unabashed success. Some years later, Deborah's mother commissioned her to make another "Mr. Monkey" as a Christmas gift for the first grandchild in the family, Deborah's nephew Eric.

In 1985, Deborah was looking for a business that would allow her the freedom to stay home with her newborn son, Rich, and at the same time be creative. She turned to what she loved, making stuffed animals. She joined a local craft co-operative and started making stuffed animals from other designer's patterns. At first she made exotic animals - hedgehogs and armadillos were very popular. She designed a few bears, but the craft co-operative wasn't really hitting the teddy bear market.

Two things happened in 1987: her sister, Pam, gave her the premier issue of Teddy Bear Review and she attended her first Teddy Bear Rally in Amherst Massachusetts. There she discovered the world of the artist bear. She began to concentrate on designing only teddy bears, although eventually a bunny or two began appearing every Spring and cats have crept into the line. The cats are based on her own cat "Sleepy" (yes, named for one of the seven dwarfs).

Today, Deborah carefully designs and handcrafts each animal with great attention to detail. She works with American plush, German plush, mohair and alpaca. Most bears are pellet filled which she feels gives them a more lovable character. Great emphasis is placed on the facial expression by use of needle sculpting and fur trimming. Her bears have large eyes which give them a child-like quality and all have either eyelids or eyebrows. Nine years of experience as a painter for Wee Forest Folk has proved invaluable when it comes to coordinating colors and also adding highlights and accents with her airbrush. Her bears are available at a number of shows each year and shops around the world and they are on display at the Izu Teddy Bear Museum in Japan.


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