Fools Gold Bears   Laure Weltsch     November 2007

Little Drummer Boy

In far Northern California, Laure Weltsch of Fool’s Gold, started her bear making career mainly during her “stay-at -home-mom” days. With husband, Werner, supporting her, Laure confesses, “I am highly blessed with the freedom to express my artistic whims. I‘m spoiled!”

With a total of ten children between her and Werner, and with many of them having children of their own, and a few of those have children as well, she is proud to say, “Yes, I’m a great grandmother!”

From an early age Laure was encouraged to explore a variety of arts and crafts. “Between art projects, I learned elementary hand sewing from Mom, an accomplished needlewoman. In junior high and high school, I honed my drawing skills and ventured further into the needle arts, touching on knitting, crochet, embroidery and garment making.” It wasn't until her children were nearly grown that needle arts began to find artistic expression through her.

In the late '80s, Laure and a friend collaborated on a small garage-based boutique where they sold all sorts of arts and crafts.

“I began designing simple patterns for cloth dolls and selling the dolls and patterns in craft magazines under the name of Briar Rose Sentiments. After a time, I received an invitation to an international cloth doll convention.”

Disheartened at the time with her financial situation, she opted to try sewing a teddy bear from a purchased pattern she had on hand, in an effort to change her financial picture. “No sooner had the bear been completed than I knew my budding career was about to take a sharp right turn. I had discovered an exciting new art form!”

What had begun as a disappointment had turned into a huge inspiration! “Immediately I began creating my own bear patterns and by the beginning of 1993, began taking my new creations to shows and advertising them in popular collector magazines.”

Cliff

Blippo

After finding out that Briar Rose was a far too commonly used business name, she made the decision to change it.

After visiting with some friends who provided her with colorful fabric scraps when she mentioned thoughts of doing some clown bears, she was struck with thought of, “They’re not clowns, they’re fools.” As she lay in bed contemplating her day, she lighted upon the name Fool’s Gold.

“For the longest time I didn't understand the significance of the name I had chosen, but over time it has occurred to me that collectible bears are somewhat like fool's gold, which sparkles and looks like real gold, but is not worth much in trade; yet to someone who loves it simply for its beauty, it has enormous value.

Collectible bears may be beautiful, charming, even costly, but like all treasure, from a vaster perspective, a teddy bear hasn't much real value until you look at the genuine beauty of the no-strings, unlimited, eternal love the bear represents - then it is priceless!”

Nowadays, with the online venues such as Teddy Talk and Bears&Buds online teddy bear magazine, the level of innovation and skill in bear and bud artistry has rocketed off the charts.

Designing new patterns quite frequently, the same pattern is sometimes redesigned once or twice until it seems right to Laure. “Sometimes I will redesign a pattern that I thought had already been "perfected", but I discover new possibilities for it. This is one aspect of my artistry that really keeps my creative juices flowing.” Laure added, “Whenever I create a new character, it's like meeting a new friend. All of my bears and buds are made entirely by me.”

Because her bears are so diverse from one another, she was not sure how people can recognize them unless they are labeled, but collectors tell her they can pick them out in a crowd.

“When I create, it is very important to me that the character be complete as a whole with a balanced look. This is in regard to construction, color enhancement, style, trimming, aging, scissor or needle sculpting, all the aspects that make up the bear.” Laure continued, “The people who buy my bears are people who recognize and appreciate the intense focus that goes into their makeup.”

Giggliwigg

Annabel

Laure’s artistry has been featured in teddy bear collector publications in the USA, Europe and Japan. “I have won a few awards at shows and fairs over the years and second place in the amigurumi category of the URSA Awards this year for Quincey, a rotund bear that looks like a fuzzy quince fruit,” she stated happily.

“I will keep on making bears and buds, awards or not, because I simply must.”

 

 

Laure Weltsch

Fool's Gold Bears
Member since May 2005

Howie and Crispin

Forest

Joe Schmoe

Mary Ellen

Ndubu

Sweet Pickle

Heartitudes

 

 
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