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Irina Kudryashova                                                August 2013

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You have only to look into the eyes of any of Irina Kudryashova's creations to know that she sees the world in a special way.

Voronezh, Russia has been Irina's home from the very beginning. It is where she grew up, went to school, got married and still lives today.

The arts have always appealed to Irina and she pursued her education at the Voronezh Academy.


"All my life I have drawn pictures and knit. But the most important thing that I sew are bears."


In the beginning, Irina worked only with knitting and published several clothing patterns during a master-class.


"I was not very attracted to a lifetime of dealing with only knitting and so
I started creating toys made of wool. It was very fascinating."


She began sewing bears early on using her knitting skills. She would knit dresses and coats for her bears on which she would paint her artwork.


"I was very drawn to wool. I think it's a very noble material and is easy to lay out."

Eventually, while exploring her talents, she took up doll-making. "It inspired me to work with a doll artist named Deborah Pope. It was after seeing her work that I decided that I could create a "woolly" doll." She then began felting dolls.

It was not long before Irina realized that dolls were "a living creature and called for a serious relationship, one I was not ready to make." In her eyes, dolls required more "seriousness" than she thought she could give. She turned her attention to her love of bears.


"To tell the truth, in my childhood, I did not have a teddy. There were dolls but no teddy bears."


Although she had been interested in teddy bears it wasn't until she bought a plush dog that she realized the indescribable joy she could get from something so furry and loveable.

"I bought fake fur and began to study techniques. I cannot say that I managed to make a masterpiece the first time I tried. I inserted the paw incorrectly!"

Of course she can laugh about it now but back then many tears were shed.


With time she achieved the results she wanted which were a far cry from her original bear with its legs sewn on backwards.


Irina took bear-making very seriously and studied day and night, designing her own patterns and looking at every bear image she could find.


With her handy wool fiber skills, she realized that she could make her creations from various wools and create very unique bears and buds; from kittens to hedgehogs, bunnies to puppies.


"Expression in the eyes, the smiles, each one of them has their own character and therefore has its own life."


After two years of sewing teddy bears and their friends, Irina has acquired many new friends and loyal collectors.

With the support of her husband and son she is able to explore her many, many talents and bring her creations into the world.

"All my successes make me very happy."


It makes us happy too!


Bonia and Monya







Irina Kudryashova

The Toys of Irina

Members since July 2013


Mother and Baby Hedgehog



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