The Great Paws (Hope Embraces the Earth)
Tragedy, devastation, division, and isolation filled the headlines last summer and I found myself searching for stories of good news amidst the noise of the pandemic. What I found was gratitude for the dedication of the essential workers; from medical professionals, law enforcement and emergency services, to farmers, grocery store workers and delivery truck drivers. I was touched by stories of neighbors helping neighbors, virtual family gatherings, celebrating births, marriages, graduations – life’s milestones which can’t be cancelled or postponed. I was heartened by images of city centers free of smog and of people enjoying solo time outdoors in this beautiful world of ours. At home, I was blessed to have so much more time with my husband and sons. I clung to these things because they gave me hope. An article I read referred to this quarantine time as “The Great Pause”, and when I shared it with my husband, Sean, he said, “Great Paws sounds like a bear’s name”. An image appeared in my head fully formed: a Great Spirit Bear holding her paws protectively around our planet – and that is what inspired this gallery piece.
Hope is the largest bear I have created – measuring 30” from ears to toes and sitting 20” high. She is a Kermode bear, also known a spirit bear, and is made from luxury creamy white Tissavel faux fur with light brown tips.
She features a needle sculpted face, sculpted clay nose, glass eyes, extensive scissor sculpting on her face and paws, and five joints with armature in limbs and spine. Her paws feature my signature applique trapunto pads with air brush shading.
The Earth, suspended between Hope’s paws, is made from wool, wet-felted over a Styrofoam sphere.
This one of a kind piece will be available next weekend August 6-7 at the Teddy Bear Artist Invitational in Binghamton, NY. More information www.tbai.org