My name is Michelle Lamb. I became became a full time bear maker after an eighteen year career as an artist. A jack-of-all-trades artist which encompassed everything from logos and brochures to sculptures and murals. “One&Only”Bears came to life February of 2000 after several years of making “craft” quality bears and eventually self-learning what composes an “artist” quality bear.
The ability to create beauty from such disparate parts as fabric, hardware, glass, and fluffy filler remains a constant wonder to me and my goal is for this same wonder to come across in the faces of my teddy bears. They are individually designed to have their own unique personality and I spend as much time as necessary to needle- and scissor-sculpt a face until it’s soul comes out and “speaks” to me. Because of my artistic beginnings, I treat each bear like a portrait in need of perfection in proportion, harmony in composition and coloring, and the ability to elicit strong emotional response.
After initially trying out editions and special orders, I’ve discovered that what is best for my art and for myself is to do only one-of-a-kinds. Making as many bears as I do, there’s bound to be some repeats but every one will be made by the whim of their maker and by how each bear lets me know the way in which it must evolve. Allowing me to randomly design bears results in more soulfully artistic bears and I hope this more than makes up for the disappointment of not being able to do custom orders.
Finishing one to two bears a week makes it hard to keep up with demand, however, this slow precise method ensures that I’ll never get burned out or lose the ability to constantly push the envelope in bear-making. All my talent and energy is a blessing and I’m immensely grateful for the wonderful collectors and peers I’ve encountered along this wonderful path laid out before me, as well as for the constant learning that keeps my soul thriving.