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Thank you Sylvie for this interview. You are going to speak about your "bears and Alaska dreams"

Hello Sylvie, can you introduce yourself in a few words and tell us where this passion for creating teddy bears comes from ?

© Pierre Larrède

I am 45 years old, I am married and I work in finance.

I live in the area of Paris and I have always been in love with Saint Malo and its area, in Brittany and also with alaskan landscapes not long ago.

I wanted to work with beautiful materials and to have full liberty concerning the result. In 2001, I beagan buying a kit and the result made me want to go on. The advises of the " enthousiast" from the little community of teddy bears friends helped me to go further.

I a few years, I made teddy bears of 9 to 70 centimetres, in different materials , for adults and children. Now, I essentially work for friends and individuals.

How do you make your teddy bears and how much time do you spend ?

I draw a pattern, more often from bears photographies, and after many fittings, the final version is ready. After, the following operations ( cut out, sewing together, hand sewn seams, stuffing, fastening of articulations and eyes ) take between eight and ten hours.

Anyway, I have no more time to participate in teddy bears creators meetings, from which the one of AGDM in Paris.


© Pierre Larrède - Max


Is it an activity or a past time ?

For me it's a past time.
I have to give time to the achievment and animation of my websites : and

I also do tapestry-making and it's longer than teddy bears or web site's creation.

Finally,  also have a strong interest in books of history, with a special one for Henri VIII and Elisabeth Ist in England and for Louis XIV. I also read many English books.

As I live in Angers, I saw that you obtained the prize of best fiction in the short film Festival in Angers in 2004.
It's the story of a teddy bear. Can you tell us more ?

This prize rewards the Philippe Jean's short film, who is an amateur in video directing and a friend.

With my husband, we proposed him a scenario about the dream of a teddy bear who wants to meet its fellows, the " true " bears.

This film " Max, le grand voyage " shows Max's creation ( it's the name of the bear star), from the raw materials ( mohair, fixings, eyes of glass and stuffing wood ).

Then, we go on from a documentary to a fiction because Max is alive, it speaks, it grumbles and makes the wish to travel. i don't tell you more, because, the DVD is available on my website.

Anyway, it's a memory of nice moments passed between friends and also a first very rich cinema experience.

Philip is a patient and pedagogical director. He is one of the persons who asked me to create their website. It's one of my project for this year.

We both try to make known the Jill Robienson's action for collar bears in Asia.

You teddy bear, Andrew, makde the trip. Can you tell us its story ?

© Pierre Larrède - Andrew

Andrew has a touching story.

I had been asked by naturalists to create a teddy bear for the coming in France ofJill, the founder of Animal Asia fondation in 2005.

It was the first time I had to create a collar teddy bear, that was not very well known in Europe. I made researches an I finally created a very similar pattern to these Asian bears, which are the victims of monstrous tortures which are revealed by jill with courage and energy.

The first bear saves by Jill was called Andrew. It died in 2006 and we know that " our " Andrew is with Jill and doesn't leave her anymore.

There was a meeting in the sanctuary of Chengdu, in China, between the two " Andrews" and the pictures of this improbable event are on my website. The most incredible thing was that somebody wanted to order 50 exemplaries and receive them immediatly.

I had needed more than 15 hours to create Andrew and it stayed unique. One day, I will probably make the journey to Chengdu to visit the sanctuary and see jill and " my " Andrew.

I also visited your other website " rêve d'Alaska " where you share your wonderful pictures of bears with us. can you explain why you did this trip ?

The pictures are those taken by my husband, Pierre.


© Sylvie et Pierre Larrède


For a long time, we spoke about our dream to meet free bears, but without beeing prejudiced on the destination.

In 2001, we looked at Lionel and Christiane's web site " Grand Frisson". They were the guides with whom we wanted to go to Alaska to meat the grizzli bears.


© Pierre Larrède

It was an absolute " dream of bears" !

But it was necessary to have time to get ready for this special trip and the also appropriate material.

On the web site " " you'll find a travel book which explains in detailes the falulous days we spent in the open wild nature with grizzlis, without fear.

It's very important to be with professional guides. Don't ever go alone !

The unique nature of these meetings inthe national park of Katmaï and the feeling of welfare, made us want to go back there as soon as possible.


© Pierre Larrède
© Pierre Larrède

What is the link with your passion for teddy bears ?
Is it a dream that you wanted to realize to watch the bears which serve as models very closely ?

Not really, watching the " true " bears and living a few days in their natural environment is a separate approach of a naturalist.

But this passion for the " living " doesn't prevent from mixing both skills, this is why our guide asked me to make a teddy bear for his daughter who lives in Hawaï.

Arthur was born in " Kremin - Bicêtre " and went with us to Anchorage before deciding to go and get warmer on the Hawäian beaches.
How lucky !!

© Pierre Larrède - Arthur

Why a human first name ?

The bears were often named Martin.

But Arthur is also a firstname with an ursin connotation. As Bernard, Bruno and many others - the root " art " or " arz " name the bear, in the old celtic cultures.

Concerning this subject, you have to read the outstanding book of the historian Michel Pastoureau " l'ours , histoire d'un roi déchu ". He explains how until the Crusades, the bear dominated the European people's bestiary and imagination. The church and Charlemagne, a christian emperor, fought agains the bear symbol. The bear was a pagan rival whose space we had to reduce.

The lion took its place when Richard the Lionheart came back, and it has been for almost everybody, since that date the king of animals.

For me the bear stays the most fascinating animal, and it still stays the king or rather the master of the forest that people have to respect. I am convinced that there is a particular link between man  and his brother " the bear " , which in its attitudes, often reminds the human ones.

It's still even truer when we observe the relations between a female with its youngsters.The breast-feeding is particularly unsetlling. In Siberia, the bear is called " the maternal uncle " and in Lapland " the old man with a fur coat ".

What are the books and the websites you want to recommand about your passions ?

I am reading " le cantique des ours " from Stephan Carbonnaux and on my website I always propose a selection of rench and English books for the readers who want to know more.
I also referenced websites in the two languages where you can find a lot of information about bears and teddy bears.

I have put on line a selection of animal photographers websites, as those of Fabrice Simon and Hervé Ortega whom you know and also links towards associations which protect bears all around the world.

If you want to know more about Sylvie and her passions,
go on her first website rêves d'ours :clicking here  and on " rêves d'Alaska ": clicking there

Creation date : 20/11/2019 : 11:43
Category : TEDDY BEARS - Teddy bears creators
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