About the Artist - Silvia Durrer
Originally from Switzerland, I migrated to Perth, Western Australia in 1990. Not being able to find work, I re-educated and graduated in the Associate Diploma of Applied Science (Fashion). For about 18 months I ran a dressmaking business from home. Due to several reasons, I closed the business and went back to office work where I had regular business hours. Craft has always played an important part in my life and soon I discovered quilting, embroidery, lead lighting and copper foiling, bears and porcelain dolls. I became totally "hooked" on bears and for two and a half years visited as many workshops with different teachers as possible. Through encouragement by my teachers I started entering my bears (and dolls) in shows in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Adelaide and have won many prizes, such as: First Prize Ribbons, Rosettes, Best Commercial Bear, Best in Section (bears and dolls), Best Open, Best Theme of Show Bear (and Best Theme of Show Doll), and Best Professional Bear.
In 2001, I started designing my own bears and soon after started teaching workshops. My bears are made from mohair and/or alpaca and most of them feature sculptured and shaded faces and paw pads. I love teaching and believe the best award I can receive is when I see the proud expression on my student’s faces after they finish their bears. My workshops, in Western Australia, are held at my Studio in South Perth. A great experience was the workshops I was able to hold in Switzerland in 2005 after attending the Teddybaer Total in Germany. I do not mind travelling to teach workshops and each workshop can be designed to suit individual needs.
My favourite part of making a bear is creating its personality by sculpting and shading its face and embroider its nose. When asked what my least favourite part of making a bear is, I have to say: “the stuffing”. Apart from having patterns and kits available, I also design limited edition and “one of a kind” bears. I also accept commissions and if you would like a bear designed and handcrafted especially for you, I would love to talk to you.
I hope to hear from you soon.