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Adorable Bears by Susan Bartlett


My interest in the designing and making of bears has only developed in recent years. Prior to that I was not aware of people who classed themselves as bear artists. I had, however, always been interested in all types of craft, art and sewing.

After leaving high school I studied dress design and construction. The subjects I studied included pattern design and making, garment construction, embroidery, tailoring and millinery. Following this I spent ten years teaching sewing in the secondary school system. I then spent several years designing and making evening and bridal wear. This background developed in me a love of quality fabrics which carries into my current love of designing and making 'Adorable Bears.'

IAfter reading as many books I could on bear making and design I started to design and make my own original artist bears.

In April, 1994 the name 'Adorable Bears' was registered as the brand name for my bears. I have attended the Sydney Teddy Bear Affair at the Sydney Town Hall from 1996. As well as the Flemington, Sandown and Berwick Bear Shows in Melbourne over the last three years.

In November, 1998 during Melbourne Cup week, I was privileged to be invited, on behalf of the management, by the propietor of 'Dafel Dolls and Bears' (one of my retail outlets) in the historic Melbourne Block Arcade to display my bears to the public under the dome in the magnificent arcade. This display, over two days, was most rewarding and profitable with my bears being displayed to the many overseas and local visitors in Melbourne for the famous 'Cup'.

While the design and total construction of Adorable Bears is my work alone, I have always had the encouragement and full support of my husband, Geoff. He assists in many ways from organisation of transport and driving to bear shows, setting up and assisting at shows, to making sets to display the bears.

In June, 1999 and again in 2001, I took my 'Adorable Bears' to Singapore to participate in Asia's Premier Teddy Bears' Picnic and Fair. In preparation, many new designs and patterns were made. My bears range from 3 to 26inches. All are made from the highest quality mohair or Alpaca with some being hand dyed.In 2004 I started making some needle felted bears .These tiny bears range fom only one inch to 3 inches. They are all string jointed and such fun to create.
In creating my bears the initial excitement comes with the purchase of the mohair. It is then that I can see the basic design of the bear. It is however in the construction that the character of the baer begins to emerge and the 'human quality' of the bear dictates the final design of the bear. It is then, when those eyes look back at me, and I laugh, as I always do, that I know my bears have a heart and are truly 'Adorable Bears'!

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