Bears By Sue Quinn

My studio is in Paisley, Scotland where I have enough space to create lots of clutter and of course bears and animals! Everything is designed and created here in the studio with no outworkers, but my wonderful part - time elf Margaret comes in to the studio to help out. I do sometimes bring projects home to continue working, heavily supervised by my mischievous cat!

My home in Kilbarchan where I live with my husband and cat, is surrounded by countryside and is only ten minutes away from my studio. I have a small art room at home where I can enjoy watercolour painting or one of the many other interests I have! I love vintage sewing machines, toys and children's books - a small collection of antique dolls is slowly increasing.

Many people ask me how long I have been doing this and it is always hard to answer. The fact is that I have been designing and creating animal characters for half a century and that is scary! I was guided and taught by my lovely Mum who was a clever seamstress, although I am not sure she was too impressed by me using a candlewick bedspread to make my first bear at the age of eight...

I started making animals for sale from home in 1978, naming my small business Dormouse Designs. It quickly outgrew the space available in our tiny spare room so I rented my first premises in 1982. For the next few years I was designing and making larger quantities of woodland animals for sale, mostly to trade customers at trade fairs. These were simpler designs made in synthetic fabrics with the help of a small staff.

But the artist in me was not comfortable with the repetitive nature of the trade orders at that time, so as the same time I myself started making the collectable bears in mohair. I attended the first ever Hugglets fair in London (and every one since!) and never looked back. I therefore stopped doing the trade shows and moved into my current smaller premises around 10 years ago and changed the name of my business to Bears by Sue Quinn.