|"I was born and grew up in the lovely town of Zurich in Switzerland; the land of clocks, cheese and most importantly, chocolate!" Silvia Durrer of durrerBears andmore revealed.
In her mid twenties, Silvia traveled around Asia and Australia. "I fell in love with Australia and decided to leave everything I knew behind."
With little knowledge of the English language, she took the leap and made Perth, Australia her permanent home. "What a culture shock! Everything is so different in the land of OZ," she exclaims.
Now after 18 years, she feels that she is a true blue Aussie sheila with a huge accent (at least that's what she likes to think anyway).
At first, she couldn't find work because her education was not recognized in Australia. She re-educated herself and graduated with an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Fashion Design.
Silvia established a dressmaking business from her home but decided to go back to office work as she didn't like working the 24/7 shift of her dressmaking business.In 2001, she discovered the artist bear world. A small cottage in her backyard became her studio and it is there that her bears and critters come to life.
"Many ideas and creations sprang from looking at animal pictures and my cat Timmy. she's an "old Madam" and with her 12 years, she's very set in her ways." My cat gets all her motherly love and therefore is truly spoiled.
Silvia loves designing and creating her bears and critters. "I get an idea in my head and I know approximately how I would like it to look and off I go. My bears and critters create themselves as I saw. Sometimes they turn out completely different than anticipated but that's all the fun!"
Specializing in needle sculpting and shading, her designs are known for their special, perfect details and finishes. She works on improving her ideas and lately has designed her creations with wired and bendable fingers and tails. Making about 50 bears/critters per year, the rest of her time is taken up by designing, teaching, traveling and office work. "Yes, I do work 24/7 again!"
Silvia's work has been featured in magazines worldwide and her critters live in homes all over the world. They are adopted at shows, through her web site and at a couple of International shops.
Her current passion is teaching. "I use more than one technique in my creations to make them unique and teach workshops that my clients find very interesting," she said. With her love for travel and with the demand for her workshops, Silvia can combine shows and workshops to travel frequently within Australia; to areas like Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.
One of her travel highlights was when she traveled to exhibit her bears at the Teddybaer Total in Muenster, Germany in 2005 where she entered the competition. "It was a big learning curve. I taught a workshop in Switzerland and will go back this year to teach another class and to visit with my parents and sister." Her ever patient partner, Lance, will stay home and look after Timmy the cat.
"If I could have a wish, it would be to travel around the world teaching workshops and attending shows."
Now that is a wish destined to come true!