This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
US
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Bemused bunnies and mad March hares
Teddy Bear Times

Bemused bunnies and mad March hares

Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015   |   1613 views   |   Hobbies & Crafts   |   Comments (0) Spring time: flowers, chocolate eggs and the Easter bunny. Bears by Sue Quinn has included quite a few rabbits and hares over the years - not to mention carrots

I was never successful as a pet rabbit owner when I was a little girl yet I have always loved the animal - everything about it epitomising softness and gentle warmth. Perhaps this is why I have always been so drawn to creating the soft sculpture varieties for the last 30 odd years! After all, these static little creatures can be looked at, held or even cuddled without any fear of them running off or making a mess!

My first rabbits were not made in mohair fabric as this was not easy to purchase at that time but I always hunted for the very best in manmade fur, preferably with a woven backing. With my toddler son looking on I made these bunnies in the house extension, sometimes overflowing on to the dining room table when a large order had to be completed.

Rabbits were made as pyjama cases with zips concealed under their dresses, puppets and a whole family of buntails - Boy Buntail, Baby Buntail and their Mum Mrs Buntail. Annabelle rabbit came a little later, wearing her cotton print dresses. All these rabbits carried their own felt carrots and some even sported handcrafted leather bags around their shoulder. They all had jointed heads and some were fully jointed.
These little animals were successfully sold, mostly at a regular craft event in Edinburgh, and then I moved on to my first trade show 30 years ago in Ingliston, Edinburgh - the Made in Scotland trade show. Bunnies and bears filled my little stand, and I was delighted to make contacts with a good number of stores, both in this country and overseas. I was also a member of the British Toymakers Guild which was also good for promoting my work.

Not long after, we were preparing for my son Roger to start school so it was inevitable that animals would be dressed in school uniform - bears and bunnies both!

Roger Rabbit, an 18” rabbit which was fully jointed, was designed at this time and he wore red cords - changing to a school uniform when the time was right! The school uniform was complete - woollen blazer, white poplin shirt, handknitted sweater, trousers and tie. Of course, the outfit had to include the hand crafted leather schoolbag.

It was the handcrafted leather school bag that nearly caused a problem with French customs, when a large order of rabbits was on the way to a store in France. They insisted on tests being made which, although they passed it, did cost me a lot of money and delays. France and Germany were the biggest customers for this character, in particular a store called ‘Merry Old England’ in Frankfurt and ‘Territoire’ in Paris. All of these shipments had to include the carrots of course, to stave off the hunger pangs for the poor little animals!
Another rabbit which was to cause a small problem was one that was commissioned by Selfridges in 1983. They wanted a four foot rabbit (including ears) to use as a display model in their shoe department! The carrot alone was two feet in length and I made the eyes by hand using paperweight moulds and resin. He was huge, but he looked great!  The store was delighted but after some time it came to light that children were ‘running up its back and launching themselves from its head’  Poor bunny - I am sure he was not at all impressed, and it was just as well that he was then taken off display.

I have often been asked, how many rabbits (and their carrots) I have made over the years. The answer has to be hundreds if not thousands, especially in those early years when they were never mass produced but produced in batches of 50. Of course now it is a different story - I only make very small numbers and one off creations and all made in mohair fabric.

Although it is a little scary, it is really lovely when someone comes to me at a fair and tells me that they had been given one of my rabbits when they were a baby and they still have it after accompanying them on their travels for so many years. One young woman told me that she has regular ‘rabbit reunions’ with a couple of friends who had identical rabbits when they were babies. She sent me a photograph so that I could see these well loved bunnies with their adult owners - well loved but also a little well worn!

So now it is that time again - Spring! My favourite time of the year with Easter just around the corner; a good time to enjoy the delights of hopping rabbits and Mad March Hares! Although I have made so many over the years I know that tomorrow I will make yet another one...a little different this time...


For more great articles like this get the Free Sample Issue issue of Teddy Bear Times below or subscribe and save.

Single Issue - Issue 237 Replica Edition included
$6.99
Or 699 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.66 per issue
SAVE
33%
$27.99
Or 2799 points

View Issues

About Teddy Bear Times

Teddy Bear Times is the world's leading magazine devoted to the wonderful world of teddy bears. Our passionate editorial team bring you all the news from the bear world, plus in-depth interviews with top artists from around the world, fabulous photos, and fun features. We'll tell you about up-and-coming artists to keep your eye on, and bring you the best of the big shows. Patterns for making bears, antiques to collect, plus readers' galleries…if you love bears, you'll love Teddy Bear Times.

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this subscribe to Teddy Bear Times today.

Most read articles this month


ALEX HILDRED: MARY ROSE DIVER

ALEX HILDRED: MARY ROSE DIVER

When she took up scuba 40 years ago, Alexandra Hildred had no idea that her life would become inextricably linked with a Tudor warship. Now the Mary Rose Trust’s Head of Research and Curator of Ordnance & Human Remains, she tells STEVE WEINMAN about the lead-up to the raising of the iconic wreck, still one of the biggest such operations ever attempted. More...
The 5 Best Photography Magazines

The 5 Best Photography Magazines

Here at pocketmags.com, we have the 5 best photography magazines to inspire and inform your skills and get you snapping away with your beloved camera of choice! More...
The 5 Best Knitting Magazines

The 5 Best Knitting Magazines

To help pass a rainy day away or to practice amongst friends, knitting is one of the great historical pastimes suitable for anyone, anywhere. At Pocketmags we have the 5 best knitting magazines to help get the needle in motion! More...
THE U-BOAT COAST

THE U-BOAT COAST

The WW1 U-boats at Pendennis have been dived for many years, by many people. The site is probably the second most popular shore-dive in Cornwall. Thousands of trainees did their first open-water dives there, most seeing the remains of one or two of the U-boats. Not sure what to write into their log-books, other than 'Silver Steps’ or ‘Pendennis’, what were these subs? MARK MILBURN investigates, and believes he can now paint a clearer picture of what lies where and why More...
The 5 Best Art & Painting Magazines

The 5 Best Art & Painting Magazines

With the 5 best art and painting magazines from Pocketmags, you’ll never be stuck staring at a blank canvas for hours again. Discover the expert advice, guidance, tutorials and motivation you need to create the art and paintings you love! More...
The 5 Best Fishing Magazines

The 5 Best Fishing Magazines

Avid fisher? Or simply passionate about the pastime? Feed your fishing thrills with our 5 best fishing magazines from Pocketmags and cast your line with confidence today! More...
A Review of Dazed Magazine by Pocketmags

A Review of Dazed Magazine by Pocketmags

It is not about the latest ‘it’ bag or must-have accessory of the season, it is not about which celebrity was the best-dressed at last week’s awards ceremony or who has committed a serious fashion faux-pas. It is fully about redefining the status quo and challenging our conception of beauty - it is the one and the only Dazed magazine. More...
The 5 Best Scale Modelling Magazines

The 5 Best Scale Modelling Magazines

Start creating your very own miniature world today with one of our 5 best scale modelling magazines! More...
The 5 Best Aviation Magazines

The 5 Best Aviation Magazines

Get ready to take your knowledge of aviation to new heights with our carefully curated list of aviation digital magazines. More...
The 5 Best Healthy Food Magazines

The 5 Best Healthy Food Magazines

Health crazes are more seeming than ever; a major craze embracing the scene on the regular. We have the 5 best healthy food magazines to leave you feeling positive and vitalised. More...
Vouchers Gift Cards A magazine subscription is the perfect gift but you'll need something to show on the big day. View All
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points