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Wendy Inkster

Burra Bears
Delightful, collectable bears handmade in the Shetland island of Burra. Produced from recycled Fair Isle knitwear, each bear comes with his own name and personality making them as individual and unique as we are!

The iconic Fair Isle jumper represents our traditional Shetland textile culture, and is revered for its intricate construction, but it is often thrown away, like ordinary clothing, when elbows are worn through, and cuffs fray.

I designed and made my original bear in 1997. My concept, to recycle an entire handknitted Fair Isle patterned Shetland woollen jumper into a bear, brought such a positive response and demand for more bears, which in turn gave me a full-time job.

All the other Burra Bears sewn since then have been given the same characteristics of my first bear. It was made by salvaging fabric from a worn out, but unique Shetland jumper. The beautiful, colourful material; of pure wool fibre grown in the wild, spun, colourfully patterned and lovingly knitted, was recycled and reshaped into an appealing three dimensional body form, an unlikely and non-Shetland bear, a warm and comforting bear.

 
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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 126 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.