Table of contents
- The Discovery of Fibre and Embroidery Art
- The Creative Process in Fibre Art – Bringing Landscapes to Life
- Could you walk us through your creative process, from envisioned idea to the finished piece of art?
- How do you choose the materials you use in your artwork, and what role do they play in the quality of your art?
- How do you balance the technical aspects of your work (embroidery and beading) with the more creative aspects (color and texture)?
- What is your favorite piece you’ve created so far, and what makes you feel particularly proud?
- The Self-Taught Fibre and Embroidery Artist – A Tale of Learning
- What challenges have you faced as a self-taught artist, and how have you overcome them?
- How has your art evolved over time, and are there any particular changes in your style or the technique that you use?
- What do you enjoy most about the artistic process of creating your art, and how do you stay motivated during long hours of handwork?
- What emotional impact do you hope your art has on viewers? Is there any message you want to convey through your art?
- What Future Holds
Bernadette Hansford’s art invites us to explore the wonderful realm of fibre and embroidery (needlework). Her captivating pieces have left art enthusiasts in awe of her unique blend of colors, textures, and imagination, as she has a lifelong love for artistic expression and natural imaginative talent.
The Discovery of Fibre and Embroidery Art
When did you realize that you are passionate about fibre and embroidery art?
Bernadette Hansford: My mother bought me a sewing box with an embroidery hoop and floss when I was about eight. I have always been artistic and loved creating with any medium I could get my hands on. Embroidery has definitely been a lifelong love for me. I discovered fibre and felting about ten years ago and I just loved the feel and softness and all the amazing colours and combinations plus the wonderful textures that can be achieved. So combining the two was a very natural progression.
How does living in Gloucester (UK) influence your art? Do you have any favorite spots where you like to visit and find inspiration?
Bernadette Hansford: I don’t think that living in Gloucester influenced my work that much as I’m originally from Wales with Irish parents. I think I’ve been more influenced by that. Although one of my latest pieces “Puzzelwood” was definitely influenced by the place of the same name in the Forest of Dean. And it is a pleasure to visit it. You can definitely imagine fairies skipping about as you wander through. And it has been a location for many films including Star Wars.
The Creative Process in Fibre Art – Bringing Landscapes to Life
Could you walk us through your creative process, from envisioned idea to the finished piece of art?
Bernadette Hansford: When I start a piece I actually start with colours. I gather together all the fibres, threads and beads of the colours that call to me. Then I decide on the overall composition so it is almost like working backwards. I can envision the landscape I wish to create.
How do you choose the materials you use in your artwork, and what role do they play in the quality of your art?
Bernadette Hansford: Again, it is the colour that first dictates the materials I choose for the piece. The second is texture. I incorporated a lot of synthetic fibres in my pieces as they not only add sparkle but also wonderful textures once felted into the piece.
How do you balance the technical aspects of your work (embroidery and beading) with the more creative aspects (color and texture)?
Bernadette Hansford: Having done many pieces I usually stick to tried and tested methods ie the same stitches and a layout I know will work best for what I want to achieve. If I start a new piece and it is something I really haven’t tried before, it will naturally take longer as I am learning as I go along. But the next time it will flow and take less time as I have now learned. This is why practice is so very important!
What is your favorite piece you’ve created so far, and what makes you feel particularly proud?
Bernadette Hansford: My favourite piece so far is Puzzlewood. Not only is it one of my favourite places to go but that is so magical, it was so fun and immersive to create. Having been built up in multiple layers, creating the piece was actually like creating three separate pieces. Time-consuming but magical when it all started coming together. The feeling I wanted to create, of being able to walk through the pieces, was very strong due to the layering and depth achieved. Also, I love using an all-green pallet. l really relish a challenge.
The Self-Taught Fibre and Embroidery Artist – A Tale of Learning
What challenges have you faced as a self-taught artist, and how have you overcome them?
Bernadette Hansford: I think the biggest challenge for me has been finding my medium. As a child, it was drawing, then sewing. I also did ceramics for many many years, but it was when I discovered fibre that it really clicked for me. It’s not to say that doing other mediums was a waist. Far from it, as it means I have a wealth of skills I can draw on as I work. As I have said before, practice, practice practice! It really is the most important thing for any creative after being artistic.
How has your art evolved over time, and are there any particular changes in your style or the technique that you use?
Bernadette Hansford: I feel my work has naturally evolved over time from constant learning, learning really does never stop. Finding new colours, combinations, or bead combinations through practice has and is invaluable.
What do you enjoy most about the artistic process of creating your art, and how do you stay motivated during long hours of handwork?
Bernadette Hansford: What I love most is the freedom. My work affords me to simply play. I have always been an artist from a very young age, and now, as I am an adult, I still get to play, which is wonderfully freeing. I am constantly looking for inspiration for my next piece. So, when I’m out, I am constantly looking for colours and shapes in nature and putting a piece together in my mind. For me, it is a very natural thing.
What emotional impact do you hope your art has on viewers? Is there any message you want to convey through your art?
Bernadette Hansford: I try to convey emotion through composition, colour, and texture. People after say they feel they could walk into my pieces and I love that!
What Future Holds
Can you share with us any upcoming projects or exhibitions you have in the works? Are there any new techniques or materials you’re excited to explore in the future?
Bernadette Hansford: I am currently working on tutorial videos and have just won an honorable mention award at the TARAVARNA International Juried Art Competition, something I am very proud of. So, I’m hoping to enter more competitions soon.
What advice would you give to children who are interested in pursuing art, particularly in fibre and embroidery?
Bernadette Hansford: For any child that loves art, my advice is to never stop learning and never stop practicing. Just simply doing what you love and not being too critical of yourself is very important. Just keep going and, most importantly of all, just LOVE creating. If you love what you do, the rest will follow.
If you enjoyed the interview with artist Bernadette Hansford, I invited you to visit her Facebook page or Instagram account and be amazed by other beautiful artwork pieces that weren’t featured in this article.
4TinyHands featured in inspiring interviews other well-known artists. If you are interested in finding more about photorealism in drawing, I recommend you to meet artist Jasmina Susak. The sea-inspired artist Bridget Wilkinson can show you how you can create eco-friendly art by using the treasures found on the beach, such as interesting pieces of wood, stones, or other materials. Artist Giselle Denis can teach you how to paint hope, while artist Alberto Diego shows you how to switch with ease between a realistic approach and a more surrealistic style. And if you are looking for something to spark inside you a sense of wonder, I encourage you to discover the the enchanted world of Natacha Chohra’s art.
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