Today, I’m delighted to feature an interview with textile artist Sandra Hardy, together with examples of her beautiful floral-inspired work.
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I’ve taught, exhibited and written about textiles for many years. But it was only since moving to Cornwall just over three years ago that I’ve seriously started making textile items to sell.
When we moved to St.Ives, we had extensive building work done, part of which was the construction of my studio. So at last I not only have all my materials and equipment in one place, but space to work too.
Could you tell us about your floral-inspired product range?
I’m currently making textile items for both interiors and fashion.
There are screen printed & stitched cushions, throws/quilts, tea & cafetiere cosies, corsages and cards, together with embroidery jackets.
I love mixing imagery & techniques wherever possible, especially text & flowers, screen printing & free machine embroidery.
Where do you get floral inspiration for your designs?
My garden is a good source of inspiration, as well as walking along the coastal path and into the countryside. In addition, I relish the opportunity to visit exhibitions and be inspired by other artists’ work.
I usually start by drawing specific flowers and then with the help of photographs spend time simplifying the images, and creating them into the patterns and form that I want for the project I’m working on.
Could you tell us more about the courses you run?
I’ve just finished teaching ‘Machine Embroidery Made Easy’ workshops as part of the Cornwall Open Studio scheme.
As a City & Guilds tutor I’ve taught nearly every textile technique from dyeing, batik & printing to hand & machine embroidery.
However, at present, I’m teaching short courses or one day workshops, so that I can focus on ‘making’.
All future courses and workshops will be detailed on my website.
What are your plans for 2012?
I have several design craft events booked for the rest of the year, especially in the run up to Christmas, and for these I’ve plans for new designs based on poppies and sea thrift.
I’m really enjoying my routine of spending time in my studio designing & stitching, then attending a craft event and meeting and talking to so many nice people, both visitors and fellow exhibitors.
Do you have favourite flower?
That’s a difficult question as it’s changed over the years. I used to love freesias, especially the perfume and still do, but for the last few years agapanthus would have to be my choice.
The intensity of the blue colours as well as the range from white to purple is stunning. They’re especially abundant in Cornwall because of the milder climate, and when you come across a whole field where they’re growing, it’s breath-taking.
Many thanks to Sandra for all her help in putting together today’s blog post.
P.S. Sandra’s daughter is artist Charlotte Hardy, who I featured on Flowerona last year.
(Images : Sandra Hardy)