The blog of Hannah Robinson, artist, illustrator and graphic designer.

Monday, 24 October 2011

24th October 2011

Interview with Amiee Bowker – Handmade & Heritage
Vintage Upcycled Lavender Cushion
Back on track with Monday interviews, this week: Amiee Bowker with her online shop Handmade & Heritage.  Amiee's  shop is a world of thrifty chic, she upcycles fabrics, paper and found materials into lovely homeware. She likes drawing, making hats, and watching X-men. I wanted to find out more... 

Aimee, tell us a bit about yourself.
Handprinted Bluetit Card

I originally studied Fashion specialising in Millinery and worked for a headwear company as an assistant designer until child care costs and travel expenses forced me to be a stay at home mum. Handmade and Heritage is the culmination of different projects over the years from jewellery making to millinery which also incorporates my love of traditional craft, history and nature. 

How long have you been on Folksy?
I've been a member of Folksy under different guises for a couple of years now but its only in 2011 that i've really started to develop Handmade and Heritage.

So, you started out as a Milliner? How did you get into that and what's it like making hats? Millinery came about as a bit of an accident really. I studied fashion at college with the intention of specialising in costume design however a national competition that the college entered yearly really caught my attention. I loved that you could take a piece of felt or straw and mould and manipulate it into amazing shapes using processes that have not changed for hundreds of years. Each hat to me is a bespoke piece of art and I really enjoy developing designs with sculptural inspiration. Even though my craft has taken a different route now, I still find myself sketching and playing. It's something I could never not to again and the odd commission for family and friends keeps me happy.

What would you say inspires you?
Vintage Cigarette Card Bunting
Anything really could take my eye. It could even be a song or TV programme. Recently I've found inspiration with birds visiting my garden. I sketched everything that passed through and used it to create a whole range of items from prints to embroidery. I constantly read books, trawl the internet for ideas and scour charity shops and car boot sales for vintage finds such a bead or scrap of fabric to spark an interest. In the new year I want to look further into the Biologist and artist Ernst Haekal who illustrated hundreds of species of animals and plants, I think his illustrations would translate well into my style of work. 

Where does your passion for handmade stem from?

Origami Bracelet
My family. My father is an artist and my mother has sewing and knitting skills I could only dream of achieving. I was brought up making and drawing and also creating something out of nothing! My parents have taught me so much over the years not just practically but also to widen my knowledge of art, craft and culture by taking me to galleries and museums. In fact a lot of my family are talented makers, crafters and artists we all seem to work with our hands!

And finally... favourite Saturday morning cartoon whilst growing up?
Over the years I've had many Care Bears, Beauty and the Beast, Fraggle Rock (my nickname is Fraggle) spring to mind. I have to say my favourite that I could still watch now is X-Men. I love it and always wanted to be Rogue. In fact I have a little section dedicated to X-Men on Pinterest featuring images and crazy ways to make Wolverine's claws!

Partridge Christmas Gift Wrap
Thanks Amiee for being interviewed. That just leaves me to showcase one of my favourite items: this Partridge gift wrap, and to encourage you to check out Handmade & Heritage for yourself. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I love the wrapping paper... and X men! A great interview, as ever.