1 Jun 2008

Artisan of the week, Hannah of ArliaFlower.

Morning all! Today's artisan of the week is a lady whose talents keep on growing and evolving all the time. She has a great eye for colour and seems to be able to turn her hand to many crafts and have them all turn out beautifully. I first came across Arlia's work from a link on a forum to her shop on Etsy. Back then the shop mainly had beautiful tams and beaded hemp work in it. Now there is so much more...

1.Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?

My name is Hannah Marie, although known by most people as Arlia or Flower which is where my shop name ArliaFlower came from. I have specialized in crochet dreadlock tams and headbands for about 3 years and have began to create a variety of my handmade jewellery and clothing for the world to share too. Although I began as a die hard fine artist I began to learn some other skills through meeting people and travelling but I wouldn't change it for the world, as it naturally went that way. I have a passion for traditional costume, handmade fabrics (batiks, block prints, tie dyes etc) natural fibres and recycling.I Also find travelling very influential in my pieces and like to collect locally made materials in the places that I encounter. I would say that the things that inspire me the most are travel, sound, music, Africa ( in a big way because my father grew up in East Africa ) and father God who gives me creativity and the energy to make with my hands.

2.What led you to take up your craft?
My fathers family were very creative. My dad was a carpenter and I would often go to his workshop with him when I was a child, and my auntie is an artist and also works with ceramics. Although I didn't see either of them for much of my life I believe it is a passion that I absorbed from them at a young age. I was always quite creative as a child, making collages out of junk mail and sweet wrappers glued together with toothpaste, and creating theatrical looking dresses from my mum's favourite burgundy bed sheet - which I got smack for when she found out. I studies art all through college experimenting with a wide variety of materials and techniques, although at the time my heart was set on fine art. It wasn't until I finished college that I really started to develop my own skills in both painting and textiles. I hit a financial difficulty in this chapter of my life and quickly realized that painting was not going to make me money quickly, as much as I loved it I had to find something that could support me too.
So I bought items from the 50p rail in charity shops and customized them with buttons and colourful threads and started to sell them for a little bit extra. I continued to do this for about a year and discovered that I had the ability to sell my own work. It was that which fuelled me into creating more things to sell, I believe that even though that chapter of my life was hard, I learnt some important things about myself as an artist. One of those things was that I was desperate for travel. I'm happy to say that I fulfilled my dream to travel and have painted in some really amazing places that have greatly influenced my work in painting and textiles.

3.Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
Travelling different countries and going to the bead and fabric markets and watching the local men and women do their craft in the street. It always inspires me to do something new when I get home. I also love it when I do a custom order and the person receives it and it has made their day, nothing beats that feeling for me.

4.Which part do you find hardest?
Staying organized with my time, I find this takes the most effort for me. sometimes I have to give myself a slap to make sure I keep in line! Sometimes I want to make EVERYTHING all at once, but I'm learning to prioritize.

5.Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
I hope to have moved on from Etsy and have my own website up and running. I would also love to do a few summer festivals and markets and also travel to somewhere I haven't been yet to see what fabrics they have that we don't have over here.

6.What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Don't undervalue your work, seriously It is so important to value the time effort and money put into a creation. I used to think that I had to lower my price to get sales, until someone pointed out that I should value my creations much more and that people will still buy it because they can see the love care and hard work in making it.

7.Name other artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
Oh there are so many.

This lady makes gorgeous African inspired wire wrap jewellery, she also has a wedding range that is particularly gorgeous

This person makes recycles sari silk and banana fibre yarn in India. I often use his yarns and they are one of my favourites.

I have a few pieces from this fantastic lady who makes crochet accessories and clothing

This woman makes the best tie dye yoga pants, they are the most comfortable things to live in.

I also love the barefoot sandals and waist beads that this women makes

8.What is your favourite sandwich filling?
I don't really eat a lot of sandwiches, but I guess it would be anything with some cheese in it I love cheese.

Thank you for joining in Arlia with our blog!

One of the main reasons I keep going back to Arlia's shop is that it is always changing. Arlia always, it seems to me, to be searching for new idea's, materials and influences from around the world and it keeps her work looking fresh and exciting. She also has a love of using natural fibres and colours and I adore the way she puts them all together. If you were ever to hear her talk about fabrics, you would know she has a real passion for seeing how it is made and finding out about where the designs come from. She has a way of celebrating the beauty she sees around her by collecting ideas from around the world putting them all into a big pot, stirring them around and pulling out her own take on traditional styles. In short she is one very talented lady. Check out her shop and see what I mean.


  1. What a great interview..She sure does interesting things..Wonderful talent.

  2. Great interview. Loved that coin necklace!

  3. How original she is, love the top in the 1st pic!


  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP