This week we’re hearing from jewellery designer, and fibre artist Hanna Woolley.

on parenting and creativity

 

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Hanna’s work reflects the beauty of the Tasmanian landscape, as well as her bright and vibrant personality. That’s what makes it so unique and so very appealing.

It’s particularly special to me because of the rings she made for SJ and I. They are not the only Nanna Woo originals we’re proud to own, but they’re certainly the most precious.

 

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Landscape…

 

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… to art.

 

Who are you?

Hanna Woolley – mum and wife first, then Nanna Woo Handmade.

 

How would you describe your craft?

It is an exploration of textures, colours and experimenting!

 

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Colours and textures

 

Has your creative process and practise changed since becoming a parent? If so, how?

It has become more and more exciting! I was first shown how to felt when Felix was only 4 months old, and I made him a bright blue hippy elf vest. From there I experimented with more and more fibres and then introduced polymer clay, recycled patchwork cards and now it just keeps growing! The more creative and enticing I can make things, the more I am able to keep from going out and finding a “proper” job.

 

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Making felt

 

Do your kids inspire your work? If so, how?

They inspire me to work hard so I can remain a full-time stay at home mum and be here for them.

 

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Worth staying home for

 

Do you include your kids in your creative practise? If so, how?

Most of what I do I can involve them. The main thing I love doing with them is the wet-felting. Its so tactile and wet and soapy and they really get into it. When I am using polymer clay I give them bits of what I am using and after I’ve baked my earrings, I often find little treasures with fingerprints all over them amongst my creations.

 

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You get to help make them, and then you get to wear them!

How do you think the way you were parented influenced your career choice, and your creative interests?

Mum was often knitting and got into quilting when I was in primary school. She was always at home when we got home from school and I would love to be that sort of mum to my kids. My dad is an actor and has spent most of his life pursuing his career and when I have wanted to give up on being a full-time artisan he is one of the few people I turn to as he really believes I can make it work.

 

What do you do to encourage creativity in your own children?

Allow them to get dirty, and never try to influence them to choose what colours to use or ask them too much about their work. I love seeing them get lost in what they are doing and give them the time to share with me what they’ve made. We have boxes of oil pastels, paper and pencils within reach so they have the freedom to drawn whenever they want. We love to cook together too.

 

How do you make time for your craft? What strategies do you use to ensure that you get shit done?

Our community is really fortunate to have a brilliant child care facility. So I use them 1-2 days per week and when they are there I work madly at home. I work late into the night after they are in bed (like until 9pm – so late!). But my main strategy to get shit done is to try my hardest to avoid housework.

 

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Some of Hanna’s beautiful earrings

 

What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling completely tapped out?

Tools down and bring myself back to being 100% present with my family.  Also getting lost in a good book helps immensely!

 

Hanna has a website and an Etsy store. You can also find her on Instagram, and twitter.

All the photos in this post are Hanna’s.

 

Other posts in this series

Kate Whitfield

Mat Larkin

Penni Russon

Talia Carbis