Friday, August 24, 2012

An Interview with...Julia Bryant

Once a week I post interviews with interesting designers about their insights on their experience of working in the knitting industry. I’ve noticed that every designer makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the knitting world.  

You can find Julia here on Ravelry and her website is here.

Where do you find inspiration?   
In the world around me. Colour and design is everywhere - a piece of fabric, a painting, books, museums, traveling to other countries. Morocco has been a huge influence on my work.

I know you do volunteer work at the Textile Museum of Canada, has that changed your design work in any way? 

I am seeing and learning new things every time there. Looking at story quilts inspired me to include some of my life's personal joys in a recent project.

What is your favourite crochet technique?   
Tunisian crochet of course!  To me it is the perfect medium for the use of colour and design.  Also, adding beads and bobbles provides another wonderful dimension.

Please tell us a little about your focus on Tunisian crochet and how that came about?
It all started with a pattern for an afghan I saw in a Woman.s Day Magazine over 30 years ago.  There was this fabulous stained glass piece that sent me running to my stash and I literally got hooked.  When I had completed the afghan I felt it was too nice to put on my bed so turned it into a poncho that I still have to this day. I then wanted to make more garments in this technique, but found there were not patterns available. I have no training in fashion or design, but over the years learnt more and more, and the learning curve is far from over.  Wall hangings have also become part of my repertoire.
Do you look at other designers' work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs? 
I am fascinated by what other people are doing.

How many sample/test crocheters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself? 
I work solo.  Not many people do the inlay colour technique, so I am more or less on my own.

Do you have a mentor?   
No, I have mentored many people and love to teach. 

What impact has the Internet had on your business?  
I have made many connections around the world.  The internet facilitated me arranging craft trips to Morocco. The internet is a constant source of information.

Do you use a tech editor?

How do you maintain your life/work balance?  

Though I am retired I have a full and busy life and my crafts are an essential part of every day.

How do you deal with criticism?  
Haven't really run into much.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?   
I do not support myself with my textile art.  If I did it would take away the pleasure.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in crochet?  
Do not feel I am qualified to answer this, but always follow your passion.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen many of Julia's beautiful projects over the years and took one class with her quite a few years ago. You have to see her work up close to appreciate it even more than in these great photos. It is magnificent. Thanks for highlighting this wonderful work. Anyone who wants to try Tunisian will definitely learn a lot from Julia.