Featured artist: Orna Willis, Adorn Atelier

February 22, 2012

I want to introduce you today to the talented Orna Willis,
Orna is a needlepoint artist that was kind enough to answer an interview i prepared for her, hooray !!!
Orna creates  wonderfully ethnic needlepoint designs. 
want to get to know Orna better and join one of her online classes ? you’ll have to read the interview till the end … :)
When did you start doing needlepoint? (excuse my banal questions but i just had to know…)
I started by accident in 1994, when I tagged along with a friend who was going to a needlepoint shop to buy threads.  The threads were hanging off the walls, and spilling out of baskets, like colorful fruit, and I was mesmerized. 
What do you love best about needlepoint?
Since my art training began in painting, I love to experiment with mixing fiber, as if the fibers were water or oil paints.  I love exploring how to get a certain effect from mixing two different threads, what colors and textures can I bring about?
I noticed colors inspire you, am I right? What shades do you love best? Any idea why?
I must say I do not have favorite colors.  I love them all. I may go through phases when I’m in a puke green mood or a watermelon red mood, but all in all I don’t shy away from almost any color.  I have, however, found out that the colors that speak to me most are the ones that don’t have a one-word name; for instance I don’t like blue, but I love metallic/gray blue, or I don’t like orange, but give me a salmon/orange and I’m in heaven.  Colors with one-word names tend to be less sophisticated, and have less depth.  
hmmmm…. love this approach, makes my mind start spinning…
I noticed you do small wearable items as well as really large ones, which kind do you prefer ?
I am always working on several projects at a time.  I usually have one large intricate design I work on and those I publish once or twice a year.  I do love the smaller projects that one can wear and I always look for new ways to display and wear a smaller project.  Designing needlepoint jewelry is a favorite of mine.
I knew it ! (2 point ?)
How did you get into teaching ? and what do you love best about it ?
I began teaching very naturally because I enjoy sharing my knowledge.  Since I am self-taught in needlepoint, I found that there were many things I learned from experience that were not available in regular books about needlepoint.  I never learned “the rules” so I was free to look at things from a fresh point of view.  That’s what I love teaching my students.  The best thing someone can say to me is: “Wow!  I never knew that!”
as if you took the words out of my mouth ! WOW!
Is there a craft you would like to do and never go to?
I would love to learn carpentry. I’m very drawn to understanding how something is put together.  As a child I loved putting together model airplanes because I saw how they came together and how from a big pile of pieces I could make something very precise and beautiful.
I also absolutely love metalsmithing, making jewelry.  It is fascinating to me to see how a piece of jewelry comes together from a flat piece of metal.  Metalsmithing is something I do. Once a year I take an intense one-on-one month long training with a professional jewelry maker and then I put it all aside till the next year.
wow! you make me jealous !!!! im going to add it to the “to dream about” list :)
Do you craft full time? If yes, was it always your occupation?
I craft full time and a half! Brilliant answer :) Years ago, I was a single mother to my eldest daughter and I could not afford to do any crafting as an occupation.  I had to support the two of us and I worked in many different types of jobs.  I am very grateful for this because when I began my own business, I found out that all the skills I learned from the jobs I did in those times, I could now use them in my business.  If it is bookkeeping, marketing, or filing, I use all these skills in my business today.
What inspires you ?
Art! 
Who inspires you ?
Artists.
Does the internet and technology influence your work ?
Oh, the internet and technology, we have a love/hate relationship!  Both influence my work in that I can see so much more of the art world and become acquainted with so many more artists and designers.  Technology is a big asset for my online teaching and publications of my designs.  The downside is that both keep me from creating more, I fight that everyday.

Join Orna for an online class today !



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