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1 July 2014

Blog Gem - Bunny Bosworth

Hello July and hello Blog Gem time! This month I'm over the moon to be interviewing the incredible, creative lady behind Bunny Bosworth! Her work is goooooooorgeous and I want to buy the whole lot! Just look at these beautiful bracelets and necklaces below, aren't they devine! Soooo, wanna know more about the person who creates these? Me too!

Hello there, who be the face behind the blog?
I’m Natalie, or Bunny, and I’m a designer-maker and sometime costumier. I live in Liverpool with my boyfriend and our two cats but I’m originally from East Yorkshire. I came to Liverpool to study Theatre and Performance Design in 2004 and stuck around after graduating, working as a freelance theatre costume designer, scenic assistant and model maker. I’ve been making and designing my own work as Bunny Bosworth since 2010, originally just as a way to a) use up all the fabric I didn’t have space for and b) to keep myself creative while the theatre jobs were thin on the ground. ‘Bunny Bosworth’ is now my passion with the theatrical work taking a back seat. Over the last couple of years I’ve been building my brand and streamlining my range of designs, focussing on my collection of Liberty print knot jewellery. I’ve been getting my designs stocked in different shops across the country, teaching craft workshops and writing my blog, and it seems to be going quite well!
What's your creative space like? 
I have a room to myself in our flat, it’s packed full and getting increasingly harder to move around in. I’m trying to make it a bit more Pinterest worthy, but it’s a work in progress, I just love stuff too much, particularly books.  Having my own space is great as I can leave it in a mess and not worry about it, but it’s also the only room in the flat that doesn’t get any sun so on very nice days I upsticks to our little balcony and work outside. We’re on the second floor of our building, and there’s trees on every side so when the leaves are out it’s like living in a tree house, just green everywhere you look. And when the leaves are bare it’s great for spying on the neighbours…
If you had to take only one art/craft tool to a desert island, what would it be and why? 
A crochet hook. I love crochet but don’t do enough, and it’s such a versatile craft, you don’t need to have a plan, you can just start and see what happens. And I’m sure I could fashion some yarn out of palm leaves and make myself a hammock.
How do you work and get inspired? 
With my knot jewellery I spend ages choosing my prints for that season, it always starts with colour. There’s so many knots and braids so I like to play around with them and see what they lend themselves to, whether it’s necklaces or earrings, if they look good in two or three strands, or if I can combine prints in one piece. I love Liberty fabrics and can spend hours on their website, or when I get the chance wandering round the fabric department in their store, it’s impossible not to be inspired. For this summer I’m going to be playing around with hand dyeing cord as well, combining colours with textures.
When I’m crafting and sewing for myself, or making bags and purses, I tend to get all my fabrics out on my desk and see what goes together. I like surprising combinations, pairing delicate prints with heavy duty fabrics, or using traditional skills and techniques with modern designs. My costume and theatre background is always playing a part, I love historical dress and particularly surface decoration, like braiding and embroidery, that’s where my book addiction comes into play! 
What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog and online shop? 
Jump straight in! With online shops like Etsy you don’t lose anything by trying, and if you don’t get it right to start just keep on tweaking things until you’re happy, you won’t get instant results but there’s always something to learn. Make use of other peoples experience, there are makers who can give you tips, and seller forums full of great advice, just take the time to look at what works for other people and make it work for you. Product photography is a big part of it, but it doesn’t have to be complicated, I’ve done shots on my phone before and know plenty of people who do too. Make the most of what you’ve got and don’t worry too much.
I’m a bit hit and miss with my blogging, but I find it easier to do the busier I am. Getting out and about is great for ideas, and images are so important for craft blogging so keep taking photos! I like to share the things that interest me, like exhibitions or other work I’m inspired by. As a general rule if you’re passionate about it other people will be too.
Is there a story behind the name 'Bunny Bosworth'?
Yes, it’s something a few of my friends from university call me. We all had alternate identities within an imaginary country club (I can’t even begin to explain how that came about); Bunny, Fifi, Minky, Binky, Muffy and Dickie, mine was the only one that stuck. It’s interesting for me because people get such different ideas of what I’m like when they hear the name, I’ve been told it’s like the name of a WW2 fighter pilot, a burlesque star or a tweedy old lady!
If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people and/or fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you choose? 
Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire. She was the youngest of the famous Mitford Sisters and always seemed the most likeable, I’d be fascinated to hear more about her family and her life at Chatsworth.
Barbara Hulanicki, the creator of Biba. I read her autobiography not long ago and it was incredibly inspiring. The store is legendary and her creativity and determination had such a huge part to play, I think I could learn a lot from her.
Lucy Worsley, because I love her documentaries and she seems like a thoroughly good egg.
Bernard Black, from Black Books, for entertainment value, and he’d be sure to bring the booze.
And finally Paul Lowe, aka Sweet Paul, the Norwegian food stylist, crafter and blogger. I love his approach to all things food and craft, incredibly simple to do but totally stylish, and he seems so full of love for what he does. I’m also hugely jealous that he lives in Brooklyn so I’d be asking him all about that!
And finally...book & tea or film & wine?
That’s the hardest question of them all! Can I be greedy and have both? But wine with a good book by Margaret Atwood or Michael Chabon, and a cup of tea with a nice Wes Anderson film, that would be perfect. 

Thank you so much, Natalie! It's been absolutely wonderful hearing all about your creative world! I couldn't agree more about just starting an online shop and blogging. Your tree top balcony sounds fabulous! A great place to sit and read one of those gorgeous books and be inspired! 
I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem! Stay tuned for more!


All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Natalie at Bunny Bosworth. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.

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