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Designer of the Month: Meet Barbara Hilary-Taylor!

November 12, 2010

(Bumping this up)

Hi all, and welcome to this month’s edition of Designer of the Month!

I am very happy to bring to these pages a dear friend, whom I’ve known for several years, Barbara Hilary-Taylor.  I first met Barbara on one of the yahoo groups for parchment crafting that I participated in. I have been lucky enough to receive several cards from her that are truly beautiful! The border in the featured photo is one of her patterns. So, without further adieu, I bring you Barbara.

CEP: Barbara, welcome to Designer of the Month. I know you have been around parchment crafting for a while. How did you first get started in this beautiful art?

Barbara Hilary-Taylor: Thank you Chiara for your welcome and for the opportunity to tell you a little about myself and how I came into this craft.  Well one night ooh about 15 or 16 years ago I saw a small five minute advertisement for the craft on a life style programme on television.  Harvey, my husband said “you would like doing that” and at the same time my mother was visiting my sister and they saw the same programme and my mother said to my sister “Barbara would like that!”

The next day I went to our local craft store and they had no idea of what I was talking about, and after days of fruitless searching still  could not find anyone who had even heard about the craft.  So then I rang a store in another State and yes they stocked Pergamano.  I said to the lass to make me up a parcel with the basic tools, vellum and books which she thought I needed to teach myself.  A few days later this great parcel arrived, and Harvey lost me to my craft room where I tried to make head or tail of what I was supposed to do.  After about a week of ‘playing’ it started to click and made my first bookmark.  The books I used were written by Janet Wilson, and I found them easy to follow and it wasn’t long before I had made all the patterns in those two books.  By this time I was utterly and hopelessly lost in the craft.  Everything else in my craft room was neglected and after a year or two, most of the sewing and knitting things were donated to charity and I was as happy as a duck in a puddle with my parchment.

CEP: You’ve been designing patterns for a number of years. Was there any defining moment or event that lead you to start designing patterns?

BHT: I came into making my own patterns after being inspired by Carla Prediger and her patterns.  I had purchased several of Carla’s packs and enjoyed her style of lace work.  From there it was an easy transition into designing my own lace designs.  It was frustrating for me at times not to find the border needed for a particular card, so picked up some graph paper and started out on my journey of ‘little black dots’.  It was with delight to transfer those black dots into patterns, and then realize that I could make my own packs.  It was a challenge, and I’m always up for a challenge, and just loved the challenge of creating something new.

CEP: Quite a few of my readers like to know about inspiration, so I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t ask you where do you find your inspiration for your designs. Are there any particular artists or art styles that have inspired you?

BHT: Now this is a good question, as to be totally honest, no other parcher does inspire me to a particular design.  Well maybe Anneke Oostmeijer and her Brazilian work – her white work calls out to me, and white work is what I love doing most of all.  Above all I love stippling. embossing and cut work.  Stippling for the solid white raised finish it gives. And what can one say about lace that is beautifully done.  Some of the lace work I see is absolutely awesome. A couple of my packs have oriental designs, and that comes from a love of the orient.  Several designs for the center of cards were done by my late step father who was an artist.  He despaired trying to teach me to paint and after years gave up, and knowing that I am hopeless at painting no longer really try.  As I said I really do love white work, especially fine embossing.

CEP: What has given you the most pleasure in parchment crafting?

BHT: My greatest pleasure in parchment crafting is seeing the expressions on peoples faces when they receive a card, or a fan, or some piece that has been made especially for them.  Another pleasure is seeing a blind person feel the card with all its different textures and know that they are seeing something in their minds eye that is beautiful.

CEP: If there was one thing in parchment crafting that you would most love to do but haven’t done, what would that be?

BHT: Probably learn to paint!  I have a couple of B3 (double A4 size) projects that I would like to do, but finding the time to spend countless hours on them is the problem.  I’m actually happy with what I have achieved and just strive to be better at what I do.  There is always something new that comes out and one has the challenge of perfecting the new method.  This is an ever evolving craft and one never ceases to learn from it.  One thing I have learnt is patience – infinite patience!

Thank you, Barbara, for joining us among these pages and taking time out to answer my questions. What a fabulous idea to share a parchment card with a blind person! It still amazes me to be able to create so many textures in a parchment craft project. Do take a look at Barbara’s patterns, which are sold by Regal Crafts in Australia.

Thank you all for stopping by today! I hope you have enjoyed this months edition of DotM!

  1. Sang Penjelajah Malam permalink
    November 10, 2010 6:07 am


  2. Nelly permalink
    November 10, 2010 6:29 am

    Hi Barbara and Chiara,
    Thank you for telling us how you did start with this wonderful craft. It’s like most of us, I think, in that time when it’s came up again in the world after some centuries of sleep.
    Like me, I saw a card in 1991 at a friends place and she didn’t know what it was and neither did I, so she called that friend to ask her about the card. And that’s the moment my parchment world start… you, Barbara, first self tryings and because here in the Netherlands, Martha was close by and when she start teachers courses, I was one of the first……….
    I love your patterns Barbara and just like you, I love white work above coloured work, and as you say, paintwork is difficult, but a lot of patience will help and of course the magic word for parchment: PRACTICING!!!
    Barbara, it was nice to meet you here and thank you Chiara for the oppertunity to meet designers here.
    Hugs, Nelly

  3. SueJ permalink
    November 10, 2010 7:15 am

    Lovely interview. I always admire someone who is self taught, very inspiring.

  4. November 10, 2010 7:59 am

    Welcome aboard, Barbara!! Thanks Chiara for yet another wonderful insight to the world of parchment craft designers. I’m finding it’s quite amazing to learn just how many have been ‘self taught’ and look at them now.

    Barbara, I have two people in my extended family who are legally blind and I am definitely going to be sending special Christmas cards to them this year so they can ‘see’ them through touch. I really feel quite silly for not ever thinking they could/would enjoy receiving a parchment craft gift just as much as anyone else would. Thanks for the reminder that we all enjoy the same things…..just in different ways!!

    Thanks again, Chiara AND Barbara for a lovely read and for new inspiration.

  5. November 10, 2010 10:15 pm

    A wonderful interview Chiara! It’s inspiring to hear how many are self-taught! Thank you for providing the links to Barbara’s work so that we can go admire it. Hugs, Jerri

  6. dorita permalink
    November 11, 2010 2:48 pm

    I truly enjoyed reading that interview! I’m happy to know that Bee is OK and keeps doing her beautiful work. I was missing her.
    Thank you, Chiara!

  7. November 11, 2010 6:43 pm

    Thanks Chiara and Barbara for a great interview. I’ll have to jump on over and look at Barbara’s designs now!

    • November 11, 2010 6:59 pm

      Robyn, you won’t be disappointed.

  8. Barbara Hilary-Taylor permalink
    November 12, 2010 9:01 pm

    Thank you Chiara for giving me the opportunity to have my say about this craft and how I came into it.

    Thank you also to the ladies who have commented – it’s such a pleasure to read the thoughts of others. If anyone ever needs help with my patterns – just ask.

    This is such a great idea of Chiara’s – I love the concept of learning about how others too came into this craft – and became addicted.

    Cheers Barbara

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