Meet the Maker: Hannah Read-Baldrey
Hannah Read-Baldrey is a successful stylist with 15 years experience and counting, as well as a well known craft author and presenter, selling over 150,000 books worldwide.
She has a broad skill set ranging from still life and props, to food and fashion, to illustration and product design. Her beautiful, romantic style is what distinguishes her work. Over the years she has styled for high profile clients such as John Lewis, Cath Kidston, Boden, Reiss, Elle and Vogue.
Hannah has proved to be a hugely popular craft and baking writer, having published 3 books titled ‘Everything Alice’, Everything Oz’, and ‘Girls’ Night In’, with the most beautiful yet ‘FlowerBomb!’ on the way in February 2018. She also has produced stationary and craft kit ranges with John Lewis, Quadrille Books and Selfie Clothing.
Hannah has also been working as a presenter for the last 8 years with brands such as HobbyCraft, Tesco Living, Red Magazine and VideoJug. Through this experience she has now taken on the coveted title of the QVC Craft Ambassador, where she endorses the products and kits of other crafters. Recently Hannah has been made UK Ambassador for craft giant Ellison as a representative of their brand Sizzix.
How did you get into crafting?
I have been crafting since I can remember, my mother was a primary school teacher and so sticking and gluing were always a staple in my home!
What was the first craft item you can remember making?
I used to love making Venetian glass style Fimo beads – very 80s! To do this you would roll out the Fimo like Brighton Rock and slice it to then form it around a bead shape.
Have you ever had any crafting disasters- if so, what were they?
Oh many, but they are all about learning. I find that when creating a totally new project its often about trial and error.
Describe your inspirations and how they inform the aesthetic of your work:
I’m inspired by so many things, from a fashion show to a ceramics collation, an art gallery to the season of the year. I think the important thing is to keep adding input. As creative people we are always giving out ideas, but sometimes you have to stop and put something new into your imagination!
Are there any projects you are particularly proud of?
I am hugely proud of my latest book FlowerBomb! 25 Crafts to Blow Your Blossoms’, which will be published in February 2018 by Pavilion Books. It took me almost a year to complete, and each project feels like a work of art. I illustrated the book with watercolour florals which I really think bring it to life!
What upcoming trends do you think we should be looking out for in 2018?
Florals and FlowerBombing!
How did you get started as a stylist?
I trained on the Theatre Design Degree at Central St Martins. After that I spent a year trying to get paid assisting work, doing work experience on shows such as Blue Peter! Then I finally began as an assistant and worked on TV commercials. I loved making handmade props, which lent its self to more alternative Fashion Magazines, so I began to work on Dazed and Confused Korea and Vogue shoots. I have been lucky to have a varied carrier and now work mainly in advertising.
How do you tackle a new creative brief?
Each is different. You need to be logical, creative thinking, and willing to drive around a bit!
Which of your styling projects are you most proud of?
I loved the shoot I did for Korean Vogue years ago. I also love the images in my book FlowerBomb!
Do you take inspiration from other brands- if so, who?
Yes! Anthropologie, Liberty, Laurdre, Fortnum and Mason.
Who would you love to work with in the future?
All the above, plus I love working with HobbyCraft, of course!
Blogging & Writing
How did you get into writing and blogging?
For years when I was starting out as stylist I used to temp as a Receptionist in the City of London. I got so so bored, so one day I went onto blogger and set up a blog. It literally grew from there!
What topics do you find the most fulfilling to write about?
I love variation, recently I went to a Macramé workshop, which was fun. I love seeing and trying new crafts and craft products, and am always inspired by fashion and interiors.
What advice can you give to people looking to start their own blog or writing projects?
Just start, you will find your voice as you go.
What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to write a baking book which is very exciting, and I’m pregnant so will be a mum for the second time! I also have lots of craft videos up my sleeves, and eventually I would love to set up my own brand.