MEET THE MAKER – HANNA WENDELBO
You have a long history from the plant world, tell us about your infatuation, where did it start and why plants?
Well, I guess that I have always found energy and inspiration in nature for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a little summer village by the seaside in the south part of Sweden. Being surrounded by nature was so natural and going on walks was one of the main attractions in the village.
When I went to art and design school I was constantly moving around and I couldn’t even keep a plant, nor did I take walks in nature during that period. The source of inspiration was always flowers or trees or what your eyes could spot outside the windows in the city.
After my studies I started to work as a wallpaper designer at Sandberg Wallpaper. With that I could afford my own apartment and I started in a small humble scale, my own home in the city of course with a balcony.
My longing for a house and a piece of the earth where I could be more creative with all the green stuff was growing strong in my heart. My husband, then working as a bartender and DJ, was not really on the same train back then, one could say.
Ten years ago we moved in to our completely new uncharming but practical house. The house was placed in an old horse field with 40 other houses looking kind of the same.
We had a house on a muddy ground and started to make a garden out of that land, as good as we could with two small children in the family. During those years, and another kid in the family, I have learned a lot.
If something doesn’t work out one year, you get another chance the next year. I love to grow annuals, which means that the garden can change completely from one year to another.
How come flower mandalas, what is the story behind?
It started as a relaxation after work, a play with my creativity without having the demand of thinking about target groups or the right color for the season. There isn’t really any difference in making 2D or 3D work. It’s all a matter of creativity, and thinking about colours and shapes.
I guessed it moved into a necessary mindfulness practice for me. Now it is kind of part of my daily routine and it makes me think about patterns, colours and shapes in another kind of way.
What does mandalas and flower mandalas represent to you?
Tricky question. When I make them I try not to think about the finished result, I just go with the flow and see what turns out. Some of my most liked pics on Instagram are not the ones I like the most, so I try to not to put to much thinking in the process, just the making.
What does your happy place look like?
Sunshine and a cup of coffee, new nail polish and a nice floral dress, good music. That’s what my happy place looks like.
I love to contribute to the mankind here on earth where I try to make my part of it little more beautiful and better.
My craft space is messy and full of all kinds of projects. I’m trying to put everything away in the afternoon in a cupboard and then when the kids are a sleep I´ll take out some thing again.
What are your 3 go to places for inspiration?
I love to listen to different podcasts, one of my favourite is Stil Radio P1.
This year my goal is to start reading again. I’m trying to read 10 minutes every day. I love biographies where I can learn things for example the Ikea book about Ingegärd Råman. I´m also reading the book Skillnadens Trädgård by Sara Bäckmo. Other than that, I´m deeply involved in some charity projects and I’m a football coach so that kind of literature weighs heavy on my side of the bed.
I love to listen music when I work. I guess my music taste doesn’t fit my age but when I work alone I love to listen to deep house it keeps me concentrated on the goal.
Whats your next step?
I will develop a new series of prints with angel wings. I’m also working on some new pattern that could work on textiles or wallpapers. I would also love to work with glass or ceramics, I’m curious about what the future will bring!
If I would like to try making flower mandalas what’s your advice?
Be brave, don’t judge your self or the result, just make. The inspiration comes when you start working and one idea will lead to another!
Thank you Hanna for this interview. Your work is stunning and so inspiring. We promise to make lots of mandalas in the nearby future!
//Stina & The Craft Lab Team