About Vasnas Designs
No room on your walls? Wear your art!
Owner of Vasnas Designs, bead and textile artist Vana Ford, handmakes art beads from polymer clay and hand dyes a selection of natural fabric, silks, cottons and wool, with both natural and synthetic dyes. You can join a workshop with Vana to explore polymer clay bead making, shibori/bandhani style fabric dyeing, block printing and art/sashiko stitching.
Looking for some fabulous new jewellery or fabric designed and made especially for you? Vana will make it for you after careful consultation and colour matching.
The eclectic selection of silver jewellery, beads, trims and unique textiles available for purchase from Vasnas Designs have all been personally sourced by Vana, a veteran traveller. She also organises fabulous textile tours to India and Indonesia. Why not book in for the next one?
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Biography & Artist Statment
A long time ago, when I finished secondary school, I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer specialising in theatre costume. Life, however, led me along a different path and I became a primary school teacher and further along, a primary school principal. During this time, I became deeply involved in Asian Studies and, driven by a belief that my students, (from small rural communities), needed to know their place in the world in a global sense and not suffer any disadvantage by not experiencing cultural opportunities more readily available in the urban environment, I began my own learning path about Asia.
Studying Indonesian language and culture led me to Java and Lombok where I attended university language centres. I was the recipient of two Indonesian study tours, representing the NSW Education Department. Further opportunity led me to Shanghai and Hanoi where I attended international conferences: Linking Latitudes, again as a NSW representative. All the while, I was learning and teaching about Asian culture with a particular emphasis on the arts.
In 2009 I was the recipient of the prestigious North Coast leadership fellowship and I travelled to India and Vietnam to learn more about Internationalisation of Curriculum in particular in and through the arts. Two articles about my work were published in the ACEL leadership journal.
In 2014, it was time for me to retire from my work as a primary school principal and start my own business – VASNAS DESIGNS – Out of the Ordinary.
Now, I am a bead and textile artist. My art is my story. I am about connecting cultures and so am a lifelong learner of traditional arts and am particularly influenced by Indian, Indonesian and Japanese textile arts and the story art of Australian Aboriginal people. Natural fibres, particularly silk, are my passion. I am bead mad and have been threading since the age of 5. In 2017 I embarked on my own bead making using polymer clay. I love the intricacy of making tiny things and creating jewellery with my own beads makes so much sense! I enjoy matching colours and shapes by linking jewellery and textile designs - dyeing and printing fabrics and scarves goes hand in hand with my bead making.
Northern Exposure: The Glasshouse Regional Gallery Port Macquarie NSW, 2016, 2018
Reflections: Jacaranda House Creative Hub. A collaborative exhibition following the Vasnas Designs textile tour to India, 2017
Connecting Cultures through Textiles: Jacaranda House Creative Hub. Solo exhibition, 2016
Small Works at Sunset: a 6 artist collaborative exhibition, 2018
Drawn from Here: Journalling, Sunset Gallery, 2018