Tell us about yourself.
My name is Meredith C. Bullock and I am the artist and owner of Hazel Wonderland. I live in Ithaca, N.Y., with my lovely husband and two adorable cats. We love to bike, eat local and organic, go to music shows, watch TV, read books, laugh and create.
I’m not always great at talking about myself, so I’ll share a story about from when I was 3 or 4 years old that my mother likes to tell. At night, when all of my paper and crayons were put away, my mother would come tuck me in and say goodnight. Soon after, she would hear soft noises coming from my room. Upon entering, she would discover me laying on the floor, belly down, feet joyfully kicking in the air, nestled by a night light, coloring.
My interest for drawing and creating came early. I commissioned my first calligraphy job when I was 16. I crave the texture and relationship between my hands and materials, so I try to create everything myself.
Apart from creating, what do you do?
When I’m not creating, I travel to weddings for my other business, The Brides Hairstylist. When I’m home, I like to cook and rearrange our house. A lot.
What would be the title of your memoir?
Violets in the Snow. Beginning with my childhood visits to my father’s grave, my mother, two sisters and I would plant violets and other purple flowers in memory of him. Then, as I grew older, my mother began collecting fine china for each of us. My collection was “Violets in the Snow.” The dishes were milk glass with small violet flowers painted on them. They represent a place of love and peace in my heart. Since then, my mother has rewarded me with special treasures of jewelry and dishes all relating to the theme violets in the snow. I have a beautiful vintage hutch full of treasures. I named my first solo art exhibition in honor of our tradition.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am inspired by so many people, places and things; it’s hard to list them all. To name a few: my husband, my family, all of the people that surround my life; beauty, emotion, nature and everything my senses can absorb.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade means there is an original idea, rough sketch, design or item created by hand.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
My first and still constant influence is my mother’s love, support and encouragement. In more recent years, my family – especially my nephews and nieces, and my husband – a very talented musician who inspires to no end.
When did you know you were an artist / maker?
I always knew I was an artist as far back as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I had my first art exhibit that I felt confident calling myself one.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process begins with a sketch book, pencil, eraser, pen and an idea. Once I have a rough draft, I choose my medium: paint, calligraphy pen and ink,watercolor and/or colored pencil, then I create the final draft. Depending on what I’m creating, I may choose to use the final draft; for more detailed items, I scan the final draft for editing. Once the design is complete, I choose my printing technique: silk screen, my glorious ink jet printer my mom gave me, a rubber stamp, letterpress or other technique. Then I print and complete the item. I pride myself on a mission of creating, crafting and packaging all my items by hand and with environmentally friendly materials whenever possible.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
My grandmother. Although I don’t think my grandmother ever had something she would have called a studio, I believe all you need is an idea and a medium. After receiving a handmade gift for Christmas year after year from her, I know she had all she needed. I was even lucky enough to have my grandmother give me her portfolio cases, paints and other awesome, priceless gifts.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I am so grateful– I have dozens! To name my top two handmade possessions: a handmade quilt my grandmother made me and a painting that my nephew Sawyer painted.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I visit my family, read an inspirational book, go outside, journal, visit a museum, go to a music show, talk to a friend, make a friend, meditate and be present as much as possible. That seems to work.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
Happy, healthy and growing as a person, wife, sister, mother, daughter, friend and entrepreneur.
What’s the most important question a couple should ask their wedding vendor?
The most important lesson I have learned as a bride is that a wedding is a reflection of yourself and your love for one another. Make sure you stay true to that — it’s worth every penny, minute and pain.
What’s the most memorable custom item you’ve created for a wedding?
My wedding invitations, because they inspired me to create wedding invitations for others.