Anita Russell


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I was born and bred in the Netherlands and came to Australia in my twenties. My dad was a “kleermaker” (tailor) and my mum had a passion for sewing, knitting and painting, so creativity is in my blood. I have an insatiable desire for making beautiful and practical objects.

I am mainly self-taught, but have learned a lot from various courses, workshops and the Internet. My studio is at home in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

In the 1990’s I started selling my crafts in markets and shops. I have also conducted a number of workshops in making paper-bead jewellery and rope baskets. I enjoy working with natural materials like wool, cotton, leather and paper, and I will upcycle thrift-shop finds whenever I can (I can spot a good quality zip from a mile away!). Adding the fine details is my greatest joy; it is what gives my work that personal touch and finished look.

I have enjoyed making bags for a long time and I am currently working with sturdy cotton canvas that I dye and print myself. Combined with leather the bags are long-lasting and full of character.

A recent visit to a craft market inspired me to make rope baskets. I stitch them on my sewing machine and love seeing them take shape.

The rope is made from unbleached cotton and I treat all finished baskets with a fabric protector. 

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