Bella Lane is an Embroidery Artist, Master Peruvian Embroiderer, Embroidery Designer and Creator, Specialist Tutor in Fine Embroidery and World Stitch Collector. Since 2001 she has been collaborator for several rain forest books, and recently she was co-author of ‘First Steps in the Enchanted Forest of Stitches’ an embroidery primer for children and first in a series of elementary stitching books. After several years working with embroidery commissions and teaching, in 2014 she became an International Puppet Costume and Stage Designer.
Bella was born and raised in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon rain forest. Before moving to London, Bella was a very successful business woman in Lima and in Iquitos Peru, running her own directed natural beauty salons where she had the opportunity to work with Iquitos and Lima’s social elite clientele for more than 7 years. From a very young age Bella has been interested in embroidery with a fascination for colours and their use.
Since 1999 Bella has been Amazon adviser for johnlanebooks.com, and has had the opportunity to further explore all corners of the Peruvian rain forest, helping the Author of ‘Iquitos: Gateway to Amazonia’ a specialist travel series book containing detailed indigenous and local information about the wonderful natural world which is the Amazon. After so many years, and with the six editions on the market, Bella feels privileged to be part of this project recording for posterity the wonders of the forest world that she has known for more than 40 years.
Bella visited London for the first time in September 2001 for the launch of best-seller ‘A Very Peruvian Practice’. Soon afterwards she was introduced to the humanitarian assistance world, with the opportunity to work directly on four overseas aid projects. The first appointment was community development in Dodoma, central Tanzania, as a volunteer for British Executive Services Overseas. Her second role was as assistant disaster response co-ordinator for VSO in Pakistan following the major South East Asia Earthquake of 2005, based in emergency tent accommodation in Balakot for six months in the mountains of NorthWest Frontier Province. There she specifically supported the homeless families with clothing and winter warmth, and ran a handicraft training group in which she shared needlework skills with the affected people for income generation and therapy, and organised the provision and distribution of sewing machines for the ladies. The third humanitarian appointment was for a VSO programme of soft toy making in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for small enterprise income generation, successfully helping disadvantaged women achieve economic independence. A further community development aid assignment was undertaken in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
In the summer of 2006 Bella was awarded a full time scholarship as an embroidery Apprentice at the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) in Hampton Court Palace, London. September 2009 Bella completed her three year apprenticeship in the art of hand embroidery graduating with distinction and winning several Prizes for her unique and original embroidery art work. At the RSN she studied all forms of embroidery in depth, including art and design, teaching, restoration and conservation of both contemporary and antique textiles. In this way Bella became a specialist in traditional English hand embroidery, a tutor and author, travelling the world and garnering a richly varied portfolio of embroidery techniques, skills and creative inspiration, also specialising in the entire spectrum of past and present Peruvian embroideries.
Since graduating from the Royal School of Needlework in 2009 Bella has worked for companies in the UK, and for private clients from France, Morocco, the Lebanon, Egypt, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia, Hong Kong, Malta, Serbia, and the USA, and of course with those nearer to home here in London and in Peru. She has also worked with prominent fashion and textile studios in London such as Zandra Rhodes, Hand & Lock, Watts & Co, My Slippers, Tapisserie, Cleverley, Ted Baker, etc.
In Summer 2014 Bella was appointed to be a Puppetry and Andean dance stage designer, embroiderer, restorer, creator and conservationist with josenavarrotheatre.com, working extensively and successfully since that time on all these areas. In January 2016 she was made part of the on stage team, participating in company prize-winning performances world-wide as well as in London and her Peruvian homeland, most recently in the International Festival in Nanchong, China with josenavarrotheatre.com. Her cherished professional ambition is to set up the first embroidery museum in Peru.
In October 2016, thanks to her exceptional and unique Goldwork Embroidery art work, Bella was made the first Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers at Trinity House, London. In July 2017 by invitation she will be touring New Zealand, teaching and sharing her Peruvian hand embroidery expertise with severals NZ regionals embroidery guilds.