My Parents, Sharon and Myself
"Christmas in July dinner 2010
Sharon my better half
Pictures from our recent New Years Eve cruise
Below is a introduction written for the Machine Embroidery Magazine. 2009
Glenn Harris began to learn the art of digitizing embroidery designs in the early 1980's and since then has become a very successful and famous digitizer right around the world. He has an extensive range of designs and a wide repertoire of subjects. It all began because his family owned a manufacturing clothing company, and it was a natural extension of that process to offer embroidery embellishments. These lines mainly went directly into businesses or sporting clubs with specialty logos or other defining artwork. Glenn was asked by his father to learn the basics of digitizing, as a practical element of marketing their products and right from the very beginning he learned to love the art and creation of digitizing. Being self-taught, and spending up to 50 hours a week doing this work in his passionate approach he created some detailed exact designs. In this commercial environment he used a top brand, commercial digitizing software and he had at his disposal two multi-head (12 and 4) and a single head machine. So when the factory closed for the night he made use of this to experiment with his personal designs and, of course, he also did his own sew outs.
Having discovered that he liked giving birth to a new creation whereby he basically produced something from nothing he became more and more engrossed with the art. He found that he had a particular fondness for satin stitch designing right from the start and it was not until much later, around 2005, that he moved into designs without outlines which are very popular at the present time.
On his very first digitizing day, with his first project, Glenn chose to digitize a swan which was possibly indicative of his love of all birds, animals and wild life. His first design collection was ‘Farm Animals’ which also reflects this interest in nature. In fact his current design list includes wonderful furry animals and fabulous feathered birds showing exquisite attention to the textures of these difficult to digitize media – plumage and delicate hair. Glenn’s love of nature also reveals itself in another area which is equally difficult to capture, that of delicate flowers and foliage.
Glenn is inspired to create his designs from a wide range of artwork and photographs. Right from the start he has made a point of using Aussie artists but now has many other designers, photographers and artists around the world who provide him with the basic ingredient: the picture. Some of these are the artists own choice, but many designs are ‘provided to order’ for when Glenn comes up with some inspiring thought, there is sure to be a designer or photographer who he knows can fulfill that particular criteria. One day he asked one of his designers, Sue Bellamy, to draw a teapot with windows and a front door: “she knows how that I can come up with some loopy ideas, but the designs are popular”! He also uses some stunning work by Pat Margetts who is another accomplished Australian artist – there is obviously really good empathy between them all. Flipping through his library there are also very many interesting mono/single colour designs and for these Glenn asks the artist for a lot more detail of the subject to be included. He also has small neat designs and quite large ‘pictures’ and he states that he does not have any preference here, he can look at a picture and see the end design! “If it inspires me, then I want to turn it into embroidery”.
It is obvious that Glenn has greatly expanded out his collections from those days of the clothing company. His Dad retired in 2001 at which time Glenn went into business for himself and started selling small sets of embroidery designs on line in 2002. In 2005 he started selling collections on CDs and he now has over 20,000 embroidery designs and these can now be found on his own website. Glenn also sells his embroidery collections in selected stores across Australia and internationally as well. ‘Home’ for Glenn and his partner Sharon is in Brisbane, Queensland, where they live with two charming pets, a lovely white, lithesome cat and an inquisitive, tiny black and white dog with curly fur – very different characters. Many devotees of Glenn’s digitizing skills will recognize the cat which he first portrayed in embroidery in 2006 and is now well known in embroidery circles. Sharon and Glenn make a great team with Sharon doing the ‘business’ side of sales, dispatch and customer liaison (fantastic 'same day' delivery/posting “for we pride ourselves in getting the orders out straight away!”) which includes the popular and regular newsletter. With clients in approximately 113 countries Sharon is kept VERY busy.
Glenn is usually up at 6 a.m., starts the day with a 20 minute workout and then a 40 minute brisk walk. After this he turns on the PC and will work solidly during the day until around 5 p.m. In the evening he will usually do sprodic work until about 10 p.m. He possibly would not call himself a work-a-holic, but he is certainly dedicated and enjoys he creativity. Importantly he does all his own work. Unlike some other digitizers and designers he does not have assistants or a team of digitizers at his beck and call. Every stitch created is created by him and he stresses that he would consider it an insult to his thousands of customers (he calls them friends) by offering them someone else's work under his own name.
Today Glenn travels extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand. He enjoys travel, attending Shows where he meets his loyal customers, and he is always on the look out for new artists too. He finds it a great way to meet those who are using his designs and to gain ideas on what they would like to see him do as well, of course, from the sights he sees whilst traveling as well. He also visits and supports the shops and stores that sell his ‘Outback Australia’ products. Along with the CDs of embroidery designs he has a range of his own 100% Rayon Embroidery Thread, which is of a superior quality and in beautiful colours. This is a perfect complement to the Glenn Harris designs and is recommended for excellent results and naturally all the samples shown, photographed and on line are, of course, stitched with this thread.
Glenn is a passionate Australian who is inspired by the wonderful Australian countryside and way of life. His latest project is his ‘First Fleet’ collection which is something that he has always wanted to do “more Aussie designs”. He also has a new Australiana collection which will surely interest many people in Australia and abroad together with the hundreds of visitors to Australia who are keen embroiderers and who might wish to take home a lasting souvenir. He is a great ambassador for this great nation of ours bringing Australian designs to embroiderers around the globe.
Glenn Harris email@example.com
P O Box 263,
Phone 07 3865 1937