Natalie Richards was born in California, and currently lives there with her husband and daughter. Her love for textiles began at an early age; she always enjoyed looking through the assortments of fabric remnants at her grandparent's upholstery shop, and would leave with armfuls of remnants and small coin purses sewn by her grandmother (the seamstress for the family business). With the aid of an embroidery kit, Natalie taught herself to embroider around the age of 10, and was making her own designs by the age of 12. Her interest in art, particularly pencil and pen & ink drawings, continued throughout school, where she received several awards for judged exhibitions. She went on to receive a degree in Fine Arts; but uncertain of what particular discipline of art she wanted to focus in, she continued on with other interests and received her BA in Environmental Science from the University of California - Riverside.
A few years later during a furniture shopping trip, she came across an Arts & Crafts style bookcase; it was love at first sight. She had never followed trendy decorating fads (the thought of spending money on furniture and textiles that would date themselves in a few years was not appealing); thus she became fully emerged in all things Arts & Crafts - particularly textiles of the period. She began making curtains, table linens and drawing her own designs. Her husband encouraged her to begin selling the textiles. She listed placemats on an auction site, and before long was receiving requests for additional textiles. Her table linens were soon in private collections across the nation. She then listed an Arts & Crafts runner; the successful bidder (upon receiving the runner) commissioned her to create curtains for a Craftsman home in Pasadena, California. A showroom specializing in Arts & Crafts décor also saw the curtains, and encouraged her to bring in some completed items for consignment.
Once Natalie finalized her designs and completed text for embroidery kits, stitch instructions, and a catalog of services, she submitted her work to the Roycrofters At Large Association for review. She was conferred use of the Roycroft Renaissance mark, and currently holds the designation of Roycroft Renaissance Artisan. Natalie is honored to be a part of a group that is dedicated to promoting high quality craftsmanship in handcrafted items and fine art, in the tradition and philosophy established by Roycroft over 100 years ago.
Natalie's current works focus on the creation of original hand-crafted textiles. She receives inspiration for designs from her surroundings (a koi pond and water garden in her backyard), travel, music, and most recently - artists from the period. Her recent work includes a combination of several disciplines and interests including: fabric, embroidery and painting. The disciplines for each media are combined to create landscapes, botanical studies, and fine art. Subjects and colors within her needle art remain rooted in Arts & Crafts principles, and each piece is completed by hand.