Bella Terra Firma

Bella Terra Firma is an Australian label created by artist Jules Holland. It combines her passion for art, fashion, the Australian Bush, her years working as a Park Ranger in Queensland and her country upbringing.

After leaving her little country home town of Avoca, Victoria at the feeble age of 17 to study Fine Arts Jules among other things (like budgeting just enough to afford cask wine) eventually found herself working in the depths of the Queensland rainforest working as a Park Ranger. People would often ask her, “But if you are an artist, why are you working out here as a ranger?” She never really understood that question or how to answer it, her heart was content immersed in the natural world, she felt as at home out there as she ever did and the inspiration she gained on a daily basis kept her art easel full of paintings.

In late 2017, Jules decided to take a break from her ranger duties to start the label Bella Terra Firma. Although Jules paints, creates ceramic art, writes and teaches art workshops she has dedicated her time to Bella Terra Firma full time, a label of bespoke embroidered hat art featuring native Australian botanicals designed and stitched primarily into Akubras.

The unique process that can take up to 30 hours to complete depending on the detail and complexity of the design. Each design starts with preliminary sketches and botanical research. The artwork is then hand-drawn onto the hat (without the use of stencils or patterns) and finally the design is meticulously embroidered stitch by stitch. No two hats are ever the same. Every Akubra or hat is given a unique design often with deep sentimental value. As a country girl Jules knows that you can’t put a value on a hat that has been worn and loved for years and is always humbled and honoured to receive a worn in, beaten up, dirty old hat in the mail to work on.

Jules is currently working from her studio in Margaret River, Western Australia after recently moving down from The Pilbara Desert and taking orders for bespoke custom designs. Her website also has an assortment of hats to choose from where you can choose to match it with a popular design.

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👉  This story excerpt is from Issue #3 of Kickin Up Dust magazine: August 2020