I’ve posted before about my evolving use of dandelions and how they have featured in so many ranges of my ceramics and homeware, both current and archived. Here I’m going to explore the many ways I’ve used nasturtiums in my work. Their shape, form, colour and vibrancy are an endless source of inspiration and fascination. As with all my botanical design work I begin with observed drawing.
Drawing the flowers from life is my starting point for a whole host of designs across different media: transfer printed bone china ware; hand illustrated wheel thrown porcelain; colourful printed tea towels. You can see how just a handful of drawings can be put into so many different contexts and with such variety of end results.
In contrast to this individually hand thrown, hand illustrated range – where each vessel is similar but unique in the exact placement or combination of flowers, buds and leaves – is my range of transfer printed bone china ware. For this I use a professional ceramic transfer print studio to digitally print my designs for me, which I then apply and fire on to Stoke-on-Trent bone china ware in my studio.
The outcome is so different from the hand thrown ware, and is infinitely quicker to produce which is quite a relief. Popular thought the hand made range is, I don’t produce much of it as it is a very lengthy process with the layered colours and drawing which also makes it quite expensive. I do have a secret admiration for the uniformity of the bone china ware version too! My other major output with the nasturtiums is textile-based: bright, colourful tea towels in three different colourways.
And from the archives here are a couple of shots of my first ever nasturtium designs, produced using the traditional technique of slip decoration with sgraffito (scratching into the clay) to describe the outlines.
Wow, no sooner had I written up the post yesterday about my tea towel experiment being underway, than the very things arrived at my studio…. in an enormous box. Yikes – I did wonder if I might use them to manufacture endless bedlinen/construct a home/sail across the seven seas as there seemed to be so many of them. But I’m warming to them.
Enjoyed packaging the first few up for sale at The Little Shop in Bristol’s vibrant Stokes Croft arty quarter this morning… and, even better, getting one home to try out 🙂
Well, much as I am enamoured of the ceramics world… I’ve taken a step into the unknown and started a collection of illustrated tea towels, carrying my original designs, in time for the Christmas market season.
Very excited about this – my stock is due to arrive from Bryan Franks next week and then I will be getting busy packaging them in the pretty wrappers I’ve been designing ready for the first market of the winter – Stroud Farmers’ market on the 1st November. Going to have to find some suitably placed aga and do a photo shoot of my new products when they get in… hoping they live up to my expectations!