IT’S BEEN A WHILE
What a busy few months. Summer has flown by, I’ve finally come up for air and it’s October. Time really does fly when you’re working like a lunatic. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster and I didn’t quite manage to squeeze in a summer holiday (sob), but I have been lucky enough to spend my days working on some great projects with some lovely people.
In music related news, I’ve illustrated new pen and ink pieces for both Eliza And The Bear and Apologies, I have None. I lost the feeling in my fingers crafting paper cut album artwork for Burn Daylight’s Young Lion’s EP which was released earlier this month (more on the making of Young Lions to come), and I’ve been interviewed by Rob from Side One Track One which you can check out here.
Most recently I had the pleasure of painting this album cover for the long awaited ‘Storm’ by Sam Russo. I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this release. More on this soon when it’s a little less hush hush, but for now you can read about the release over at Red Scare.
In food and drink related news, The Oast House have added 25 new beers and ciders to their Drinks Almanac, so it was with great pleasure that I illustrated each of them, testing them along the way… I also produced some Christmas illustrations for them to advertise the Winter Teepee that is taking residence in the Oast House Garden this Christmas. Well worth a visit! I dare you to try some Tactical Nuclear Penguin when you do…
Lastly, something for the romantics. My Once Upon A Time pieces have kept me very busy the last few months. It’s always a pleasure making these bespoke pieces, particularly hearing each couples story. This summer I made a very special proposal plate (no pressure), and I was very happy (relieved) that she said yes! Exciting stuff. More on this soon, but for now a little snap shot of some of the wedding pieces in progress. You can read more about the process here. That’s all for now!
Who would have thought I’d enjoy drawing motorbikes so much? I loved making this commissioned piece. This is Annabel, a beautiful Triumph Bonneville. I’m hooked. Expect to see more motorbikes very soon…
I’M GOING ON HOLIDAY!
I’m going on holiday tomorrow morning and I can’t wait. I love being by the sea, and I’m looking forward to a well deserved rest after a manic week of making commissions. I can’t show you all of the pieces I’ve been working on as they have been made as gifts but take a peek at the other pieces below.
Above are wolf mugs for Hector and Milo, two gorgeous little boys I had the pleasure of looking after.
Below are a commissioned set of ceramic goblets, each illustrated with a different British Bird. The Willow Warbler, Green Woodpecker, Tree Pipit and Tree Creeper.
The final piece was a little bit of a tester piece using an illustration I’ve just completed for a restaurant in Sheffield. I thought I’d see what this rather speedy pheasant would look like on a jug and I’m pretty pleased with the result.
That’s all for now. See you when I get back!
Our day was perfect and so were your hearts!
It’s always nice to hear from a happy customer. I received a lovely message from the Bride and Groom today after their May Day wedding at The Chimney House, along with a snap of the favours in the beautiful venue.
60 YEARS OF THE CORGI
I made some ceramic pieces to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee (well actually to celebrate the corgi really). You can buy them here. Some pictures below by the amazingly wonderful Dan Bond of Apologies, I Have None. He’s no one trick pony you know. Check out his blog here.
ONCE UPON A TIME
Everyone likes a good love story, and with wedding bells ringing all over the place this summer, I’ve found myself a very busy lady creating my ‘Once upon a time’ illustrated ceramics. The piece tells a story, woven together from the threads of a couples tale.
It all started quite a few years ago now, when a very close friend asked me to make a bowl for a wedding gift. In those days I focused heavily on loose coloured florals, but we wanted to create something completely unique to the couple. Armed with a list of the couples interests (the place/ how they met, where they’d travelled, foods they liked, sports they did, funny quirky behaviours and nicknames they’d acquired) I began work. I ditched the colour and worked in black to help bring everything together. I’d love to see a picture of that first piece now, but due to a lack of backing up and a broken laptop I lost them all. Another lesson learnt the hard way!
Over the years I’ve refined my techniques, materials and methods. I ask the person commissioning the work to provide me with the couples ‘story’. The more information the better. I then research places, source images and create a kind of mood board. I look for any common themes that I can use as a basis for the composition of the illustration. I sketch out general shapes and then off I go. The paint that I use is great as it creates such a solid flat colour in one stroke, but also slightly terrifying because it’s pretty hard to remove if I make a mistake. This often results in cramp as I’m holding my dipping nib so tight. No pain, no gain and all.
Once complete, I glaze by hand and fire in my trusty kiln. I’ve illustrated on all sorts of things, cake stands, platters, wedding favours, wine goblets, plates, mugs, ceramic bunting, tiles, jewellery and decorations. You can see more examples here.
MADE TO ORDER
There is something really satisfying about creating pieces of work to order.
I’m not sure whether it’s handing over the completed item, knowing it has been made with a particular person or story in mind, or the relationships that I build with my customers along the way, but I like that I can help make someones vision a reality and that the end result is always a personal one.
Either way, when I’m packing up my pieces ready for delivery, I can’t help but get a mixed feeling of nervous excitement and anticipation, and despite the fact that I’ve been doing this for a very long time now, I still find myself asking the same two questions. 1. Will they get there in one piece? 2. Will they be everything they hoped they would be? So far, so good.
The pieces below were for an intimate May Day Wedding. I hand made and coloured each of the 50 guests a heart shaped favour with a hand written message from the bride and groom on the back. The hearts were painted with a smooth clear matt glaze, and finished with a sweet pea decal and co-ordinating ribbons to compliment the flowers in the Bride’s bouquet.