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.