White Willow Art
Botanical Leaf set
I am a mixed media artist, primarily making ceramic art, gifts, decorations and cards, using white earthenware clay (kiln-fired to 1120 degrees), wood and wire. My handmade white ceramic pieces are a fusion of simple, clean design, with subtle natural tones of colour, contrasted with strong, deep shades of midnight and grey. In dark times, I want my work to inject a little light and humour in to the viewer's day; to inspire a deep breath and a moment to contemplate their connection to Nature, with my daisy and leaf range; or a moment to dream and wonder, with my moon-gazing hares; or a simple diversion from the day with the whimsy of my mouse and bee range.
Nature is always the first inspiration for me, dappled light through the tree canopy, the sound of birds going about their business, the connection to Mother Earth, the tranquillity of being in the countryside, of breathing fresh air, and space to slow down and release life's tension - something the modern world needs so desperately right now. My overgrown garden is full of plants with leaves of different sizes and interesting shapes - some of which I have yet to identify! But all of which inform my work, and guide me, forcing me to look closer. I love grouping things together, so many of my leaf collages highlight the contrast between each component piece. And my grouped mice and bees suggest a sense of community and family, another vital human need being challenged in modern society. That they also raise a smile from my customers is an added bonus!
The challenge of working with clay is learning to understand its many foibles! And that's before you even fire it in the kiln, when all sorts of things can go wrong! Manipulating and cajoling a lump of damp, grey mud to become delicate white daisies or tiny mouse ears and subtle autumnal leaves has taken years of experimentation, frustration and hard work. Finding designs that work and are cohesive as a collection has also taken time to create, and is always changing and adapting as the understanding of my chosen medium is honed, and my creativity expands. One of the best things about working with clay is opening the kiln, and all being well, seeing what alchemy the firing process has achieved. It is like a kid on Christmas morning every time!