My collection of botanically inspired porcelain wares is a reflection on the renewal and resilience found in the plant world. I am fascinated by how plants survive and thrive against all odds, such as a lone seedling growing out of a crack in the pavement, or emerging through the ash after a bushfire. I explore processes of regeneration, germination and surging new growth through the imagery carved across the surfaces of my porcelain vessels, seeking to convey the vital energy, hope and optimism that plants can evoke.
Inspiration for my ceramic designs is deeply rooted in a childhood growing up on my family’s farm on rural Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, where my habitually bare feet were grounded in natural and wild surroundings, and my imagination was free to soar. My fascination with the detail and exquisite processes of renewal in nature were instilled through endless escapades through the bush, where gum trees were my castles, and thick mallee scrub was my playground. I would record this obsession through sketches, endless rolls of film, and in short stories.
I have always loved to get my hands dirty so it is no wonder that I have turned to clay as my now beloved mode of expression. Working with smooth and buttery porcelain, I throw the majority of my pieces on the pottery wheel. I then sketch my designs across their surface, working from photos and sketches from my garden or in the bush, and then carefully carve back into the clay to reveal the new growth within. Shape and size of the vessel often dictates the carving – delicate tiny seedlings revealed from small, espresso sized cups, and bold surging new growth from larger vases. I then fire and glaze my pieces, often leaving some of the vitrified surface exposed, tactile, to be held and touched.
What's in a name!
noun: cotyledon; (commonly seed leaf)
- Botany; an embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants, one or more of which are the first leaves to appear from a germinating seed.
The epitome of hope and renewal to me is that of the surging, vital new growth glimpsed as a seed germinates and the first tiny leaves appear. This first leaf or leaves are the cotyledon, or seed leaf, and continue to be an inspiration and focus of my creative ventures – hence my dedicated name Seedleaf Designs.