Westonbirt Arboretum is one of my favourite places in the world. We used to walk our dogs there when I was a child and I remember being mesmerised by the skeleton leaves I’d find in the undergrowth near the base of trees. Today I continue to visit in all seasons, inspired by the most amazing colours and varieties of maple trees. Many of my pieces are made using leaves which I have foraged at Westonbirt, a particular favourite being the ‘Full Moon Acer’ which I use to produce striking and bold pendants.
My father has also continued to inspire my work through his own passion for gardening and trees. Up until recently he owned a beautiful selection of acer trees, a few of which now take prime position in my own garden now that he has moved house. He also plays an integral part in identifying many of the leaves I forage and collect. Learning the latin names of plants has never been my forte, but luckily this comes naturally to him so he can help me identify some of the more unusual and rare varieties.
People often ask me if I can make a specific pendant or dish using leaves from their own garden or a favourite tree. This is entirely possible, and something I love to do. Recently I made a commission for two friends who visited Canada in Autumn and they wanted matching maple leaf pendants made as a memento. Luckily, with my father’s help I was able to source a Canadian maple tree and use a leaf to produce the perfect pair of pendants.
Other people have asked me to make unique pieces using leaves from a tree or shrub they are leaving behind when they move house. This is a lovely way of taking a piece of the tree with them and preserving its beauty for longevity.
There is nothing better than producing a piece of ceramic art as a commission so if you are interested, please do get in contact and send me pictures of your lovely leaves! it’s easy to post me a leaf sandwiched between card so I can work directly from it.