Category Archives: sources of inspiration

Sketchbook Project

Following on from my trip to New Designers, I mentioned that myself and Megan Ashwell Designs were going to be challenging ourselves with a new project (if you missed that post, you can view it here).

Our plan for the project is to chose a theme to work with, and produce at least one drawing a day based on that theme for a whole month. The idea behind this is to come up with some new imagery in our drawings to use for developing new work, for instance recreating a drawing onto the ceramic surface.

The theme we have chosen is Garden/Nature/Outdoors – Quite an obvious theme for us both and it is very loose which can relate to a wide range of different smaller themes, but I wanted to start in my comfort zone ready to branch out and focus on a much more challenging theme in the next project, all being well!

Megan has chosen to focus on motif’s which is much more apt to her style of work. Although she has mentioned that she doesn’t want to focus solely on flowers so I will be keeping a close eye on her sketchbook and making sure she sticks to her goal :) It’s great being able to meet up with another creative person and bounce ideas off one another.

We have agreed to meet up once a week if we can, and visit a local area to just sit and draw.

We started last Monday, so here are my daily drawings from last week:

garden trellis drawing

Day 1: Looking at a hanging basket, gorgeous blue flowers and some honey suckle that my Nan gave me, growing up a trellis in my garden. I wanted to leave this drawing ‘unfinished’, with only some areas painted with colour.

looking up at trees

Day 2: From down low… Looking up at tall spindly trees. This one was a lot of fun and will look great recreated onto clay!

horse in cow parsley field pencil drawing

Day 3: Pencil drawing – Horse in a cow parsley field. (lucky thing!)

pen and ink countryside scene

Day 4: Pen & Ink countryside scene.

reflections on water watercolour

Day 5: Watercolour reflections and patterns on the surface of water, finished off with Karisma pencils and shiny tin foil collage. I’m already imagining this design on a vase…

tulip drawings

Day 6: Tulip studies. I love this form, and it works well as a repeat pattern.

leaf study

Day 7: Focusing on leaves from the peace lily plant in my living room while watching tv :)

I have been posting each drawing on my Facebook page daily, so if you’re interested in keeping up with our project be sure to like my page to see what I’ve been up to.

Check out Megan’s Facebook page where you will find her daily drawings too!

We are off out for a drawing session Wednesday evening… watch this space :)

The Garden in Bloom

freshly grown strawberries

garden in bloom

 The garden is looking beautiful at this time of year. New growth and colours still continue to sprout up and surprise me. It’s great having all this as inspiration on my doorstep.

garden in bloom

 Our home grown strawberries are doing well. We’ve had to cover the strawberry plants in netting to avoid the birds helping themselves to a tasty snack!

While waiting for ours to grow, we went to a ‘pick your own’ farm at the weekend and picked lots and lots of fresh juicy red strawberries from the orchards.


With all of this beautiful sunshine around, we get to see some spectacular skies in the evening.

I hope it lasts!

pink sky at night


One of the little detailed sources of inspiration for my work.

Circles found within nature:


{shells}             {bark}             {sea rocks}             {plant cells}

giant redwood peeling paint






{giant redwood}                                              {peeling paint}

Circles incorporated into my work:

teal circles bowl

dandelion panelled wall hanging

trio of ceramic magnets

beneath the sea vases

toffee circle coasters

bubbles bowl detail

seashore bowl detail

ceramic letter rack

dandelions vase detail

Nature’s Artwork

There are many sources of inspiration for my work, predominantly natural findings. Is it weird that I find old, rusty, weathered and distressed surfaces interesting? The tree images above are all of different types and stages of rust. I love the textures and colours, although I think it’s the patterns I find the most appealing.

The image below shows an old piece of rusty metal. To me, I see a rocky landscape with low clouds, merging into a deep sky and sunset.

Surfaces are without a doubt my main source of inspiration, but I’m also inspired by organic objects such as leaves, pine cones, shells, seed heads, pebbles, plant life, dried fruit and pods.

Can you see how some of these inspiration images have inspired the surfaces of my ceramics?

My Work:

I think trees are also an interesting influence to my work. From the shapes and forms of a trunk, to the twisted and entwined roots often popping up from under the ground. But again, it’s the surface of the tree bark I find myself most drawn to. Look at the lovely patterns, colours and textures of these trees below…

Each of these images have been taken from my Inspiration Pinterest Board where you will find the original source by clicking on each image. You will also find a bunch of other images that I’ve collected for inspiration – Happy browsing!


 { Logs }        { bubbles }        { sky}        { reflections }

Surface Inspiration

Browsing images of inspiration in my Pinterest Boards, a few recent ‘pins’ have really stood out and caught my eye. I use these images to develop surface design/decoration ideas onto the surface of clay when making.

Can you believe the above image is of rust? It’s amazing how something so old and weathered can appear so beautiful. I love the colours.

This fantastic piece above is by artist Amy Eisenfeld Genser, I recently came across her work and has trouble choosing which image to share… Each of her individual dimensional paper collages are stunning. Check out her website for more inspirational pieces.

Another image that truly inspires me is this beach snapshot above. I love the contrasting light and dark colours, amongst layers of texture and linear patterns. I think this would make a stunning wall piece.

Refreshing Inspiration

Here’s a little snippet of soome of the images from my pin board that are inspiring me this week.

Simple and elegant… I’m still in coastal seasidey mode!

The sources of these images can be found on my pinterest boards. Hope they inspire you too!

Surface Designs

Looking through my folder of inspiration images, I came across many that involved some sort of circular design. I put together this collage above of some of my favourites, and then compared them to some images of my work involving circles too. I think it is clear to say that circle patterns in nature are a big source of inspiration for my work!

Sources of Inspiration and Pumpkins

Many artists, designers and crafts people struggle for inspiration and creativity at some point during their design processes and thoughts. With me being one of them recently, I dug out this book by Carolyn Genders – Sources of Inspiration – a brilliant visual source for applied artists working in any medium.
I usually find that looking through my collection of books gets me going, and new ideas begin to flow. After having a good flick through the pages and taking in all of the influential images in this book, I’m starting to feel really inspired and excited to start making new work again, which is about time considering I need to get a move on with my Christmas stock! Look out for my latest work over the next few weeks.

Carolyn Genders is a ceramicist herself, so I can really relate to a lot of the things she writes about. What I am most impressed by are her sketchbook pages, which she shares in snippets and shows how images can be visually abstracted and then refined and developed to create other beautiful patterns, designs and forms. The result is not only a useful guide to how the creative process works but also a glourious sourcebook of images, of both natural and manmade objects.

I really like these pages below, full of colourful observational drawings of pumpkins and gourds, all generated using different drawing techniques.

Talking of pumpkins…!

These 3 beauties were taken off the vine last week. They weigh a tonne! Does anyone know why 2 of them haven’t turned orange? I think it’s because they didn’t get as much sunlight. They are now in the conservatory so will still get some sunlight, but I’m not sure if they can still turn orange at this stage? Pumpkin soup will be on the menu in a few weeks, and 2 of the pumpkins are going to be carved out at Halloween. I found this site for pumpkin carving ideas which looks quite interesting.

Watch this space for carved pumpkins!

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