If you live near Saughall in Chester you will have most definitely drove past Geoff's house which was built around 1908. It was bought by his grandma and it was the local shop known as the Empire Stores until around 1963 and was defiantly the place to get couple of pounds of sugar for tuppence or a Dolly blue to keep those linens white. Geoff's lived in the house for 70 years! although he definitely looks younger!
Last summer i took stems from Geoff’s garden to create some wall pieces and vases. It was wonderfully inspiring and full of nostalgia from the past and future potential as a side field is currently being cleared for Meryl’s patch.
It’s a treasure trove of flowers, foliage and hidden objects.The caravan hidden amongst the growth of foliage was a wonderful place for Meryl and her sisters to explore along with the outhouses and greenhouse. in the adjacent field. The gardens are full of stories and tales which has had many functions over the years a vegetable plot with poly tunnels, a golf course and a home for pigs and sheep. Its most definitely been a magical place for Meryl and her sisters growing up.
As we sit will the gentle sound of water from the pond which is full of fish and plants, Geoff sits in his chair and we discuss plants he likes. It's obvious that the climbing clematis and roses were going to be amongst the favourites along with the Honesty, Penstaman, rogue foxgloves and the carpet of Borage that can't seem to be tamed!
When creating the pieces for Geoff's place I carefully rolled my clay as usual with no clear intention of what I was to create. I thought back to the garden and what plants Geoff liked as well as what would naturally work when using the clay. The rogue foxgloves, fushia's, clematis and the lush green foliage that surrounded the house at this time of the year.
What I do know is that Geoff has a good artistic eye, participating in water colour classes and the house is full of creative pieces and paintings.
Geoff loves blue so we decided to use a traditional colouring technique which highlights the beautiful textures and qualities of the plants. The fossilised effect is hard to grasp from a photo appearing to be X-ray like but the depth just beautiful.
I created a series of around 9 wall pieces and 2 large vases which Geoff was happy with and after a visit he had been arranging his own composition before attaching to the wall and asked me to take a look, this made me smile.