Louise Wilkinson Rabbit lifetstyle
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Pattern on Plates

Issue 07

These days, Yorkshire born Louise Wilkinson calls bone china her canvas.  After studying illustration, Wilkinson got her start designing prints, patterns and characters for children’s clothes before moving into fashion when she moved to London over 10 years ago.

Louise Wilkinson

She launched her own design studio in 2012 and settled on designing whimsical tableware on bone china which is hand decorated in Stoke on Trent.  “I love the quality of fine bone china, particularly its flat surface area which is like a blank canvas” says Louise. “I wanted to create special cups and saucers that were playful and illustrative, with witty details.” Her Maple Collection includes a mix and match illustrated series of plates, cups, saucers, jugs trays and teapots.  It is a reflection of her love of the traditional decorative arts and the inspiration she draws from nature, fantasy and animals.

Louise Wilkinson

Louise Wilkinson

INTERVIEW: LOUISE WILKINSON, Illustrator/Artist {London}

01 Where are you based? 
I’m based South East London. It has a lovely feel with a creative community. I grew up in Yorkshire and moved to London over 10 years ago now. I like the balance of London, being able to see exhibitions and also visiting my family in the countryside.

02  How would you describe the style or aesthetic of your work?
 Decorative, playful and beautiful. Timeless designs with attention to detail. I like creating intricate, witty and whimsical artworks, often with a narrative.

Louise Wilkinson

03 Can you describe the process involved with creating a new tableware item?
I like to draw a few pencil sketches first on scraps of paper and then at a later stage I draw my artworks on the computer with a pen. The designs are then screen printed and hand decorated in Stoke on Trent. It took many months to consider the shapes and designs together and then to fit the artworks correctly.

04 How long does it take? 
My work is often influenced by my love of the traditional decorative arts, nature and exotic dreamlike places, also different exhibition I may visit in London or things I see out and about. I love art and illustration from, Japanese and Chinese paintings, Matisse, Henri Rousseau and George Lepape. Animals and the funny things they do also inspire my creativity!

05 What is next for you?
 I have just collaborated with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) which was wonderful! It has always been one of my favourite and most inspiring museums. The collaboration involved illustrating the entire V&A shop Christmas Installation, the artworks all being my largest scale to date.

Louise Wilkinson

Louise Wilkinson

It was structured to coincide with the V&A shop’s celebration of the Blue Willow pattern and their major Autumn exhibition “Masterpieces of Chinese Paintings. I wanted to create a fantastical animal kingdom based around the Willow pattern story where I re-imagined the stories with my own interpretation. I will be selling my exclusive V&A artworks soon. I will also be exhibiting at Tent during London Design Week in September and working on exciting new designs and commissions.

06 What is the story behind your mix and match dinner plates? 
I like the idea that you can choose yourself how to mix and match the collection, making it a bit more fun! For stance all the cups & saucers sit with the teapot, you could have a matching set or one of each. The dinner plates can also be as a set or you may choose your favourite 4 different plates. Or even have a special plate for a wall display.

07 Do you entertain at home? 
I like casual entertaining at home, I like to mix illustrated and white tableware together – mixing and matching, on a light wood scandinavian table. I love tagines, thai or a Sunday roast chicken. I also like eating out a lot, at street foods in London, such as Brixton village food market or Maltby Street market in Bermondsey is great!

Louise Wilkinson flower lifestyle
Photo Source: Louise Wilkinson

08 Are there any special cultural traditions related to hosting family or friends at home that you can share with us?
Always start with a cup of tea!

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