Pencil Drawing Mugs

Pencil Drawings and my love of Wildlife

I grew up in rural Bedfordshire, in the beautiful vibrant and historic village of Turvey surrounded by unspoilt Ouse Valley countryside.

As a child, I used to take endless walks or ride my beloved Welsh mountain pony, Peewit, into the surrounding fields looking for anything from wild flowers to birds. I became obsessed with recording what I saw, from pressing flowers to photographing birds. My Father and his Great Grandfather were extremely keen on their photography and I too inherited this love at an early age. It was photography which helped me to develop my painting and I also kept a sketch book of things I felt were important enough to record. From this, it was a very small step to develop an image library of flowers and plants that I would be able to use for my English bone china designs.

I have always found a fascination in the way images in nature repeat to make patterns. When I was 16 my parents bought me a very small box of watercolours, over the intervening years it has travelled with me to various parts of the world and I still use it to this day. My only sadness is that I don’t have more time to paint and create. So often when you have your own business there are so many other things to do…such as writing a blog!

I love using pen and ink and for many of the years spent in the school art room, my coloured inks and pens were my preferred choice. However, somewhere in this obsessive nature journey I discovered drawing, probably helped by 2 wonderful art teachers; one was pedantic about painting and the other drawing with pencils. I learnt to love pencils and drawing small images full of detail. I keep a set of pencils in a box from art school, hidden in my plan chest.

No one is allowed to use or share these much-loved tools of the trade and no one is allowed to touch my special heavy weight drawing paper purchased from the wonderful Cornelissen’s of London.

Years later while looking back through my portfolio, a very clever friend saw two pencil drawings of a hare and an artichoke. Both of these drawings I had completed while studying graphics at the Central School of Art and Design in London, but she immediately suggested both drawings would work well on English bone china. Although they had been in my portfolio for nearly 30 years, they appeared clean and contemporary.

The artichoke has appeared on several classical dinner service designs. Now as I update my website, both these images will still play an important role in the development of Susan Rose China. I can still remember exactly where I sat to draw both the hare and the artichoke.

When I started Susan Rose China I decided to add to the collection. Next came the fox and the stag. Lastly my beloved red squirrel and the leaping salmon.

The wonderful thing about having your own business is the work never stops. One idea leads to another and the development of new ranges.

My work, my designs and the website are always “work in progress”, adaptable and changeable, but always I hope, a reflection of some very much loved iconic British flora and fauna.