Nov 4, 2010

London Clay Birds and The Quiet Revolution Designer Feature:

Pair of London Clay Birds by Dawn Painter

About London Clay Birds and The Quiet Revolution:

My background is furniture design but I have drawn and created all my life, in some form or another. I spend my time making wooden structures, drawing and playing with clay, as well as tending to my allotments in North London. Basically, I build stuff and grow things. I come from a family of very crafty, artistic types. Like my sister for example, with whom I collaborate at craft fairs and the like - illustrator and general all round talent of thequietrevolution, who produces wonderful prints, t-towels, cushions and cards. I make clay birds, wooden birdboxes, flower presses, brooches and cards.


I’m inspired by my allotment, everything about it – the soil, the vegetables, the birds, the bugs. There’s a wonderful balance in nature with the seasons, migrating birds, seasonal food etc and I get to see this out on my plot through the year. I also love sheds and compost heaps and the strange and wonderful inventions built by gardeners - like wigwams, coldframes, shelters etc. Genius. I guess you have to be quite a crafty person to run a successful plot so I suppose creating and growing go hand in hand for me.

Cards by London Clay Birds

Best Sellers:

The London clay birds are very popular, it’s fascinating watching people choose, they are a very tactile object and folk like to pick them up – the one’s they are drawn to. The clay itself is a marine deposit from an ancient seabed, 50-60 million years old back when a tropical ocean covered London. Fossils from the Palaeogene period have been found in the clay and it stretches half way across the London area. It is sourced near where I live. An old Victorian workhouse and Aged Pilgrims Asylum once stood near the Archway and Highgate Hill, the area has recently been redeveloped and I managed to excavate some of the amazing London clay before the houses were built. The clay is then sculpted to represent our city’s little birds. I use a gas kiln and the birds are either left in their natural brick red form or plunged into sawdust, straight from the kiln, for a wonderful blackened effect.

We Make Christmas:

We will be selling our wares at the We Make Christmas fair again this year after such a great time last year! Wooden brooches, birdboxes, prints and cards among other delights. Oh yes and we will be selling our lovely range of crochet baskets and blankets too, hopefully see you there…

Hand-cut walnut swallow brooches


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