Denise McDonald – Potter
Thank goodness I came back to live in my family home! If I hadn’t I would never have
developed my flannel flower range of ceramic tableware. You see, I am obsessed. I am completely in love with a pane of textured window glass in this Federation home. Five generations of my family have lived here, looking at this window glass. Nobody else besides my family have lived in this 100 year old home. It knows only us. The window has an amazing pattern of flannel flowers.
I reproduce this pattern on my ceramics by using an intermediate plaster mould. I don’t know much about who originally designed the pattern or who produced it. All I know is that it has always been here. For me, this flannel flower pattern has many levels of meaning. It speaks to me about family and home, and references broader ideas of domestic life – the role of women, the relationships within family. Further, I hope it offers something to those who don’t have the personal connections to it that I do – stories about conservation of domestic architecture, the history of our native flora depicted in the decorative arts, and appreciation for the natural world.
It seems the longer that I work with this pattern, the more I see in it and the more intriguing it is to me. I don’t really want to know all the details about the history of its original manufacture, that would somehow damage the fascination for me. So I continue to apply my craft with a simple aim; to give this window a new way to exist – a new way to be appreciated and interact with the world. Nothing pleases me more than when I can introduce a new person to this 100 year old flannel flower pattern through my ceramic art.
The Flannel Flower Range