I’ve been looking forward to seeing the newest additions to Anthropologie’s quirky, charming and colourful Nature Table Plates series (the Giraffe and Owl are my particular favourites), a collaboration with London-based graphic artist Lou Rota who fell into producing her contemporary/vintage ceramics pretty much by accident.
Lou started out customising old items of furniture in her spare time, which turned into a successful business when Liberty London took all of her very first pieces. However, her interests took a different turn whilst out sourcing new furniture at a car boot sale. She came across piles of vintage plates, bought a selection and set to work, upcycling them as one-off decorative pieces. They were an instant hit, but as the plates were only intended for decoration Lou soon started getting requests for crockery that could be used and put in the dishwasher. The rest, as they say, is history and her range of kiln-fired bone china tableware was born.
Lou has worked with Anthropologie to produce these Nature Table Plates, vintage style side or dessert plates decorated with a rather curious menagerie of birds and animals including a praying mantis, giraffe, porcupine fish and owl. Lou explains:
“I’m not really a ceramicist, more of a graphic artist who happens to use ceramics. My designs are influenced by my passion for the natural world – especially insects – and I love playing with unusual combinations of flora and fauna.”
These mismatched plates, with their vintage inspired shapes and motifs will happily mix and match with other vintage crockery and tableware, and add a lot of character and fun to any meal. And Lou obviously hasn’t run out of unusual creatures to draw as more additions to the range are planned. There are oversized teacups to come very shortly, followed by an ornate serving platter next Spring. I can’t wait to see what eccentric and engaging creatures she comes up with next.