February saw the whisperings of spring with snowdrops and crocus; whilst March has treated us to warmer weather, lighter evenings, even more birdsong and some majestic displays of blossom and magnolia.
And every month it is lovely to browse the #wipsandblooms gallery to see how makers and artists incorporate their seasonal blooms and plants into their work-in-progress shots. This is no mean feat - and I'm always happy that people are happy to share their work before it is finished. It takes bravery to say - I've made this and its not quite perfect yet, but for me, I really love seeing these more behind the scenes style shots, which allow you to get to know the maker better as they share their creative journey.
With this in mind, I'm really happy to show you a little behind the scenes of this month's lovely sponsor, Dorte from @lewesmap and @lewesmapstore. Not a maker, but an on-line shopkeeper who has a beautifully curated instagram feed often featuring (as her tag suggests) #simplenaturefinds. Dorte is such a positive member of the Instagram community and someone that I would love to meet in real life.
Dörte (@lewesmap), who lives in Lewes, East Sussex, loves photography inspired by nature and simplicity. She enjoys creating flatlays using treasures found on walks along the beach, in woodlands and on the South Downs. Being outdoors is an important part of her life.
Dörte runs an independent online shop called Lewes Map Store, which is full of beautiful small batch and handcrafted gifts sourced from UK designers and makers. Established to build on the success of Lewes Map, a 3-D style illustration hand-drawn by her partner Malcolm Davis. The map is available as limited edition prints and featured on various products, like tea towels and fine bone china mugs. She has also told me that there might be a Brighton Map coming out later this year.
Last Autumn Dörte selected some desirable homewares and accessories to complement the Lewes Map products. Items she truly admires with her love for simple, functional and beautiful design. The shop will re-launch by the end of the month with a new logo, website and more exciting products. I'm watching closely to how this story evolves..
Dorte has put together an extremely generous selection of prizes for April's #wipsandblooms_spring photo challenge, from Lewes Map Store .
I particularly like this edition of 91 magazine as it features a little studio tour of my workshop too. And, I'm fairly certain that this issue has now sold out as the latest addition is just about to launch!
I hope this has whetted your appetite to join in. And to give you more inspiration here are a few of my favourites from last month as well as the winner who will receive a stunning plant prize from Debbie from her independent store @moonko.
I loved the beautiful greys, pinks and purples captured by these artists and makers. And thank them for joining in!
This months' winner is a jewellery maker, inspired by her finds in nature. Please join me in congratulating Kate from @graceandflora for her #wipsandblooms_spring image.
How do I take part?
What does #wips stand for?
If you are an artist, baker, knitter, weaver or any kind of maker then the challenge is to capture part of your process, and if you can nab a flower from the garden to celebrate that moment of making all the better for it. #wips of course stands for #workinprogress, so its not just knitters who can take part. Just use the hashtag #wipsandblooms_spring and tag myself @ceramicmagpie and this month's guest judge @lewesmap.
Prizes this month have been provided by @lewesmapstore.
Hi! I'm a ceramicist, based in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Combining beauty and function my porcelain vessels are everyday objects you'll want to treasure. My work is slip-cast and wheel-thrown.