Time to grow

Woodland Jays clock from Magpie & Jay.

The word ‘growth’ is used so much in business, often to suggest unreasonably accelerated expansion where the buck being made has to be quick, decimating whole environments, exploiting workforces and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

Growth, however, is actually a great metaphor if used while bearing in mind that it is something actually invented by nature, and that only nature knows how to do it sustainably and sensibly.

Natural growth is in complete harmony with the environment upon which it depends. It happens slowly and steadily when the conditions are right; it enables living organisms to reach sizes and quantities that are appropriate for their environment, and it keeps progressing until a plant blossoms with beauty and elegance.

This is the version of the metaphor that I want for my business. Over recent months, through small decisions I’ve made, my design business has just started to grow a little, like cress on a windowsill. I have produced and started to sell my first few sets of greetings cards. I have introduced new designs, intended for a wider range of decorative items. Now, my sister, Joanna Henwood, has introduced me to a company that can help artists place their designs upon products, which are then printed on demand. I like the sustainability of this idea – no waste of energy, space and resources while thousands of items sit in warehouses – and the possibility of slow organic growth. Just starting with a few sales and building.

So there it is: ‘time’ to grow, just a little, to go on doing what I am doing but do more of it and share it with more people. And as I have mentioned ‘time’, what better to illustrate this piece than the new clock, bearing my Woodland Jays pattern, which is now available through my partner supplier Red Bubble. If you would like to look at my products (or Joanna’s motivational range called MotifAtion), please go to their site. See image above and link below.

‘Time’ to stop now. Have a lovely day/evening.


Penrose kite and dart

My Penrose Mandala greetings cards are designed using tilings discovered by Sir Roger Penrose (recent Nobel prizewinner for physics). The ‘kite’ and ‘dart’ he discovered are based around pentagonal symmetry and the golden rato. All angles are multiples of 36 degrees, and the tiles can be assembled in an infinite number of ways, most of them lacking rotational symmetry (unlike my designs) and none of them periodic (repeating).

Mandala composed of decorative Penrose tiles
Mandala composed of decorative Penrose tiles

I love the underlying mathematics in nature, but I also love the forms, shapes, colours and randomness of nature itself. So my kites and darts (three pairs, each in three colourways) are designed to create lattices of fronds and plant forms strewn across the structure of the tessellation, creating a more complex overlaid network. Within my design you can spot a cabbage-white butterfly, a greenbottle, a star fish, elder leaves, bramble leaves, sea wrack, germander speedwell and scarlet pimpernel.