Each of my sculptures are individually made in my studio in Surrey. I make mainly birds and flowers, bees and trees. I also make large collages and have recently returned to making ceramics.
Each of my birds begins with a quick sketch of those that I see in my garden and from the window of my studio. I am interested in the simplification of form, so from these drawings I make simple shapes in my sketchbook which I then use to make a bird.
I find the visual shorthand we all use to represent the natural word fascinating; I take inspiration from ancient people’s use of simple lines and shapes to represent animals and people and children’s use of simple imagery to depict the world around them. So, a semi circle can represent a bird; a circle a flower.
I love the process of making, so from my simple shapes I build the sculptures up in layers, allowing the materials to dictate the final piece.
My birds are made from plaster as I enjoy the smoothness of the finished work and the immediacy of the material. There is a short window of time to use the plaster easily and effectively.
Decoration is another important part of the making process for me. My BA (Hons) in Ceramics has informed and influenced the decoration of my sculptures. I scratch designs into the surface and use print and collage too. The patterns I make are again, initially inspired by nature - be it the rings of a tree or cells under a microscope. I am drawn to circles!
I spend a lot of time making patterns in my sketchbook. I enjoy using these designs mostly on the wings of birds, sparingly, against a neutral base. I love the use of bright colours combined with large areas of neutral tones or black.
My birds have wire legs - short or long, to add to each bird's individual character.
I aim to make understated decorative pieces that are playful, pleasing to the eye and make their owner smile.
Creating wild, but delicate-looking, hand-built ceramics I use glazed and un-glazed porcelain to construct beaten, distorted forms with soft curves and interrupted contours.
I like to engage physically with the raw material, pursuing a careful balance between fragility and bold strength, while the firing process enables the clay to develop a more undulating, independent sense of self. I’ve learned to push the translucent nature of fine porcelain to its full and extraordinary extent, producing some illusory effects in form and texture that are totally unlike clay.
Newer work bridges the gap between decorative aesthetics and functional pieces, with the addition of plates and mugs to my collection. A specific colour palette has been produced and with the addition of gold lustre, a little bit of luxury can be brought out in the every day.
As The Crows Fly- Bee Hayes
As the Crow Flies is a design business run by Bee Hayes in Bristol, specialising in handmade ceramics and illustrated homewares. Mainly producing hand-built and hand-thrown ceramics with distinctive ranges in porcelain and earthenware, a plethora of original, hand-drawn illustrations are also hand-applied and fired in-house onto fine bone china, and made into tea towels, screen printed in the UK.
With a background in Fashion Design, designing for the boutique brand Whistles, followed by work as in-house graphic designer for an international NGO Bee has come to ceramics and homewares as an ideal medium with which to see the creative process through from initial idea to finished product. This allows for unlimited scope and freedom in product development and experimentation.
As the Crow Flies is based in a beautiful little studio space at Maze Studios in Bristol.
Lydia Barclay - three birds in a row
Lydia Barclay- various bird sculptures
Louise Hall- porceline tableware
Louise Hall- porcelaine vessels
As The Crows Fly - hand thrown Dandelion jug
As The Crows fly- hand thrown dandelion cup