My latest collection of quilting/craft fabrics is based on the well-known willow pattern plates. I find them very interesting, as a tangible bridge between East and West.
You see, they aren’t totally Chinese – the Art Gallery of NSW sometimes shows its collection of Chinese porcelain, made for export. It’s amazing how different each piece looks, depending on the place where it was intended to be sold. Many of the designs I wouldn’t recognise as Chinese designs at all! Then again, the willow pattern clearly isn’t a fully Western motif, either.
In designing my collection, sometimes I was really literal, and re-drew my version of motifs from a variety of willow pattern plates, old and new; mine; my grandpa’s and some from my husband’s family. Sometimes I just took a tiny bit of a motif and made it into a tiny little plate … and sometimes I was just generally inspired by things fom China that I see every day, such as camellias.