The entry to Whichford Pottery with the arbor made of clay pots.
|image courtesy of Barakura.co.jp|
Founder and owner, Jim Keeling working on The Golden Cypress, a ceramic sculpture which sat at the head of the Hillier exhibit this year at the Chelsea Flower Show.
It all starts out with huge mounds of different types of local clay. The clay is mixed with other ingredients that make it frost-proof. It's processed and extruded into sheets that can then be formed into smaller chunks that are useable by the potters.
|The Potting Room|
Applying "basket weave" to a pot
The courtyard where finished products are displayed
A portion of the courtyard garden. To follow what's happening in the garden at Whichford Pottery, check out head gardener, Harriet Rycroft's wonderful blog by clicking here.
The finishing touches are placed on Jim Keeling's Golden Cypress ceramic sculpture. It is being covered in 23.5 carat gold gilding. The inspiration for this sculpture came from Jim's childhood when he suffered a serious illness. When he was finally well enough to go outside, one of the first things he did was to make a house for himself inside a venerable Cupressus aureum (Golden Cypres Tree). It remained his own personal hide-out throughout his childhood.
A photo of a portion of the gold medal winning Hillier's exhibit at Chelsea that contained over 3,500 plants and trees, a stream, and Jim's Golden Cypress centerpiece. Putting on the exhibit at the renowned gardening show takes Hillier Nurseries a year to plan, a team of 20 to set up, and costs over £100,000. Jim Keeling's 23.5 carat gilded cypress centerpiece was estimated at £70,000.