This Potter Makes Petal-Edged Bowls To Help Save The Bees
Victorian-based potter Bridget Bodenham is known for her playful ceramic tableware, vessels, and accessories, but recently she turned her focus to making something for the natural world: a bowl that provides water to wildlife and insects, especially bees.
‘I wanted something beautiful and useful to look at in the garden,’ Bridget says of how the idea for her ‘bee bowls’ came about.
This lead to a new variation of Bridget’s delicate glazed ceramic dishes, in which each vessel is mounted on a stake, allowing it to be securely placed into soil, before being filled with water.
‘Upon noticing the bees and insects becoming curious, I decided to add a petal edge to the form,’ she adds. ‘People have since started collecting them for their gardens and precious bees all around the world. They have kept us very busy…. as busy as a bee!’
Plus, with 102,000 followers on Instagram, it’s easy to see why Bridget’s pieces are often quick to sell out.
Since 2018, she and her brother (who’s been her assistant for eight years!) have worked from a studio built on her Mum’s property in Hepburn — a town not far from Daylesford — surrounded by native bushland. It’s fitting that Bridget also cites nature as one of her biggest influences, incorporating floral motifs and soft pink, green, and blue hand-painted details in the glaze of her handmade creations.
‘Community and my garden bring a rich flow of inspiration,’ Bridget adds. ‘The area I spend most of time at is my wheel in the studio, where we had the window positioned so I can see the view to Mount Kooroocheang.’
Bridget strives to make sure every piece balances function and form, whether it’s something as tiny as a flower stud earring, or larger sculptural works that are particularly time consuming to create. After 10 years working full-time in her dream job, she says the best part about working with clay is also it’s biggest challenge.
‘You just can’t guarantee it [the piece] will work out,’ she says. ‘A slight change in temperature, material variation or rushed making can lead to disappointing results. With this comes some nice surprises though, and keeps it interesting, I’m always learning… the material leads the way, or will at least have its way!’
And with new ideas for a lighting collection, bird feeders and plenty more already in the works for this year, Bridget’s showing no signs of slowing down!
Shop Bridget Bodenham’s pieces online here.