Flora Olney lives and works in her quaint studio in Great Bardfield Essex. She is proud to live in a village with such artistic heritage as Edward Bawden and Eric Ravillious. She herself comes from an artistic background: her grandmother went to the Slade School Of Fine Art and her Victorian Great Aunt Marianne North's botanical paintings are housed in a special gallery at Kew Gardens.
Flora's own passion from an early age was in ceramics in which she has a City & Guilds Diploma. Nothing brings her more pleasure than being creative with clay. She loves the endless possibilities of this wonderful medium and enjoys experimenting with new techniques.
She works mainly in porcelain; when fired, no other clay is as pure, clean and white. She likes to contrast this brilliant white with vibrant colours including deep blues & turquoise, and then highlighting each piece with real gold lustre. To produce such work is a labour of love. Taking a ball of clay through to each individually crafted piece takes time, as well as three firings. But Flora enjoys all aspects of the process, especially talking about her two kilns!
Flora also has an interest in linocut printing. She is inspired by the family cat, Matilda, and the countryside around her. She handprints all her work, be it prints or cards, on an old Victorian cast iron book press. Nothing can beat the excitement she feels when she releases the handle anticlockwise and peels off the linocut to reveal the printed image.
Some of Flora's artwork is stocked in our gallery in Finchingfield and a selection can also be bought online below.