I can remember my first day at Moorcroft quite clearly,” says Elise Adams, director of Art at the company. “I was young, nervous and excited. Only five days later, another new recruit joined. Her name was Nicola Slaney. We hit it off instantly and 20 years later, we are still great friends as well as colleagues. It’s an honour to introduce to you ‘A Designer’s Score’ – with each piece created and designed by Nicky to celebrate 20 years of design. She has been working on this collection for over a year now and it includes classic floral designs, a magnificent prestige piece on a brand-new shape and a tribute to the designer’s long-running range, Anna Lily, which first appeared in 1999!”
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To be a Moorcroft designer, in many ways, is also to be a botanist. Nicola learned about many weird and wonderful varieties of plants and flowers, not just native to England but further afield. After dozens of colourful floral creations, Nicola knows her favourite flower is the peony so Persian Peony was born. Persian peonies, more commonly known as Persian buttercups, appear on this numbered edition design where soft pink rosettes clamber upon white clay which melts into a classic Moorcroft blue (height 12.5cm). The humble snowdrop featured on one of Nicola’s first designs, Heralds of Spring in 2000, with winter irises and a mass of snowdrops bending their delicate white heads around the base of the vase. 17 years later and her obvious adoration of the perennial continues. “Snowdrops are a flower I’ve drawn a lot but they’re one of my favourites and I really love their simplicity. I also love using the blue, white and green colour palette.” she says. The Twenty Winters open edition reflects Nicola’s joy in observing snowdrops coming through the frozen ground year after year. (JU height 18.5cm; 117/5, height 12.5cm; 364/5, height 12.5cm).
SOUNDS OF NATURE
Some would say that soaring mountains, vast forests of oak and sweet chestnut never sing, but when you walk among them, you can hear sounds so gentle, so mysterious and so memorable that they reach right into the depths of the imagination. The Cevennes National Park in the south of France inspired Nicola’s work. Last year, she converted those sounds into six superb pieces of Moorcroft for The Flying Phoenix Collection, one of which was a sellout limited edition of 50, Wild Gladioli. Nicola always thought there should have been more to her design than one piece, but time was against her. A year on, and always keen to please collectors, Nicola happily reincarnates Wild Gladioli in three brand new shapes. There is a limited edition of 50 pieces in shapes 99/11, height 29cm; 50 in shape JU3/12, height 30.5cm and a numbered edition as a delicate plaque, in PLQ4 (4x16cm).
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