Drawn To Vintage With Yvonne Ellen

Designer Yvonne Ellen has taken her hobby for sketching and vintage finds and combined them to create a quirky ceramic collection.

After graduating from Textile Design at Nottingham Trent, 29 year old Designer Maker Yvonne Ellen moved to London and started working as a Fashion Designer, but it wasn’t until she created a hand-drawn, bespoke vintage cake stand for a friend’s wedding that she started to consider turning her hobby into a business:

“I got lots of compliments and requests to make specific pieces so I started looking for more vintage pieces to illustrate onto” explains Yvonne. Not that this was a hard task: “I love car boot sales, fairs, charity antique shops, and seeking out interesting old crockery, it has been a hobby since I was young.”

During this search Yvonne looks for good quality pieces that she would be happy to have in her own home.” Once I have found something that I love, I then work out what will work best as an image. The size and shape of the dish, plate or cup will influence the design and how much pattern I will draw on” she explains.

Her pieces are adorned with contemporary, curious creatures that include a DJ-ing Owl and a pair of Partying Mice surrounded by beautifully intricate patterns. So why such whimsical animals? “I grew up in rural Oxfordshire and my Dad was an avid birdwatcher so wild animals were part of my childhood. I draw them wearing top hats or bow ties or with ‘human’ attributes to add a certain charm and charisma” she explains.

Yvonne currently lives in London with her boyfriend Craig and creates all her designs from home. She often sells her collection in markets and craft fairs as well as online on Etsy and Folksy. Although still a young business, her pieces are selling well and she has high hopes for the future: “I’d love to expand into a strong, recognisable brand that includes textiles and stationery” 

Article written by  Rosalind Erskine taken from Winter Issue 2012 of Heart Home magazine. Photography in the magazine is by Jon Aaron Green