Homefront: Art in Bloom
With a name like Little Flower Designs, it’s easy to dismiss the ceramics Linda Johnson makes in her Abington studio as
With a name like Little Flower Designs, it’s easy to dismiss the ceramics Linda Johnson makes in her Abington studio as merely cute. But fans — who include almost everyone who has ever seen her work — know better.
Johnson’s approach to clay is more art school than preschool, and her designs, while undeniably exhibiting tendencies toward cuteness, are also equal parts elegant, modern and retro. “People can’t really put their finger on it,” says Johnson. Yet it’s clear she’s made a mark, as distinctly as the flower design she carves onto her white ceramic teapots.
Using uncomplicated pottery shapes that hint at ’60s mod, Johnson hand-carves white stoneware with giant dahlias, birds in flight or a dreamy field of purple coneflowers, then paints her designs with bright glazes. The resulting pieces have grooves you want to touch — case in point, the Pebble sushi set with bubbly circles etched into its platter, dipping bowl and chopstick rest.
A bird glides above a white picket fence that encircles the Soaring Swallow teacup, urging you to turn the cup and follow the bird’s path, like a cartoon flip-book in action. “A lot of people say my work makes them smile,” says Johnson.
It’s that lightheartedness in her illustrations, matched with a cartoonish vividness that’s so creative, so imaginative, and yes, OK, even a little cute.
Little Flower Designs, Abington, 215-939-4923; littleflowerdesigns.com.