Were you excited to take on this project?
Yes, it was an especially enjoyable assignment for me because a garden, in my opinion, is a small world but one that is filled with many elements. I didn’t want to create a mere illustration of a garden. My challenge was to come up with designs that feel like a garden – so you have the structure and form of an English garden but, along with it, you can also see the way nature takes over. I wanted to portray the sense of vitality and randomness that come with all things organic.
What was it like designing on porcelain?
It’s very different from the usual canvas I work with, but I believe we have managed to use the fine and delicate quality of porcelain to our advantage. The resulting designs feel soft and fluid, even when presented on a ceramic base.
How long did the process take, from brief to actual production?
I think it was about 18 months ago that Benoit Pierre-Emery, creative director of Objets et La Table at Hermes, approached me with the idea. It was summertime and we were talking about the garden concept while walking through a garden. It took 20 rounds of prototyping before we ended up with a version that produced the right colours, texture and look, but it was a valuable learning process.
What does luxury mean to you?
Luxury, to me, is being able to enjoy the little things in life. It’s having coffee in the morning, and having sunny days when you get to see your shadow on the ground (which is a rare occurrence in Ireland where I am from, because it’s always cloudy). Luxury is being able to hang your laundry on a line and just taking time to see the way it flutters in the wind. The true sense of luxury is to appreciate something, which I believe anyone can; all you need to do is open your eyes.