I’m really proud to say that I’ve been working with Elmore Court; a magical old Cotswold family home, that has been turned into a unique venue for weddings and parties.
Together, we created two beautifully detailed maps that they will give to guests wishing to explore their new rewilding area.
One of the maps included the bottomless swimming lake that is set among the 250 acres of the wider estate. I love to swim outdoors when I can, so I was so pleased that the wild swimming pool formed part of the project.
The map guides swimmers across the estate, to the beautifully maintained lake where they can swim among water lilies and other pond wildlife. How magical to go wild swimming in a rewilded place!
Committed to sustainability, the team behind the venue are on an exciting adventure to rewild parts of their estate, a hugely important step in restoring biodiversity, wildlife and carbon capture, by letting nature do its thing.
Message me here if you'd like to know more about the project!
“Katherine’s superb, high quality drawing of Dyffryn House perfectly captures the very essence of Dyffryn and its Grade II listed mansion house. It brings to life a family home that was once at the heart of a thriving estate and community. We are proud to showcase Katherine’s stunning collection in our gift shop.”
- Retail Team, Dyffryn Gardens
It’s been over a year since I first dropped off my National Trust commission to Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan. Back then, I worked closely with the retail team to produce a drawing of the beautiful house and gardens that would be sold in their gift shop, and of course on my website.
Dating back to the 16th century, the house at Dyffryn began life as an extravagant family home. Sold in 1891, it was transformed by wealth coal merchant John Cory who had a passion for horticulture and developed the majestic grounds. Over the following century, the house was used as a police academy, dog training facility and an educational conference centre before being acquired by the National Trust in 2013, leasing it from the Vale of Glamorgan council. Now, after years of restoration and conservation, it is now enjoyed by children and adults alike, for family days out and special occasions.
I recently went back to re-stock the Dyffryn Gardens shop with more of the commissioned print, along with a selection of my wildlife drawings, and used the trip as an excuse to spend a while enjoying the grounds with my greyhound Lili.
Read about more of my commercial collaborations here.
I’ve shared snippets before, but I’m thrilled to now be able to share the final edit of the film I had made to document the creative process behind my memory boxes. The film shows what inspired me to make my first box, and also explains my love for creating something so unique and special. Huge thanks to Jonny Campbell who used his talents and creativity to document my work in so much detail.
Click the image below to watch the short film, and read on for the transcript. A subtitled version can be found by clicking here.
We went travelling for five months through Central America and Mexico and that’s really when I knew that I wanted to do something with these boxes. I collected something small from every place that we visited and then when I came back, I assembled it all into a big old printer’s tray and that’s really where it started.
I feel very humbled when I’m asked to create these beautiful, special pieces that will be with people for the rest of their lives. They can be about everything - I’ve done lots for weddings; I’ve done quite a few for bereavement, in memory of somebody that they’ve lost; I’ve done ones from holidays, trips abroad, boxes that celebrate childhood, all sorts.
It’s always a really interesting process at the start because there’s always lots of back and forth with people sending me photos and saying, “Oh do you think this will work, do you think this will work?” It’s always a process of dialogue, and they want to tell me the stories.
Once we’ve agreed in principle which objects are going in, I ask everybody to send me the objects or drop them off to me. Sometimes people will package everything up in a tiny little box; other clients have dropped off two suitcases full of stuff. It’s those everyday things, all those little objects that don’t necessarily have monetary value; they’re not hugely special or significant to anybody else, but to you they’ve got so much sentimental value, they’ve got so many memories.
Every single object has its own space. When you curate all of them into a holistic piece they become so reminiscent of a person, a place or an event. The objects bring a whole sensory experience - you get the tactile elements because you can reach out and touch the objects. That’s why I purposely don’t cover the boxes with glass. You can also smell the objects which is amazing, because smell is so evocative.
I think quite a lot of people have a sense of guilt that they keep them but also, they would have guilt if they threw them away. The process of doing something purposeful with these really ordinary objects is really cathartic and quite therapeutic.
There’s always an act of celebration, celebrating the moment that your child is about turn 11; celebrating the life of somebody that you’ve lost; celebrating an amazing holiday; or, celebrating a wedding. There’s a whole story around celebrating with the boxes and it’s a privilege to be trusted to be a part of that celebration.
Read about when a specially commissioned box was featured in Cardiff Life Magazine, here.
Katherine Jones' intricate line drawings reflect her architectural training but also her deep love for Wales
From picturesque Portmeirion to the rugged beauty of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Katherine Jones' artwork reflects her love of Wales and its buildings. A Cardiff-based artist and architect, Jones has become known for making three-dimensional bespoke 'memory boxes' - framed boxes intricately filled with items by which to remember a loved one or a precious time. However, this is not her only chosen medium.
Her latest exhibition, in Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw, focuses on pen, ink and watercolour drawings that reflect her architectural training. Lovingly drawn in intricate detail, these works focus on Welsh places, in particular north Wales.
"I use my work to help others connect with the people, places and moments they love," she says.
"I enjoy creating the artworks with so much detail and giving these recognisable places a new lease of life.
"I love hearing people's stories about why they like a particular drawing or what resonates with them about a particular place. I hope people will find new layers of meaning in these drawings and a reminder of happy times and special places."
Katherine's show is running alongside Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw's summer exhibition, featuring work by over 80 artists from all over Wales and beyond, and Anghysbell by Manon Awst, a multidisciplinary artist, working in performance, sculpture, poetry, site-specific intervention and works on paper.
The show runs until the end of September.
My exhibition 'Grounded' will be at Plas Glyn y Weddw from July 21 until the end of September 2021. Read about the exhibition below:
We all have our favourite places. The ones that ground us, make us feel at home, or take us down memory lane. Katherine's intricate drawings bring these cherished landscapes, towns or buildings to life in a stylish, unique way.
In the last two years, she has been featured on Radio 4 and has been commissioned by the likes of the National Trust, Microsoft and the National Museum of Wales.
Katherine's exhibition at Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw brings together her collection of drawings across Wales, with a focus on North Wales. From the whimsical town of Portmeirion to the rugged beauty of Blaenau Ffestiniog, Katherine's artworks have a commonality to them. Through intricate linework, unique hatches and tiny details, her drawings capture the essence of a place. Each artwork is anchored by the ground or sea beneath them and connected by the sky.
Yet, they are all recognisably different, grounded within their specific locations, and their individual identities are perfectly captured. Katherine's unique style creates a recognisable, yet unusual take on some of Wales' most treasured places.
I was commissioned by UWC Atlantic College to create a drawing of St Donat’s Castle, the 12th century castle in which the college is based.
Set in 122 acres of woodland and farmland, and with its own valley and seafront, the castle became home to an American newspaper magnate in 1925, and was later bought and then donated to Atlantic College’s governing body, in 1960.
I created a coloured and a black and white version of the drawing and the college gives prints of them to current students and alumni.
The castle is also a popular wedding venue, and my drawing has also been turned into wedding invitations, cards and a larger version was even used for wedding guests to sign around instead of a guest book.
See more of my drawings of iconic Welsh buildings here.
“We saw in Katherine’s drawings a warmth, texture and intricacy that we felt would translate well to the context of this commission. Katherine fully grasped the brief and the complexities of working at the scale required for large clinical and public areas. She ensured that her work was site specific by referencing local landscapes and the subtle pops of colour that draw the eye but don’t overwhelm the artwork’s serenity.
The artworks have been very warmly received and we would be more than happy to work with Katherine again.”
I was absolutely delighted to be asked to create two bespoke drawings to go on the walls of the maternity ward at the Grange Hospital in Cwmbran, working with Studio Response to turn my drawings into six metre long prints.
It was such a wonderful project to be asked to do, and so fantastic to see it brought into being in the ward corridors. It was a lovely way for me to link my bird drawings to the surrounding landscape and place them among local architecture.
As inspiration, I drew on nearby bodies of water and fairy-tales of storks delivering babies. Storks are also significantly important in the UK, as after 600 years, they have recently been reintroduced in a successful breeding programme at the Knepp Estate in West Sussex.
The backdrops of the drawings reference Cwmbran boating lake, and locations along the Afon Lwyd, the river running through Cwmbran. 450-year-old Llan yr Afon Manor also features, as does the Afon Lwyd Weir and bridge at Pontymoile.
You can read more about my commercial projects here and see this project in more detail here.
Earlier in the year, I had the honour of working with year 1 from Thornhill Primary School in Cardiff. Their teacher contacted me to ask if her 5 and 6 year olds could produce some drawings based on my humpback whale tail print.
As I couldn’t visit in person because of Covid restrictions, I sent them a video showing them how I created my image and they used it to make their own wonderful drawings.
Afterwards, I put the class in touch with www.uk.whales.org who offer free talks about whales and dolphins to schools, in the hope the children will continue their exploration into whale conservation and further their knowledge of the majestic beings they were drawing.
The feedback I received from their teacher was wonderful:
"I just wanted to say how much the children loved working in collaboration with you. Your video session was informative and pitched just right for them. They were amazed that a "real life Welsh artist" took the time to speak to them and explain the process and meaning behind such beautiful work.
I was absolutely thrilled with the quality of artwork the children produced as a result of our collaboration. I am certain they worked so hard because they had a real context for learning and a line of communication. They had something to strive for and a real understanding behind what they were doing and why.
I really hope that we can work together again. The children benefitted so much from your kindness and talent. Your approach captivated and inspired them. I had them leave for home time saying they want to be an artist like you. If that isn’t inspirational, I don’t know what is! "
Read more about my work with schools here.
I have long been passionate about nature and wildlife, and one of my strongest beliefs is that every living thing and its habitat should be respected. Everything in nature, from the biggest whale to the tiniest insect should be able to live undisturbed by human activity. Their natural way of being should be protected.
My love of whales and dolphins started at an early age – when I was ten, I drew every species of whale and dolphin for a school project! I was also ten when I adopted my first dolphin, and it’s safe to say that I’m still obsessed with them, as I’ve adopted one every year since!
I created my current series of whales and dolphin drawings to raise awareness and funds for a charity that means a lot to me. I am extremely proud to say that my official partnership with The Whale and Dolphin Conservation means that I am able to donate 40% of profits from my Whales and Dolphins range, to help fund their important work in vital global conservation and research, keeping these magical creatures safe.
Browse my Whales and Dolphins collection here.
I’m an artist who creates beautiful memory boxes and intricate ink drawings to help you connect with the people and places you love.