We’ve had a great reaction to our new fibreclay plant pots, so we thought we’d catch up with local maker, Nathalie Gibbins to find out more about the inspiration behind her designs.
Hi Nathalie, we’re delighted to be selling your pots at Rose & Grey! Could you tell us where you got your inspiration for the pots?
I’m even more delighted to be selling my Pow Pots at Rose & Grey! I love seeing them sitting amidst all the other gorgeous pieces of furniture and home accessories you stock. I’m completely smitten.
I’ve always been a fan of simple, graphic and geometric patterns. From Paperchase stationery and Orla Kiely bedding to my bold hexagonal kitchen floor tiles, I love a shot of colour in repeat pattern. I also love houseplants.
When I had my daughter Beatrix 18 months ago, I had some time and headspace, which gave me the opportunity to think about different things. And after one particularly lengthy Instagram nose through amazing Australian and Scandinavian homes, it suddenly occurred to me…. Although the UK was definitely going through a plants revolution akin to the 70s, plant pots were sadly dragging behind. You could buy more and more of the most amazing tropical houseplants, but the only pots you could buy for them were white, black or terracotta.
So I started researching this market. I bought a load of terracotta pots and starting practising on them, using everything from Scandinavian prints online, to items around my home for inspiration. The Sunny design for example, was inspired by a Habitat plate I bought about 15 years ago!
I wanted the pots to be stylish, bold and bright, and eye-catching, and most importantly, make people happy. With this in mind, the designs came quite naturally.
Can you tell us why you use fibreclay for the pots – what are the main benefits of the material?
Fibreclay is a relatively new material for planters but it is really brilliant and I think we will see a lot more of it. Traditionally it is used to make large, outdoor planters because unlike terracotta, it is much lighter, stronger and also frost resistant. It is clay mixed with fibres, which can be fibreglass, recycled plastic or paper pulp. The fibre content also means that plants can still breathe as oxygen can pass through to the roots.
For me however, the main reason was the paint finish. I wanted my Pow Pots to look hand-painted, so therefore one-of-a-kind and special, but not homemade, which was the result I was getting with terracotta. The clay in these fibreclay pots is a wonderful material to paint on, and gives Pow Pots their beautiful finish: modern, matt and professional, but you can still see they are hand-painted and completely unique.
The pots look great indoors and out.
Where do you paint the pots? Do you have a workshop or studio space at home?
I paint the pots in my home studio in central Manchester. It’s a beautiful space with floor to ceiling windows that let in loads of natural light, perfect for painting. I love it there and pinch myself sometimes that I’m ‘at work’! That said, it isn’t a big place, and with the speed that Pow Pots is growing, I’ll probably have to look for other premises soon, or I may have a divorce on my hands!
Are you a big plant lover? Which are your favourite plants that you like to see homed in your pots?
Yes, I am, although since launching Pow Pots and becoming more involved in the plant community, I’ve realised there are far bigger fans out there than me. My house isn’t quite an urban jungle – yet!
My absolute favourite plant is my Monstera deliciosa. She sits proudly in a red Sunny pot. I’ve also got an amazing Fishbone cactus I bought recently from Nonsense plant shop in Prestwich that is hanging in my kitchen in a homemade macramé creation. And I’ve got some lovely spider plants I rooted from some cuttings from one my best friends – these mean a lot to me.
Overall, indoors I love to see unusual, tropical and bold, well-structured plants in my pots. I’ve got my eye on a banana palm and a Zanzibar gem next. Outdoors, I’d love to see palms and trees in the extra-large Pow Pots.
Do you love bright pops of colour in your own home?
Yes! I like white walls and wood floors but then love to accessorise with colour. I’ve got some amazing green floor tiles in my kitchen that I delight in every single day, a gorgeous yellow patterned rug in my studio and pretty velvet pink cushions on my settee. Plus, Pow Pots all over the place now!
What interior trend will you be incorporating into your home this year?
I’m not sure if it is trend per se, but my big project this year is revamping my balcony. It’s a long and slim space, and my views of the sky are gradually being replaced by building after new building (as anyone living in central Manchester will sympathise!). I want to therefore create a verdant wall using ornamental grass (maybe pink pampas?) to create an enclosed urban oasis that I can enjoy looking out onto, and Beatrix can play safely. Plus, I think it will look super-cool!