If there are three words that describe my experience visiting the tranquil home/studio of Ellie Beck (Petal Plum), they would be connected, slow & soulful. It was the most relaxing afternoon, from the drive through the stunning Byron Bay hinterlands to the foraging walks and the sun drenched, tea-time chats.
Ellie is the writer, maker and all round beautiful human behind Petal Plum; a source of inspiration not only for her stunning textile work but for her soulful spirit and grounded perspective on motherhood, creativity and slow living.
Having grown up and lived her whole life on a mesmerisingly gorgeous property in the Northern NSW rainforests, Ellie takes great inspiration from nature and incorporates it into all of her creations and her life in general.
Walking and foraging in her never-ending backyard of botanical bliss is an everyday practise and is part of her creative process. We went on a stroll around the property, her barefoot and grounded to the earth, me watching out for spider webs. After amalgamating a bouquet of botanicals, it was on to picking each plant apart and laying them onto fabric, some of which is beautiful silk from a vintage kimono. Rolling them up, wrapping them with string and placing them in the pre-infused jars of vibrant flower ‘stuffs’. Leaving to soak for a few hours to overnight. This is a slow process that when unwrapped and uncovered is so worth the wait.
As if tie-dyed, the small pieces of silk and cotton have turned into beautifully coordinated palettes of greens, pinks and yellows. These soft yet intense colours are transferred from leaves and flowers, things that are ephemeral in nature, but are now captured forever on a piece of fabric, ready to be made into art.
This is where things slowed down, and time almost stood still. Sitting, cross legged, on Ellie’s sun drenched veranda, basking in the silence of the rainforest with birds, insects and the ruffling of branches the only thing to be heard, Ellie picks up a big patch work quilt of botanical blues and oranges and starts to stitch. This particular quilt has been a work in progress for months and every now and then Ellie will pick it up again and add to it with words and wonky lines, in the pursuit of expressing her current thoughts, feelings and sentiments. Always real, always honest, always perfectly imperfect.
My afternoon with Ellie will forever be a cherished moment. It is not everyday you meet someone so grounded, so connected to her surroundings and so full of creative spirit. These qualities are so clearly transferred into her creations, which are not only stunning in appearance but are filled with love and appreciation.
Ellie has shared her knowledge and insights via online courses and sometimes does in person workshops at various locations around Australia. If you would like to learn more about Petal Plum and any upcoming events or releases, please follow the links below.