Inspiration from the Smallest of Beings

Mena Ceramics' Bee Collection appealed to the National Trust, which will be selling products in its Pembrokeshire venues in 2019

Mena Ceramics' Bee Collection appealed to the National Trust, which will be selling products in its Pembrokeshire venues in 2019

Mena Ceramics: The Bee Collection

It’s going to be an exciting start to the new year for Mena Ceramics here at East Gate Gallery.

Mena has been selected as a creative supplier to the National Trust – meaning her ceramic collections will be available in six of the charity’s local shops, including Gupton Farm, the Stackpole Estate and Colby Woodland Garden.

Among the ranges she’s working on is this charming bee-themed collection.

The National Trust's Pembrokeshire shops will stock Mena Ceramic's 'The Bee Collection' in 2019

The National Trust's Pembrokeshire shops will stock Mena Ceramic's 'The Bee Collection' in 2019

The Bee Collection was initially inspired by a bee stamp that Mena had been using in her children’s pottery workshops. 

Mena was then inspired to incorporate the honey-comb design into her pieces, saying: “I find it mind-blowing how these little insects can make such an incredibly geometric shape quite naturally. Sometimes as artists we can agonise over how to make something look beautiful or quirky or unusual, when all we really need to do is look to nature and borrow its creativity.”

Plates from Mena Ceramics' Bee Collection

Plates from Mena Ceramics' Bee Collection

The Product of a Creative Year

Mena’s East Gate Gallery has just celebrated its first anniversary and it’s a year that has seen Mena  developing her technique and range of products in The Potting Shed at the back of the gallery.

She said: “I’m really pleased that the National Trust saw something they liked in my work. They were looking for suppliers who represent the fabric of Wales and the creativity of the nation so I feel honoured to be considered.

“I also had to meet the charity’s ethos and aspirations, which includes things like my materials being ethically sourced and my packaging is recycled."

The natural pattern of honeycomb inspired Mena Ceramic's 'The Bee Collection'

The natural pattern of honeycomb inspired Mena Ceramic's 'The Bee Collection'

Detail on one of Mena Ceramic's bee plates

Detail on one of Mena Ceramic's bee plates

The changing climate and the detrimental impact humans are having on the planet makes its way into many of Mena’s collections.

She said: “Nature is such an inspiration to me and I think about it in everything I do. With The Bee Collection, I considered how tiny the bumblebee is but how the effect it has on all of our lives as a pollinator is hugely significant. Sometimes you have to look closely to see the importance in the little things."

Laura Ridgway