How it all started
Hi, I'm Diane the owner and creator of China Petals. I've been making mosaic from china for a number of years and love the idea of turning something old and unwanted into something beautiful and treasured again.
It all started one Christmas when my husband went into the attic to bring down the decorations. While he was up there he found a box of broken, chipped and unwanted bits of china, mainly Royal Albert. 'Do something with it or throw it away' he said. It was no good to use but I couldn't bear to throw it away because it was so pretty. I racked my brains, Googled the internet and mosaic was my answer. The first thing I created was a large jewellery box decorated with mosaic flowers made from the Royal Albert china I had hidden away. I gave this to my mum for Christmas that year and made a few hanging hearts to give away as gifts. People loved what I was doing so I did more and more and honed my skills to what they are today.
I prefer to work with fine bone china as it enables me to nip the pieces smaller and create a more delicate style of mosaic which I love. I nip and shape each piece by hand letting the china speak to me and tell me what it should be in it's next life. Many hours of work go into creating china mosaic or to give it it's proper name piqueassiette. Through designing, nipping, shaping, smoothing off any sharp edges, grouting, polishing and finishing, each stage is helping to create a mosaic which is beautiful and unique.
One of my specialties is covering real shoes with china. Mosaicking a wedding shoe with fine china is always a fascinating project and a fabulous way to preserve precious memories. Every shoe is different, every piece of china is different but the results are stunning. They look so beautiful and delicate you could hardly believe they are covered in china. I am lucky enough to have a dedicated studio at Banks Mill in Derby where I have lots of china waiting to be recycled. As my ethos is to save china from going to landfill I generally like to use damaged pieces or china which has been discarded. I do not hold an unlimited supply of one particular pattern and I have to think creatively to give new life to the unwanted . This means that all my pieces are unique and really are 'Mosaics to Treasure'.