Dee Hardwicke, ceramic artist and designer, whose work is inspired by the British countryside, shares some favourite sites.

Dee Hardwicke is a ceramic artist and designer with a passionate belief in creating beautiful and accessible pieces that bring colour and joy to everyday life. Dee works from a studio in the historic market town of Monmouth, and her designs are inspired by the British countryside. It's often the tiniest details – perhaps a pretty petal or the ethereal quality of a butterfly's wings – that inspire Dee and she's never without her sketch books.

Dee's work encompasses everything from creating bespoke tiles and mosaics to translating her sketches into stunning knits and intarsia designs. Dee's new book – 'A Story in Yarn' – will be published in August and her latest collections include a second exclusive tableware range for the National Trust, inspired by the cottage garden at Barrington Court in Somerset.


Sarah Raven - My garden is where many of my design ideas take root but it's always lovely to be able to pay a virtual visit to other gardens too. This is a real treat of a website. It's filled with stunning photography and great 'what to do in your garden' advice so it's always very tempting to place an enormous seed order after a quick browse! The accompanying blog covers a fascinating range of topics too.

National Trust - I’m endlessly inspired by the beauty of the British countryside and I love heading off – sketch book in hand – to explore new places. The National Trust website is a fantastic source of inspiration if you’re looking for interesting days out or you want to find out more about the history of your local area. You can also use the website to take a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the National Trust’s conservation work and to explore the highlights of its collections.

Victoria & Albert Museum and British Museum - Whenever I’m in London for meetings, I try to build in time to pop in to my favourite museums. These websites are a great way of keeping me up-to-date with the latest exhibitions and events so that I can plan my visits. I also recently discovered the V&A’s online knitting section, which includes everything from free downloadable vintage patterns to interviews with leading knitting designers.

Rowan Yarns - Knitting has definitely been becoming more popular in recent years and I’m sure that anyone who loves knitting understands the excitement of planning the next project, choosing a palette and deciding which yarns to buy. A quick look at this website always leaves me reaching for the knitting needles thanks to its inviting colours and accessible patterns. Online tutorials and technical advice are also available if you need a bit of help along the way.

Nigella Lawson - Recently redesigned, this site is even more inspiring than ever. It’s my first port of call if I need to rustle up a simple and delicious meal after a busy day but I’m feeling somewhat unexcited by the contents of my fridge. A scroll through the latest recipes always has the effect of making me head into the kitchen with renewed enthusiasm, confident that I’ll be able to conjure up a meal with plenty of pizzazz.

Favourite App... Filterstorm Neue App - This photo editing app is invaluable if you’re active on social media. I use it to add text and watermarks (such as copyright notices) to images when I’m posting sneak previews of my latest designs or studio shots of new products, and it couldn’t be easier to use. There’s a huge library of fonts to choose from and there are countless tools and tricks to help you create professional-looking images.

9 March 2016