Meet our Makers - Elaine Brett Rowlands

Meet our Makers blog series is back for 2023.

This month we meet Elaine Brett Rowlands. Elaine spent 25 years championing contemporary British artists and makers, selling their work while running two successful galleries in York and Keswick. 

Having sold her last gallery in Keswick in 2020, Elaine has now revisited a creative passion of her younger years by creating delicate, nature inspired clay & plaster artworks that reflect her love of the countryside. 

Welcome Elaine, please tell us more about your work and what inspires you...


 Lavender 2


Having owned two successful galleries for 25 years and selling work by British Contemporary Artists and Makers the tables have been turned as in 2020 I become a maker. I create landscapes using clay and plaster, inspired by my love of the countryside, gardens and plants.

My experiments with clay and plaster began in my early 20’s living in the beautiful Ribble Valley in Lancashire where I did a night class in ceramics for over 12 years. Following that I moved to York to take over Pyramid Gallery where I quickly became immersed in collagraphy printmaking and etching under the guidance of Peter Wray. I loved how an image could be reproduced but also altered by the way in which paint was applied. This has informed the way I work.

To make the pictures flowers, leaves and seed heads are pressed into clay. Other marks are made with dried clay, twigs, seed heads and anything sharp such as a knife or needle. This is then cast in plaster and moulded in silicone enabling me to reproduce the image. I make limited editions of 150, as is often done in printmaking, to ensure that the quality of the cast is not compromised by the deterioration of the mould. The casts are then finished using acrylic paint rolled onto the plaster thereby ensuring each piece is unique.

 late summer hedgerow elaine brett rowlands

Late Summer Hedgerow Tile 

In 2009 I fulfilled a lifelong dream to live in the Lake District and took over Northern Lights Gallery in Keswick. Surrounded by amazing countryside and incredible artists I dabbled with creative ideas but never had enough time to fulfil them! The opportunity came when I retired in 2018, moved to live in an old cottage surrounded by meadows and country lanes. I also created a cottage garden. It gave me everything I needed to inspire my pictures at the time.

 wild meadow elaine brett rowlands

 In April 2021 we moved from the cottage into a new house on an estate on the very edge of the Lake District National Park. With only a bare lawn, my priority was to fill the garden with plants and make a new cottage garden with a small pond for wildlife. Many of the pictures I now make have been created using the lovely plants in my new garden.

 cottage garden elaine brett rowlands

Cottage Garden

The piece I love is “New Cottage Garden”. It was inspired by my friend’s garden and created using her beautiful plants. Unfortunately, she had to move but the piece means she will always have something to remind her of the garden she created with love.

I have taken part in four successful exhibitions so far. My hope is that I will show my collection of new larger work in more exhibitions over the next few years.

 summer lavender 1 elaine brett rowlands

Thank you to Elaine the story behind her delicate, nature inspired artworks. You can find a selection of Elaine's work available for sale in our Caldbeck shop. Elaine's artwork tiles comes framed and ready to hang.


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