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Inspired by a family of women artisans, and my own personal experience of the power of creativity to build wellbeing, this is the studio we never had. Meet the women that are the inspiration of Snowdrop Studio, understand their achievements, dreams, and see their creative work displayed within the studio.

Lisa and Minnie
Hand drawn poppy by Lisa

Lisa Stevenson,
b 1972

As a child, my gran, Joy, always encouraged me to stay true to a path of creativity.  It has a taken half a lifetime to follow Joy's advice and do something that I love, but finally with the opening of Snowdrop Studio that advice has been realised.  All my life I have always felt that creativity is where my heart lay, and have increasinlgy incorporated it into any role that I have had working in leadership and innovation.   It is when I am actually creating and coaching that I am truly myself and where my heritage of these women guides me.

I also started over ten years ago to understand the link between creativity and wellbeing at a personal level. It is easiest to explain if I start with why the studio is called after a snowdrop. In 2010, myself and my husband lost our wonderful son, to sudden infant death syndrome, 'cot death', and through the devastation the thing that I started to do was draw.  I felt compelled to draw, which I did for nearly a year, always in pencil, always black and white, every day to get through.  The creativity held me up as I was lost in the dark.  It was winter when it happened and the first ray of hope was thinking of the snowdrops breaking through the snow, and new beginnings.  I remembered the small painting of my gran's that had hung in my parents home and kindly my parents gave it to me as a symbol to hold onto in those days. It was then that I realised that healing and wellbeing is linked to nature and creativity, both of which allow humans to feel growth and for me gave hope in the darkest of times.  

Joy's snowdrops
Lino cut by Lisa
Hand drawn by Lisa

With lots of support, we have re-built our family life, and I now no longer paint or draw solely in black or white, and I lean into colour wherever I can.  I am known for always carrying my 'felt tips', as they remind me to not live in black and white.  You can see this influence of colour in my first ceramic collection, 'New Beginnings' which is inspired by a rainbow of colour.  I also draw on these moments as I coach and create.

I began to understand the role of family and friends in re-building and became interested in my own heritage and explored three women including my gran, Joy, my great aunt Freda and my great grandmother Agnes, all whom creativity shaped their lives and was how they felt happy and well.  The creativity of these three talented women is in all areas of the studio.  Finally there is a  studio worthy for their creations to be displayed.  Read more about Joy, Agnes and Freda below.

In the last few years, I wanted to share this experience and learning and the idea for a creative wellbeing studio emerged. There are so many people that have enabled this project to happen, from my dad, John a wonder woodworker and craftsperson, my mum Katie who helps with customer research and feedback, my sister Louise aka 'The Honest Midwife', a social media and marketing whizz and at home my wonderful husband, who keeps me on track with finances and produces all the honey from our bees, a real family affair bringing to life our family's legacy.  Last but not least are our two children, that follow our son, who provide inspiration today to live life to the full and who in time will make their own creative paths.

Platter hand painted by Lisa
Ceramics by Lisa

Agnes Jenkinson, 1877 - 1916

My great grandmother, Agnes, had a rare artistic talent that was recognised early in her life.  See her award winning pastels that she achieved in 1897, awarded by the Sheffield School of Art.  Agnes became classically trained and exhibited both in the UK and in Switzerland, where her thoughtful use of colour and portrayal of light was noted.  She focused on still life, landscapes but mainly flowers, as can be seen above.  Agnes was a devoted mother to her children and sadly she passed away shortly after childbirth, at a young age, in her late 30s.  Her talent was so clear but never realised fully due to her sadly dying at such a young age.  Agnes's beautiful roses are now being captured in hand painted porcelain.

Joy Stevenson, 1908 - 2004

Joy was Agnes's second daughter and became a beloved mother, and grandmother to my sister Louise and I. The name Mrs Stevenson and 'true lady', were never far away from each other.  A very talented confectioner, with her husband Jack, they were locally renowned for their bakery and confections with Joy specialising in wedding cakes.  As a couple they typified 'new beginnings', starting a bakery in their forties at a time when entrepreneurs were few and far between.  A real inspiration for our first collection, 'New Beginnings.' As she retired she spent more time on her art and the results in both watercolour and oils told of a true artistic talent.

As a grandmother she was a wonder and often stressed to us that we should always try and do something that we loved as that is when we are truly ourselves.  A lesson that has been long in the learning but is now bearing fruit.  Among many of Joy's creations is the picture of snowdrops that inspires the story of Snowdrop Studio and are now being carved into porcelain and are the backdrop to our branding.

Freda Smedley 1919 - 2006

Freda was Joy's younger half sister and a true character from the start.  Joy described the arrival of Freda and a later sister Margie, into their lives as a true blessing for the family after the death of Agnes a few years earlier.  A real independent spirit, Freda quickly focused on her art and became an undergraduate, specialising in Fine Art practices.   Her art portfolio, displayed within Snowdrop Studio, was completed in 1937.  Amongst many of her pictures is one called 'Progress', depicting women and their roles.  Freda was a talented painter and her love of graphic design, art deco and illustration is prevalent in a clear artistic style, that is both modern and traditional.  Later, Freda achieved much success as the Head of Art at a secondary school in Sheffield, and was widely travelled and read.  


In her later years she married Smed, her long time love and they retired to Somerset where she was an active member of Watchet art society, where she exhibited locally, where they had a lovely English cottage and garden.  Enjoy a cup of tea out of one of Freda's favourite cups. Freda's daffodils, such a feature in her garden are at the heart of our 'Family Flowers,' collection.

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