An insight into how I create my designs..
Once I have carried out research into what appeals to children, and themes that tend to catch their interest, I begin to think of ideas for photo-shoots inspired by this. When I have an idea, I start to draw some designs. I base the designs on the colour, shape or texture of the fruit or vegetable, as these factors cannot be changed. Creating these drawings helps me to visualise what a character, vehicle or other object will look like, as well as helping me to figure out how it could be constructed from healthy foods.
I spend a lot of time shopping for the food that I will use; I have to choose which pear is most shaped like a bird, or which lemon shares a similar appearance to a fish! Once I have purchased all the food I require, I am ready to begin the crafting. I often carry out test shoots, or practice making certain elements before the final photo-shoot, to ensure that my designs will work. Due to the surface of fresh fruits and vegetables, I am unable to use glue to attach pieces together, therefore I need to work with more unusual materials. I mainly use wire, wooden cocktail sticks and pins to make each character or other element of the photographs.
When the individual parts are completed, I begin to make the set. This process differs depending on the photo-shoot. To form the base of the set I use either polystyrene or floral foam, as these are easily carved and help to hold the food in place. I then cover this with the food that I wish to be used as the ground or floor and begin to build upon it to create the rest of the scene. If something needs to be elevated, such as a bird flying or a fish swimming, I thread wire through the food it is made from and attach it to a wire grid that is in place above the set. Using wire to hang the food allows me to angle it exactly how I want to.
I then take the photograph, using specific lighting depending on what atmosphere I intend to create, and edit the image to remove all the pieces of wire etc that are on show!
Once this is done it is ready to get printed onto dinnerware!