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News Staffs Uni excited to see The Donna Louise butterflies take flight

Ceramic butterflies designed by Staffordshire University students and made in Stoke-on-Trent will take flight later this month.

Student Ellina Pollitt with the butterfly designs.
Image: Student Ellina Pollitt with the butterfly designs.

It is great to be involved in a live project which will be viewed by so many people and which is designed to raise money for such as good cause. I can’t wait to see the installation in its full glory.

Ellina Pollitt, student on 3D Designer Maker course

The Donna Louise Hospice for Children & Young People recently launched their campaign to sell 5,000 ceramic butterflies to raise money for the hospice which has recently expanded its service to provide care for young adults.

‘Taking Flight’, a temporary installation made up of the limited edition butterflies will take centre stage at Trentham Gardens from May 25 until November 3, and each intricately made butterfly is available to buy here

The butterfly design is an echo of a painting by Charlotte Thom, who spent time at The Donna Louise and was a keen artist, completing an A-level in the subject before her death last year, aged 20.

Tim Forrester, Course leader for MA Ceramic Design and BA 3D Designer Maker, said: “We were approached by The Donna Louise 18 months ago who asked our students to come up with ideas which has evolved into the Butterfly project.

“35 students were originally involved in the live project which has been whittled down to just 3 who came up with the outline shape and the relief for the butterflies which have been manufactured locally.”

The butterflies have been hand-crafted by Johnson Tiles who made the poppies for the internationally acclaimed Tower of London art installation commemorating the Centenary of World War One. The vibrant blue butterflies have then been glazed and finished by the world-renowned Wade Ceramics.

Final year BA (Hons) Designer Maker Student Ellina Pollitt, pictured with her butterfly prototypes, has helped see the project through to completion.

She said: “It is great to be involved in a live project which will be viewed by so many people and which is designed to raise money for such as good cause. I can’t wait to see the installation in its full glory.”

Simon Fuller, Chief Executive of The Donna Louise, said: “The Butterflies are wonderful representation of the path that many of our children, young people and families find themselves on, as well as bringing to life the rich industrial past of Staffordshire’s ceramic industry.

"We very much hope that the community will come to visit the display at Trentham Gardens, and purchase their very own piece of local history by buying a limited edition butterfly. Thanks to the incredible generosity of many business across Staffordshire and South Cheshire 100% of the funds raised from butterfly sales will go directly to helping us support families who rely on The Donna Louise, and for that we are extremely grateful.”

Each butterfly purchase includes one free day admission to Trentham Gardens, to view ‘Taking Flight’ from the 25 May to 3 November 2019.

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