Dada Masilo

Art Works: Chantelle Arnold

21 November 18

Creator of the Bookish Plant Pots, Chantelle Arnold, had a chat with us abaht her works and her ever-growing plant collection...

I’ve been making terrariums for friends and family for a while. After some encouragement, I started selling them online and at local fairs. I wanted to make them more unique, so my boyfriend suggested I somehow combine my love of plants and reading. The Bookish Plant Pot idea was born.

I love books, especially old paperbacks, so I hand-paint terracotta pots to match the books from my favourite publishing house. They’ve become very popular with the “Bookstagram” community. A lovely customer even took one of my pots to New York as a gift, and Addyman Books and The Ironbridge Bookshop have both sent me beautiful photos of the pots displayed in their windows.

I’ve spent many evenings painting pots until I fall asleep, and many mornings finishing them before going to work at my full-time job. Despite how long they take, it’s rewarding to see them in their new homes. Penguin Classics got in touch to say that they love the idea, which was amazing to hear.

I recently created the Pride Pot, painted in the colours of the rainbow Pride flag; proceeds from these are donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust, a homelessness charity that supports the LGBTQ+ Community. For fans of Harry Potter, I make House Plant Pots so you can sort your plants into their own Hogwarts House.

My love of house plants and cacti has grown in the past couple of years. I now own over fifty, and propagate a lot from my own plants; some end up in the terrariums I make. Indoor gardening is really therapeutic and an effective method of practicing mindfulness. I hope to bring the same feeling to my customers with technique advice; one day, I would love to write my own book on plant care and propagation.

Chantelle's online shop