London Clay Birds

London Clay

DH Painter makes ‘London Clay Birds’ with a sweet Mid-Century quality to them…

What makes his birds unique is the story their clay has to tell… first of all, it is a marine deposit from an ancient seabed, 50-60 million years old, back when London was covered by a tropical ocean. Fossils from the Palaeogene period have been found in this clay which stretches half way across the London area.

Secondly it is sourced from near where DH Painter lives… an old Victorian workhouse and an Aged Pilgrims Asylum once stood near the Archway and Highgate Hill, an area which has recently been redeveloped, allowing him to excavate some of the amazing London clay.

London Clay

The clay is then sculpted to represent our city’s little birds. They fire up nicely, with some wonderful effects, different colours and textures. Painter’s kiln is a fairly rudimentary brick built oven in his allotment but sometimes the birds are placed in his seasonal bonfires along side the cabbage stalks and sweetcorn stems, with some interesting results!

They are finished with a little wax and presented in a special handmade bag. Each bird is one of a kind and totally unique, exactly like our real London birds!

London Clay

Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at

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