Take thou these songs that owe their birth to thee,
and deign around thy temples to let creep
this ivy-chaplet ‘twixt the conquering bays.

Virgil, Bucolic: VIII 11-13: (Translated by J. B. Greenough. Boston. Ginn & Co. 1895.)

Trees of various kinds and their leaves or flowers play important and sacred roles as symbols in various cultures. Many of us are familiar with the laurel leaf of the bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) whose limbs and foliage were and still are entwined to form crown-like wreaths. Laureate means “crowned with laurel”. Worn on the head as symbols of victory, glory and notable achievement, this adornment comes to us from antiquity.

The ancient Greek god Apollo’s tree was the laurel and in his honour victors of Olympic, military, poetic and literary competitions were awarded laurel wreaths. Adopted by the Romans, their victorious generals and emperors were crowned with laurels.

The laurel motif in its myriad forms continues to endure across time and space and is a fitting symbol for Garland’s monthly observance of a work or works deemed of great value and distinction.

Every month, we share an object made recently that we think is especially wonderful.

Story Curator – Vicki Mason


Afsaneh Modiramani ✿ A nest in the city - For Afsaneh Modiramani, the slow nature of weaving gives meaning to an ever-expanding and alien urban environment.
Marie Eklund ✿ Poetry in spoons - Marie Eklund receives a Garland laurel for her wooden spoons that heighten the delicate act of portioning food.
Fiona Gavino ✿ Weave a deep breath - Fiona Gavino is our April laurel for a work that monumentalises basket-making as an expression of meditation.
Birender Kumar Yadav ✿ Presencing the keepers of the kiln - Our March Laurel goes to Birender Kumar Yadav for his terracotta installation in homage to brick kiln workers, one of the highlights of the Indian Ceramics Triennale. 
Aleisa Miksad ✿ Bacchic ceramics - Our February laurel is awarded to Aleisa Miksad for a vessel that bristles with Dionysian energy.
Saya Yamagishi ✿ Talismanic chintz - Our first laurel of 2024 goes to a Japanese lacquer artist who is enchanted by the arabesque patterns of medieval manuscripts.
Esther Elia ✿ An Assyrian Prayer Bowl - Our December laurel is awarded to an Assyrian living in the USA who makes prayer bowls with messages of cultural resilience.
Roksana Makieva ✿ A vyshyvanka for the spirit of peace in wartime - Our October laurel goes to a Ukrainian embroiderer who sustains tradition despite the war around her.
Sarah Khan ✿ Spoons as weapons of mass creation - Our September laurel Sarah K Khan, inspired by a sixteenth-century Indian Cookbook in Persian, decorates her spoons in honor of women’s knowledge.
Kalpataru ✿ Jharkhand’s Tree of Life by Sahil & Sarthak - Our August laurel goes to the epic Tree of Life made by Sahil & Sarthak for the Mall of Ranchi, Jharkhand, India.
Prita Tina Yeganeh ✿ The Sanctum of Qanāt - Our July laurel has adapted the traditional Iranian Abrī printing technique to works on silk involving micro-lattice patterns.
David Ray ✿ Four Treasons - Our June laurel is awarded to David Ray for his Four Treasons series of figurines that update the bucolic Staffordshire genre.
Lara Salous ✿ Palestine at home - Our May Laurel goes to Lara Salous, a furniture maker in Ramallah whose woollen screen brings Palestinian culture back home.
Vanghoua Anthony Vue ✿ To adorn Hmong in new lands - Our April laurel goes to Vanghoua Anthony Vue for a dazzling headpiece made from everyday objects.
Jane DuRand ✿ Walking through landscape, tile by tile - Our March laurel goes to Jane DuRand for an epic installation of tiles that evoke the myriad dimensions of the landscapes she loves to walk through.
Jessica Murtagh ✿ Ancient Athens at the checkout - Jessica Murtagh is awarded the February laurel for an exquisite glass vessel that depicts a supermarket checkout in the form of an ancient Athenian amphora. 
Lucia Nieves ✿ You have blooms - Our December laurel goes to Lucia Nieves in Puerto Rico, for watercolours that she applies to mobile phone cases. It's refreshing to find local colour on this everywhere and nowhere device.
Bahareh Zaman ✿ Shouldering the world - Our November laurel goes to Bahareh Zaman, an Iranian maker who created a map of the world on a leather bag, at whose heart is Iran on fire.
Sveta Dorosheva ✿ Two worlds, one brush - Our October laurel, Ukrainian-born illustrator Sveta Dorosheva, captures the collision of traditional and modern worlds in Shanghai.
Pippa Dyrlaga ✿ Precious pangolin - Our September laurel is awarded to Pippa Dyrlaga for a wonderfully intricate papercut that reflects the fragile condition of the pangolin species.
Bren Luke ✿ Life at a distance - Our August laurel is awarded to Bren Luke for his poignant animated illustration of a streetscape in Japan, which invokes the concept of ma, negative space, to reflect the era of social distancing.
The Last Kai ✿ A Moana renaissance - Our June laurel goes to an epic tapa recreation of da Vinci's Last Supper painting. Tui Emma Gillies shares the journey of its creation.
Sara Hedayat ✿ Shishe dermeh as rugged elegance - Our May laurel goes to the Iranian weaver Sara Hedayat for her subtle interpretation of the resilient shishe dermeh.
Paula Isola ✿ The words to wear it - Our April laurel goes to Argentinean jeweller, Paula Isola, for three brooches that weave a text of desire.
Genta HAYASHI ✿ Jūbako for the time of plum blossom - Our March laurel is awarded to Genta HAYASHI from Osaka for a beautifully made but complex lacquer container that celebrates the coming of spring and plum blossoms.
Bappaditya Biswas ✿ A chintz conversation - Our February Laurel goes to Bappaditya Biswas for his glorious chintz reflecting a conversation between birds and flowers.
Nicolette Johnson ✿ Shimmering turquoise - Our January laurel is awarded to Nicolette Johnson for her stoneware vase with mesmerising handles.  
Pachanbhai ✿ A finely woven story of change - Our December laurel is awarded to the Kutchi weaver, Pachanbhai, for a beautiful scarf featuring a finely woven story of climate change.
Julie Paterson ✿ Equanimity trees - Our November laurel is bestowed on a fabric printer in the Blue Mountains who produced painted objects where thoughts could dwell during the pandemic.
Ozioma Onuzulike ✿ Woven in clay - Our October laurel goes to Nigerian ceramicist Ozioma Onuzulike for an epic Nigerian prestige gown woven out of hundreds of small clay beads.
Mel Douglas ✿ Latitude - Our September Laurel is awarded to Mel Douglas for a majestic duo of glass vessels that seamlessly capture the motion of making.
Punk Rocks ✿ The Hope Pebble - Our August laurel goes to Objects of Mass Distraction, a Singapore collective whose series Punk Rocks features precious jewellery made from found materials ​​
Mian Wei ✿ From temple roof to table top - The July laurel goes to Mien Wei, whose work at Design Shanghai interprets the ancient Dou Gong beam and bracket system for domestic use.
Zhu Ohmu ✿ 3D-printed by hand - The June Laurel is awarded to Zhu Ohmu, whose coiled ceramic vessels gracefully embody a precarious world.
Kanta Kadse ✿ Khajur ki pattiyo - Our May Laurel goes to a broom maker from Madhya Pradesh, whose elegant implements bring beauty to the home.
Jane McKenzie ✿ Play of light - Our April laurel goes to Jane McKenzie, a ceramic artist whose work reduces modernist architecture to human scale.
Madhvi Subrahmanian ✿ Pandemic Pills - Our March laurel goes to Madhvi Subrahmanian for ceramic objects that offer ritual release for the mental restlessness accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic.
Azadeh Yasaman ✿ A disorderly beauty - Our February laurel goes to Iranian weaver and fashion designer, Azadeh Yasaman, who seeks to give new life to the ancient beauty of her culture.
Taller Grulla ✿ The forest at hand - Our January laurel goes to a Chilean workshop that makes objects for daily life inspired by earth and forest. 
Sophie Carnell ✿ Gnat orchid - Our December laurel goes to a jeweller based in Bruny Island, Tasmania, for a silver sculpture inspired by the gnat orchid, whose elegant form clings to the land.
James Tylor ✿ Kaurna tool kit - Our November Laurel goes to James Tylor for his re-creation of the Kaurna tool kit, reflecting the revival of cultural skills across the wider world.
Asif Shaikh and Aziz Murtazaev ✿ A dialogue of print and stitch - Our October laurel goes to Our October laurel goes to an eloquent collaboration between Indian embroiderer Asif Shaik and Uzbek ikat maker Aziz eloquent collaboration between Indian embroider Asif Shaik and Uzbek ikat maker Aziz Murtazaev.
Maryann Sebasio ✿ Warup drum from Erub island - Our September laurel goes to Torres Strait islander, Maryann Sabiso, who has produced a handsome warup wooden drum that accompanies ceremony and song in her island of Erub.
Roseanne Bartley ✿ be in touch - Our August Laurel is awarded to artist-jeweller Roseanne Bartley for a process of making signal rings that embody common thoughts around our current condition.
Horst Kiechle ✿ Digital weaving inspired by a Thai basket - Selected by Garland contributor Gary Warner, our July laurel goes to Horst Kiechle for his constructed paper object 2020 vPattern Basket.
Shohre Fakhrejanali ✿ Chadorshab waist wrap - Our June laurel goes to Shohre Fakhrejanali, a weaver from the village of Qasem Abad in the Guilan province of Iran, on the Caspian coast. Khosro Mahinroosto tells her story.
Paola Moreno ✿ Healing plus - Our May laurel goes to Chilean textile artist Paola Moreno for a beautifully woven yet simple message of positivity for our time.
Shahpura School of Phad Painting ✿ Coronavirus advice - Our April laurel goes to the Shahpura School of Phad Painting, including Vijay and Vivek Joshi, who produced a canvas that beautifully details the dos and don'ts in response to the coronavirus.
Fishing for future love in Laos - In keeping with the "craft of love" theme, our March laurel goes to a Lao fisherman, discovered by Samorn Sanixay, who crocheted a net for a future wife.
Bridget Kennedy ✿ A fragile beauty between the ashes - Our February Laurel goes to Sydney jeweller Bridget Kennedy, for a ring that reflects the tragedy that engulfs Australia in 2019-2020. The ring evokes the geometrical beauty of the beehive, while acknowledging the devastation wrought on the climate by use of fossil fuels.
Nikolina Brown ✿ Pleasure flesh - Our January laurel goes to Nikolina Brown, for a series of sensuous terracotta forms that express female sexuality.
Hanoia ✿ Vietnamese history in lacquer - Our December laurel goes to Hanoia and Tran Nu Yen Khe for an object that uses the medium of lacquer poignantly to tell a story of deep history.
Helen Ganalmirriwuy ✿ The magnificent gunga mat - Our November laurel is bestowed on Helen Ganalmirriwuy, who has produced a magnificent mat from gunga (pandanus). She shares the excitement of seeing this work grow over the month of weaving.
Polina Matveeva ✿ The girl with a kitten (after da Vinci) - Our October Laurel comes from the town of Gzhel, about an hour's drive from Moscow. Polina Matveeva's work transforms an iconic Renaissance painting into contemporary ceramics.
Zoë Veness ✿ Wayfaring - As our September Laurel, Zoë Veness applies the most delicate of muslin textile to hard metal and produces a texture of trails that weaves a landscape in brass.
Kukuli Velarde ✿ A mi vida - Our August laurel goes to Peruvian-born ceramic artist Kukuli Velarde for her poignant effigy, A mi vida. This object reflects the culture of her birth, her maternal love and concern for child victims of anti-immigrant campaigns.
Susie Vickery ✿ Embroidery portraits - Our July Laurel goes to Susie Vickery for her unique genre of embroidery portraits.
Chelsea Lemon ✿ Marquetry in its place - Chelsea Lemon's parquetry designs deftly combine function and decoration.
Saeed Arzegan ✿ Love whisper - Our May laurel goes to an Iranian artist who reflects his culture's mastery of wood inlay and crafts a story about standing up for the victimised.
The droop lamp ✿ Adam Markowitz & Apple Huang - Our April laurel goes to Adam Markowitz and Apple Huang for their Droop Lamp, which reveals new possibilities of beauty from the waste that is our industrial legacy.