High Museum of Art
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Detail of Molly Hatch’s High Museum installation of ceramic plates that come together to create a large botanical design.

Get Creative at Home: A Serving of Inspiration from Molly Hatch’s Botanical Plates

Explore Hatch’s design process, create your own designs for a wall arrangement, and learn more with a math curriculum connection.

By Melissa Katzin, Manager of Family Programs, and Meg Williams, Coordinator of School and Teacher Services, High Museum of Art

Molly Hatch (American, born 1978), Physic Garden, 2013–2014, earthenware and glaze.

Molly Hatch is an artist and designer who creates ceramic works such as Physic Garden and also works in painting, printmaking, and drawing. Hatch often uses historical images, such as prints and drawings, for design inspiration for her ceramic installations, which she calls “plate paintings.” She creates her plate paintings for specific locations such as museums, galleries, and private collections.

Hatch created Physic Garden in 2014 specifically for the High Museum. She painted 456 individual plates after finding her inspiration in two ca. 1755 plates in the High’s Decorative Arts and Design Collection. The flowers painted on those eighteenth-century plates were inspired by the nearby Chelsea Physic Garden, a real garden that houses many medicinal plants.

Look closely at Hatch’s Physic Garden and the plates that inspired the work. Hatch combined the Chelsea plates and moved elements around to create a new composition.

A plat painted with flowers and butterflies.
Plate painted with fruits, leaves, and butterflies.
Plates, ca. 1755, porcelain, Chelsea Porcelain Factory, London, England, 1745–1769, manufacturer; Frances and Emory Cocke Collection.

Can you find the insects from the Chelsea plates in Hatch’s work? What about the fruit and the flowers? Imagine going to the Chelsea Physic Garden. What do you think it would smell like? What would it sound like? If you can safely do so, go outside and observe the nature around you. What sounds and smells do you notice? What insects or animals do you see?

Get Creative at Home

Create your own work inspired by Molly Hatch! Find inspiration in the High’s Frances and Emory Cocke Collection of English Ceramics, like Hatch did, or go outside and get inspired by the plants and animals you find. On a piece of paper, fill the page with drawings of flowers, fruit, leaves, and insects. You can use colored pencils, crayons, or markers to add color to your drawing.

Then, cut up your drawing! You can cut it into circles — like Hatch’s plates — or any other shape. You can even rearrange your pieces to create a new composition! On a separate piece of paper, glue down the pieces of your cut drawing to create your own wall installation.

Are you currently teaching or homeschooling? Scroll for expanded activity prompts and corresponding Georgia Standards of Excellence.

Teacher Resources: Math Curriculum Connections

In this Curriculum Connections Resource, use Physic Garden by Molly Hatch to further your students’ understanding of coordinate planes, multiplication, circles, and ratios.

Download a PDF of the Molly Hatch Curriculum Connections Resource for Math.

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High Museum of Art

High Museum of Art

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