Fascinated by the world of flora and fauna, Thompson has built an extensive library, which enables her to research the details of botanical, entomological and ornithological species. Her many volumes of reproduced florilegia and historical botanical illustration have inspired both realistic and fanciful interpretations of petals and leaves. Thompson realizes, “I tend to favor illustrations over photographs for my research and inspiration. Illustrators articulate and simplify the specific components of their subject and I find this helpful in making decisions about the shapes of my tessera.” She will create the featured species in a material divergent from the recessive background, which enables her to emphasize color and texture. Each flower’s Latin name is heralded on a flowing banner and minute drolleries flutter around the central plant. Using a bevy of luxurious materials Thompson replicates the natural world with nature’s own treasures; semi-precious gems, fossils, glass, marble, and onyx.
It was a natural evolution that brought Thompson from her botanical series to a parade of vivid insect tiles. With a silky black background of honed marble, the bugs are elegant and bold, their true neon colors reflecting Thompson’s epiphany that “the colors in the insects are indeed fairly representational to those naturally occurring. There are amazing and outrageous colors found in nature!” The tiles are one inch thick and designed to be displayed individually or as a group.
What’s next for Thompson? Her library of ornithology books has increased lately, and we know that could only mean one thing. New bird panels will soon take flight.