Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve probably seen, and can recognize, what’s known as the Willow pattern. A mainstay of European ceramic tableware since the 1700s, the design takes cues from Chinese porcelain and features a characteristic blue and white color scheme.
Given its long history, even modern examples of Willow pattern dishware tend to feature quant depictions of trappings of life from a bygone era. Sailing ships and windmills are common subjects, but one artist felt the Willow pattern would also be an appropriate platform for showcasing the video game art of yesteryear, and created these plates featuring old-school artwork from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon.
27-year-old Olly Moss, a graphic designer based in the U.K.’s Winchester, draws frequent inspiration from his love of film and video games, as referenced in his comical self-portrait.
Despite the self-effacing nature of the drawing, though, it’s clear that Moss has a deep respect for the artistry that goes into creating video games. As a matter of fact, he’s even lending a bit of legitimacy to the art form himself. Although most of Moss’ publicly displayed work, as seen on his website here, is done in the style of movie posters, he recently decided to try his hand at illustrating two ceramic plates, and here are the impressive results.
If you came into the series with Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess, it may take a moment to realize what you’re looking at, but that’s a Zelda scene done in the graphical style from before the franchise went polygonal. Specifically, it seems to be based on the pixel art from the 1993 Game Boy title Link’s Awakening, the visual style of which was in turn a derivative of that used in 1991’s A Link to the Past, the sole Zelda installment to be released for the Super NES.
Speaking of Nintendo properties that used to be on the monochrome Game Boy, here’s Moss’ Willow pattern rendition of Pokémon.
Not only is the plate’s central area filled with lovingly recreated retro sprites, there’re extra nods to the series around the lip of the plate, which is decorated with Poké Balls and even more pocket monsters.
And to prove these aren’t just flat graphics manipulated to look like they’re on plates, here’re a few alternate angles of the dishes.
Given their intricate designs, many Willow pattern dishware owners choose not to eat off of theirs, but to display them as decorative items. We think these two pieces would look splendid in any sophisticated gamer’s China cabinet, and if the dining room walls are looking a little bare, you can always hang up Moss’ eye-catching art deco-style Zelda poster that makes the Nintendo classic look like a noir thriller.