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Home from Home – Ceramics at The V&A Museum

March 16, 2015

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is probably one of my favourite museums in the world. It has so many objects and pieces of art and craft in it, its impossible to take it all in together. My favourite department is of course the ceramics rooms, which are full to bursting with exquisite pieces and also some lovely displays about how some pieces are made. I remember these collections first sparking my interest in ceramics when I was tiny, and then again which I was at college and even now I see new things whenever I go there.

I was also lucky to catch Matthew Raw in his residency space, who visited to give a lecture and tutorials at Brighton uni a few weeks ago. He showed me around and then we had a chat about my plans once I graduate, giving me some tips he found useful and some good places to apply for residencies. He showed me some of the things he’s been working on too, which look very exciting including running workshops and using objects from the museum collections as inspirations. Check out his website here; and his pieces he’s written for the V&A website here; Thanks Matt!

Matt Raw at The V&A








This trip I was focussing on blues, whites and gold to influence the colours I’m using in my own work at the moment. Heres some pieces that caught my eye…

DSC_0097 French Cups






I loved these dainty French cups, so colourful and pretty. The gold and blue detail is lovely and gives such a feel of luxury and sophistication.

tiny pots







I’m also really into collections of objects – little tiny ones in particular! I often find myself drawn to grouping ceramics as I think they work well when they relate to each other and can be more powerful in bigger numbers. These are little Japanese bottles probably used for snuff. They are so detailed and carefully made!

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I also fell in love with these two pieces, the left one is Chinese, from the reign of Yongzheng and is a special piece as it demonstrates an early two firings process – allowing ceramicists more colour range. The second firing allowed for the yellow enamel layer over the top of the painted cobalt decoration. I’ve never seen a pot like it before, and I almost mistook it for a modernized version of the traditional white and blue Chinese ceramic!

The right hand piece is Danish, with a blue crystalline glaze over porcelain with silver mounts, made by Royal Copenhagen.

The next few photo’s are from in the Blue and White Transfer printed ceramics display. There were lots of pieces I liked, one was this bucket (aptly named “Bucket”) by Phillip Eglin. I like the drawings and the references to the traditional willow transfer print pattern. The plate is one of my favourites from the display, I just really liked the dragon and the amount of detail that can be produced just from one colour palette.




















The last piece I found was a teapot, made in the iconic Jasperware style, but modernised by the addition of black to the typical blue and white, as well as the stripes. I’m not often a lover of teapots, but this one just captivated me.



After a lovely day in the V&A, I met my parents and we had a little wander around Knightsbridge, and had a mooch around Harrods. Its so beautiful and extravagant in there and my favourite  rooms are obviously the food and chocolate ones! Its pretty expensive for most things (Well, for a student budget anyway!) but it was nice to look around a take some photos anyway!

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