A series about people that have influenced my creative path
Lettering by Alan Fletcher (quote by Francis Picabia)
© Raffaella Fletcher and Fletcher Studios 2013
It’s funny how sometimes you feel like you know someone, even though you’ve never met them. Alan Fletcher (1931-2006) ‘the father figure of British graphic design*’ fell into this category for me. My old boss, Lynda Brockbank, worked with him at Pentagram and shares a similar rigorous approach to graphic design. His work is witty and timeless and I was reminded of it just the other day when I visited the V&A… he designed the symbol. I can’t think of the number of times I’ve leafed through his book The Art of Looking Sideways seeking inspiration.
I’m just back from a wonderful weekend in London. I managed to pack in a lot, but my primary reason for going was to visit Handmade in Britain and I’ll post more about that later. The other main highlight was a lengthy afternoon spent wandering around the ceramics collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum. I can’t think how long it is since I last visited and I had forgotten just how much there is to see…
As you enter the main hall of the museum and look directly upwards you can just catch a glimpse of Edmund de Vaal’s Signs and Wonders in the topmost dome of the building. After taking the lift to the sixth floor and walking through some of the furniture collection you enter the ceramics section. The number of pieces on display is breathtaking. It is divided into a series of galleries – firstly four large rooms with glass cases packed from floor to ceiling with pieces from China, Asia & Europe, Britain and Britain & Europe. These are followed by the following rooms: Factory Ceramics after 1900, Contemporary Ceramics (where you can get a closer view of Signs and Wonders), Studio Ceramics, Making Ceramics, Architectural Ceramics, World Ceramics and a display gallery.
I could go on for hours about the things I saw. Photography was quite difficult. I took most of my photographs on my rather inadequate camera phone as this seemed to produce the ‘best’ results given the subdued lighting. I decided that a series of details would be the best way to get across the amazing variety on show. Wherever possible I have included the maker’s surname, or country of origin, at the beginning of the image file name but there are a few pieces that I found very difficult to identify.