Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

Opening times

10.00 to 17.45 daily
10.00 to 22.00 Fridays

Archive

I was fascinated by engravings for black and white enamelled miniature cases by Jean Toutin who worked from 1618 to 1640. The designs executed in 1619 were surrounded by other stories, for example, the design for a jewel placed on the back of a tortoise was above the engraving of two men wrestling and one applauding. . There seems to be no connection between the images except in one of the...
I am a student every Tuesday taking part in the History of Jewellery Course run by Dr.Beatriz Chadour and the curators in the jewellery and metal department. It is a rare experience to be taken through the developments in jewellery since early times and to be able to handle rare pieces from the collection. This week we were taken to see the print department’s collection of designs for jewellery...
Madeleine from the Crafts Council has responded to the challenge with an elegant marsh grass necklace. I gave some of the packaging material to young woman I met from Lithuania who aspires to go to Art College to study jewellery. She arrived in the studio with some lovely pieces she had made from the throwaway packaging.
Over the weekend I also had open studio sessions and was delighted by visits from jewellers of note who also came to make a charm, Susan May, Daphne Krinos and Alison Flanders made lovely charms for the Chain of Talent as did a jewellery student from Sheffield called Emma who came all the way to take part. We had lots of children of all ages who loved drawing on the little circles of paper I have...
The idea for the chain came out of a question I was asked at the interview for the residency, 'What would you do with 4000 parents and children coming to the museum over a weekend?' I responded with 'Make a big chain and wrap it round the V&A'. This concept was put through the V&A education planning committees and developed into a very long charm bracelet to which visitors would make and...
After weeks of discussion and preparation the Chain of Talent project finally took off. V&A’s Heather Whitely managed to sort out all the health and safety issues and put up the chain with some help.            
I had a surprise visit from fellow blogger Sue Lawty who was a textile artist resident at the V&A. We talked at ninety miles an hour about our residency experiences and it was very good to meet her.
Stephen Bottomley organised a visit to my studio of the Edinburgh College of Art Jewellery and Silversmithing Department and we also rushed round the V&A jewellery gallery.  With my partner in mischief Susan Cross, I led some of the students through the lovely oval pond in the John Madjeski Garden to see the blue grey carved stone in the centre, it was the perfect day for a paddle!            
I visited the Knit and Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace and found the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef had migrated there. It is a huge show with suppliers showing all sorts of materials. I wanted to see Alexandra Palace close up having passed it so many times on the train.  It was built in 1873 and despite being burned down twice, is London’s only surviving example of a Victorian People’s Palace...
I enjoyed both weeks of Craft Council organised Origin and the bonus for me was meeting lots of Edinburgh graduates who were exhibiting their work. I advertised the event on the floor of the studio during open studio sessions exaggerating the perspective of the floor space.
There is so much to see that is visually stimulating in London, the entire V&A collection of course and diversity of architectural styles to be discovered just walking about, but often odd things catch my eye too.                               
I have been very fortunate to find the perfect red head models near at hand. The reader may have already noticed Cara and Emma and now Dorothee also from the V&A and Madeleine from the Crafts Council have modelled the spoons necklaces. This has saved me from a lot of embarrassment, as I do not have to approach red heads in the street and ask them to model! I have had very interesting...