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Plate
Made in Staffordshire, about 1810-1820
	Mark: imitation of a Chinese emblem, printed in blue
Lead-glazed earthenware
55-1870

‘Here be Dragons’

This is one of the most striking pieces of ceramics that will be in the forthcoming V&A display Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics   The dragon on this earthenware soup plate appears to be swirling in the air ferociously grasping a flaming shell-like object in its claws. It is highly unlikely the decorator of this object […]

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St. Gerard Sagredo

Martyrs have been martyred in some awfully creative ways. Last time around we learnt how St. Eustace met a sticky end, roasted alive inside a brazen bull. St. Fausta was sawn in half inside a box, St. Bartholomew was skinned alive and St. Alphege was pelted with cow skulls. Truly, these are horrible ways to […]

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LDF 1

London Design Festival at the V&A

Halfway through the Festival week, I finally have time to sit down at my computer to write this post. The London Design Festival is the main focus of my job – I work on everything from the installations and displays to the huge events programme, press, parties, and everything in between. The London Design Festival […]

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Satirical print, seven men standing in front of the window of Darly's print shop looking at his caricature publications in the window. 14 July 1772 Etching

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Back to School

Continuing preparation for the forthcoming V&A display Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics I went back to school last week, well a ceramics summer school at Ellesmere College in Shropshire. The Northern Ceramic Society generously sponsored a bursary for me to attend as this year the programme was particularly relevant; ‘The Curious Art': Printing on […]

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The Alternative Chelsea Flower Show

Today marks the start of the Chelsea Flower Show and if, like me, you missed out on one of the 157,000 tickets to this highly popular event (or even if you’re one of the lucky ones!), I thought this was the perfect opportunity to explore the incredible collections of all things botanical that we have […]

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Paw Prints

The start of Crufts at the end of this week seemed like the perfect excuse to search the Prints, Drawings, and Paintings collection for a selection of works featuring the nation’s most popular pet. Sadly, I couldn’t find any images of dogs playing flyball or competing in heelwork to music (doggy dancing, that is), but I’m […]

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Under the Sea

Inspired by a visit to the London Aquarium, I recently spent a pleasurable hour trawling through the Factory, looking at the fish in our collection. Aside from offering endless pun possibilities, fish have significance in all cultures. They act as food and economy for many river and coastal towns, are the basis for one of […]

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Bookplates

Bookplates, also called ex libris, have been pasted to the inside front covers of books since the advent of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century. Though they were also used in public libraries, I find these small printed works most interesting when they are used by individuals to assert ownership over their prized works […]

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Horsing Around

This week we are celebrating Chinese New Year, ringing in the Year of the Horse. The recent acquisition of Joey has put all at the V&A in a rather horsey mood, providing The Factory yet again with the perfect opportunity to search through the Word and Image collection, and pull out some of our finest […]

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Burns Night

It is soon to be Burns Night, providing The Factory with the perfect opportunity to dig out some of the best Caledonian-related objects in our collection, and provide a little party inspiration. Burns Night is a delicious celebration held on the25th January, celebrating the life and works of the Scottish poet Rabbie Burns. The merriment […]

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