DesignLab Schools Project: Ceramics with James Rigler and Alperton Community School


On a cold and misty January morning, a group of Year 10 students from Alperton Community School were taken up to the highest point of the V&A – the cupola over the grand entrance. Health & Safety Advisor in tow, the students climbed the 137 steps to reach the outdoor viewing platform to sketch and photograph the panoramic views of London and the surrounding architecture.


The sketches and photographs were to form part of their research for an in-depth project with James Rigler, the V&A’s current ceramicist in residence. James is an artist who works with clay and other everyday materials, to create sculptures and installations that question the architecture and meaning of the places around us.


Before going up the dome, the group were introduced to James’ practice and the project was set to devise a group installation inspired by architectural forms around the theme of the overlooked. Students looked at shape, form, texture and pattern found in aspects of the V&A building and the surrounding view.


After the trip up the dome, the students made 3D models inspired by what they had seen, that were then installed in the ceramics gallery temporarily. The group installations will now be used as inspiration for each student to make an individual work in ceramic when they return next month for day two.


To be continued….


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