Link to interview with Emeric Victor

Interview with Emeric Victor

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Christina Rossetti

“Rossetti was the youngest child in an extraordinarily gifted family. Her father, the Italian poet and political exile Gabriele Rossetti, immigrated to England in 1824 and established a career as a Dante scholar and teacher of Italian in London. He married the half-English, half-Italian Frances Polidori in 1826, and they had four children in quick succession: Maria Francesca in 1827, Gabriel Charles Dante (famous under the name Dante Gabriel but always called Gabriel by family members) in 1828, William Michael in 1829, and Christina Georgina on 5 December 1830.

Rossetti’s childhood was exceptionally happy, characterized by affectionate parental care and the creative companionship of older siblings. In temperament she was most like her brother Dante Gabriel: their father called the pair the “two storms” of the family in comparison to the “two calms,” Maria and William. Christina was given to tantrums and fractious behavior, and she fought hard to subdue this passionate temper. Years later, counseling a niece subject to similar outbursts, the mature Christina looked back on the fire now stifled: “You must not imagine, my dear girl, that your Aunt was always the calm and sedate person you now behold. I, too, had a very passionate temper; but I learnt to control it. On one occasion, being rebuked by my dear Mother for some fault, I seized upon a pair of scissors, and ripped up my arm to vent my wrath. I have learnt since to control my feelings—and no doubt you will!” Self-control was, indeed, achieved—perhaps too much so. In his posthumous memoir of his sister that prefaces The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti (1904) William laments the thwarting of her high spirits: “In innate character she was vivacious, and open to pleasurable impressions; and, during her girlhood, one might readily have supposed that she would develop into a woman of expansive heart, fond of society and diversions, and taking a part in them of more than average brilliancy. What came to pass was of course quite the contrary.” As an adult Christina Rossetti was considered by many to be overscrupulous and excessively restrained.” -.Poetry Foundation.

In childhood Christina Rossetti is noted as emotional, destructive, with a temper, her family was religious which was something which stayed with Rossetti throughout her adulthood in which she is described as being quite devote.  She visited her grandfather cottage till he sold it when she was nine, she was fascinated with nature that she observed there and was exposed to not only its beauty but also its ephemeral melancholy, which is present in her writing style. Once her grandfather sold the cottage Rossetti who had so loved the countryside was relegated to unban London.

At the age of 15 in 1845 she had a collapse of health with no diagnosis ever properly given; it was speculated she had a mental breakdown as her father had become ill, leaving her older siblings and mother to work; but for Gabriel who continued his painting studies. Leavinging Rossetti to care for her ailing father; some believe that her break was due to parental incest born from her father’s sudden decline and isolation from all but her. Some have stated the topics Rossetti presents in her poetry; a mind struggling with sin, an unspeakable secret and corruption of innocents, suggest sexual trauma.

In 1848 at the age of 18 Rossetti was proposed to , she originally declined till he change to the same line for Christian faith as her  but once he went back to his original  Catholic faith she broke the engagement off for good in 1850; when she was 20.

In adult life she was mainly financially supported by her brother William, who she made provisions in her will to repay. She began to volunteer at St. Mary Magdalene Penitentiary for ‘Fallen’ women, in Highgate, in 1859. When on duty she was there for around a fortnight at  a time, the influence this work had on her is clean in her poems such as Goblin Market; published 1862 when she was 32 years old and three years after she began volunteering at the Penitentiary. Where one sister gives into her curiosity and desire, and the second saves her by facing the goblins that brought down her sister, not giving into their temptation and winning; therefor rescuing her fallen sister from her decline.

Christina Rossetti protested in her lifetime allegations that any allegorical meaning was meant in ‘Goblin Market’, and the savour sister can be seen to resemble Christ and the giving of his flesh and blood and how the sister give the juices from the goblin’s fruits to her fallen sister says ‘eat me, drink me, love me’ and reviving her.

In 1866 she once again declined another offer of marriage; her brother William believed her reseasoning to be  again because of faith. Then in 1870 through to 1872 she became dangerously ill with a fever, exhaustion, heart palpitations, occasional loss of consciousness, headaches, swelling of the neck which made is hard for her to swallow, hair loss, skin discolouration, eyes protruding and her voice changed she was diagnosed with graves disease.  she recovered but the disease permanently altered her appearance.

In 1892 Rossetti was then diagnosed with breast cancer , she had a mastectomy in her home but the next year the cancer returned and after months of suffering she died  29 December 1894 at the age of  64.

 

Goblin Market, by Christina Rossetti

Morning and evening

Maids heard the goblins cry:

“Come buy our orchard fruits,

Come buy, come buy:

Apples and quinces,

Lemons and oranges,

Plump unpeck’d cherries,

Melons and raspberries,

Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,

Swart-headed mulberries,

Wild free-born cranberries,

Crab-apples, dewberries,

Pine-apples, blackberries,

Apricots, strawberries;—

All ripe together

In summer weather,—

Morns that pass by,

Fair eves that fly;

Come buy, come buy:

Our grapes fresh from the vine,

Pomegranates full and fine,

Dates and sharp bullaces,

Rare pears and greengages,

Damsons and bilberries,

Taste them and try:

Currants and gooseberries,

Bright-fire-like barberries,

Figs to fill your mouth,

Citrons from the South,

Sweet to tongue and sound to eye;

Come buy, come buy.”

Evening by evening

Among the brookside rushes,

Laura bow’d her head to hear,

Lizzie veil’d her blushes:

Crouching close together

In the cooling weather,

With clasping arms and cautioning lips,

With tingling cheeks and finger tips.

“Lie close,” Laura said,

Pricking up her golden head:

“We must not look at goblin men,

We must not buy their fruits:

Who knows upon what soil they fed

Their hungry thirsty roots?”

“Come buy,” call the goblins

Hobbling down the glen.

“Oh,” cried Lizzie, “Laura, Laura,

You should not peep at goblin men.”

Lizzie cover’d up her eyes,

Cover’d close lest they should look;

Laura rear’d her glossy head,

And whisper’d like the restless brook:

“Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie,

Down the glen tramp little men.

One hauls a basket,

One bears a plate,

One lugs a golden dish

Of many pounds weight.

How fair the vine must grow

Whose grapes are so luscious;

How warm the wind must blow

Through those fruit bushes.”

“No,” said Lizzie, “No, no, no;

Their offers should not charm us,

Their evil gifts would harm us.”

She thrust a dimpled finger

In each ear, shut eyes and ran:

Curious Laura chose to linger

Wondering at each merchant man.

One had a cat’s face,

One whisk’d a tail,

One tramp’d at a rat’s pace,

One crawl’d like a snail,

One like a wombat prowl’d obtuse and furry,

One like a ratel tumbled hurry skurry.

She heard a voice like voice of doves

Cooing all together:

They sounded kind and full of loves

In the pleasant weather.

Laura stretch’d her gleaming neck

Like a rush-imbedded swan,

Like a lily from the beck,

Like a moonlit poplar branch,

Like a vessel at the launch

When its last restraint is gone.

Backwards up the mossy glen

Turn’d and troop’d the goblin men,

With their shrill repeated cry,

“Come buy, come buy.”

When they reach’d where Laura was

They stood stock still upon the moss,

Leering at each other,

Brother with queer brother;

Signalling each other,

Brother with sly brother.

One set his basket down,

One rear’d his plate;

One began to weave a crown

Of tendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown

(Men sell not such in any town);

One heav’d the golden weight

Of dish and fruit to offer her:

“Come buy, come buy,” was still their cry.

Laura stared but did not stir,

Long’d but had no money:

The whisk-tail’d merchant bade her taste

In tones as smooth as honey,

The cat-faced purr’d,

The rat-faced spoke a word

Of welcome, and the snail-paced even was heard;

One parrot-voiced and jolly

Cried “Pretty Goblin” still for “Pretty Polly;”—

One whistled like a bird.

But sweet-tooth Laura spoke in haste:

“Good folk, I have no coin;

To take were to purloin:

I have no copper in my purse,

I have no silver either,

And all my gold is on the furze

That shakes in windy weather

Above the rusty heather.”

“You have much gold upon your head,”

They answer’d all together:

“Buy from us with a golden curl.”

She clipp’d a precious golden lock,

She dropp’d a tear more rare than pearl,

Then suck’d their fruit globes fair or red:

Sweeter than honey from the rock,

Stronger than man-rejoicing wine,

Clearer than water flow’d that juice;

She never tasted such before,

How should it cloy with length of use?

She suck’d and suck’d and suck’d the more

Fruits which that unknown orchard bore;

She suck’d until her lips were sore;

Then flung the emptied rinds away

But gather’d up one kernel stone,

And knew not was it night or day

As she turn’d home alone.

Lizzie met her at the gate

Full of wise upbraidings:

“Dear, you should not stay so late,

Twilight is not good for maidens;

Should not loiter in the glen

In the haunts of goblin men.

Do you not remember Jeanie,

How she met them in the moonlight,

Took their gifts both choice and many,

Ate their fruits and wore their flowers

Pluck’d from bowers

Where summer ripens at all hours?

But ever in the noonlight

She pined and pined away;

Sought them by night and day,

Found them no more, but dwindled and grew grey;

Then fell with the first snow,

While to this day no grass will grow

Where she lies low:

I planted daisies there a year ago

That never blow.

You should not loiter so.”

“Nay, hush,” said Laura:

“Nay, hush, my sister:

I ate and ate my fill,

Yet my mouth waters still;

To-morrow night I will

Buy more;” and kiss’d her:

“Have done with sorrow;

I’ll bring you plums to-morrow

Fresh on their mother twigs,

Cherries worth getting;

You cannot think what figs

My teeth have met in,

What melons icy-cold

Piled on a dish of gold

Too huge for me to hold,

What peaches with a velvet nap,

Pellucid grapes without one seed:

Odorous indeed must be the mead

Whereon they grow, and pure the wave they drink

With lilies at the brink,

And sugar-sweet their sap.”

Golden head by golden head,

Like two pigeons in one nest

Folded in each other’s wings,

They lay down in their curtain’d bed:

Like two blossoms on one stem,

Like two flakes of new-fall’n snow,

Like two wands of ivory

Tipp’d with gold for awful kings.

Moon and stars gaz’d in at them,

Wind sang to them lullaby,

Lumbering owls forbore to fly,

Not a bat flapp’d to and fro

Round their rest:

Cheek to cheek and breast to breast

Lock’d together in one nest.

Early in the morning

When the first cock crow’d his warning,

Neat like bees, as sweet and busy,

Laura rose with Lizzie:

Fetch’d in honey, milk’d the cows,

Air’d and set to rights the house,

Kneaded cakes of whitest wheat,

Cakes for dainty mouths to eat,

Next churn’d butter, whipp’d up cream,

Fed their poultry, sat and sew’d;

Talk’d as modest maidens should:

Lizzie with an open heart,

Laura in an absent dream,

One content, one sick in part;

One warbling for the mere bright day’s delight,

One longing for the night.

At length slow evening came:

They went with pitchers to the reedy brook;

Lizzie most placid in her look,

Laura most like a leaping flame.

They drew the gurgling water from its deep;

Lizzie pluck’d purple and rich golden flags,

Then turning homeward said: “The sunset flushes

Those furthest loftiest crags;

Come, Laura, not another maiden lags.

No wilful squirrel wags,

The beasts and birds are fast asleep.”

But Laura loiter’d still among the rushes

And said the bank was steep.

And said the hour was early still

The dew not fall’n, the wind not chill;

Listening ever, but not catching

The customary cry,

“Come buy, come buy,”

With its iterated jingle

Of sugar-baited words:

Not for all her watching

Once discerning even one goblin

Racing, whisking, tumbling, hobbling;

Let alone the herds

That used to tramp along the glen,

In groups or single,

Of brisk fruit-merchant men.

Till Lizzie urged, “O Laura, come;

I hear the fruit-call but I dare not look:

You should not loiter longer at this brook:

Come with me home.

The stars rise, the moon bends her arc,

Each glowworm winks her spark,

Let us get home before the night grows dark:

For clouds may gather

Though this is summer weather,

Put out the lights and drench us through;

Then if we lost our way what should we do?”

Laura turn’d cold as stone

To find her sister heard that cry alone,

That goblin cry,

“Come buy our fruits, come buy.”

Must she then buy no more such dainty fruit?

Must she no more such succous pasture find,

Gone deaf and blind?

Her tree of life droop’d from the root:

She said not one word in her heart’s sore ache;

But peering thro’ the dimness, nought discerning,

Trudg’d home, her pitcher dripping all the way;

So crept to bed, and lay

Silent till Lizzie slept;

Then sat up in a passionate yearning,

And gnash’d her teeth for baulk’d desire, and wept

As if her heart would break.

Day after day, night after night,

Laura kept watch in vain

In sullen silence of exceeding pain.

She never caught again the goblin cry:

“Come buy, come buy;”—

She never spied the goblin men

Hawking their fruits along the glen:

But when the noon wax’d bright

Her hair grew thin and grey;

She dwindled, as the fair full moon doth turn

To swift decay and burn

Her fire away.

One day remembering her kernel-stone

She set it by a wall that faced the south;

Dew’d it with tears, hoped for a root,

Watch’d for a waxing shoot,

But there came none;

It never saw the sun,

It never felt the trickling moisture run:

While with sunk eyes and faded mouth

She dream’d of melons, as a traveller sees

False waves in desert drouth

With shade of leaf-crown’d trees,

And burns the thirstier in the sandful breeze.

She no more swept the house,

Tended the fowls or cows,

Fetch’d honey, kneaded cakes of wheat,

Brought water from the brook:

But sat down listless in the chimney-nook

And would not eat.

Tender Lizzie could not bear

To watch her sister’s cankerous care

Yet not to share.

She night and morning

Caught the goblins’ cry:

“Come buy our orchard fruits,

Come buy, come buy;”—

Beside the brook, along the glen,

She heard the tramp of goblin men,

The yoke and stir

Poor Laura could not hear;

Long’d to buy fruit to comfort her,

But fear’d to pay too dear.

She thought of Jeanie in her grave,

Who should have been a bride;

But who for joys brides hope to have

Fell sick and died

In her gay prime,

In earliest winter time

With the first glazing rime,

With the first snow-fall of crisp winter time.

Till Laura dwindling

Seem’d knocking at Death’s door:

Then Lizzie weigh’d no more

Better and worse;

But put a silver penny in her purse,

Kiss’d Laura, cross’d the heath with clumps of furze

At twilight, halted by the brook:

And for the first time in her life

Began to listen and look.

Laugh’d every goblin

When they spied her peeping:

Came towards her hobbling,

Flying, running, leaping,

Puffing and blowing,

Chuckling, clapping, crowing,

Clucking and gobbling,

Mopping and mowing,

Full of airs and graces,

Pulling wry faces,

Demure grimaces,

Cat-like and rat-like,

Ratel- and wombat-like,

Snail-paced in a hurry,

Parrot-voiced and whistler,

Helter skelter, hurry skurry,

Chattering like magpies,

Fluttering like pigeons,

Gliding like fishes,—

Hugg’d her and kiss’d her:

Squeez’d and caress’d her:

Stretch’d up their dishes,

Panniers, and plates:

“Look at our apples

Russet and dun,

Bob at our cherries,

Bite at our peaches,

Citrons and dates,

Grapes for the asking,

Pears red with basking

Out in the sun,

Plums on their twigs;

Pluck them and suck them,

Pomegranates, figs.”—

“Good folk,” said Lizzie,

Mindful of Jeanie:

“Give me much and many: —

Held out her apron,

Toss’d them her penny.

“Nay, take a seat with us,

Honour and eat with us,”

They answer’d grinning:

“Our feast is but beginning.

Night yet is early,

Warm and dew-pearly,

Wakeful and starry:

Such fruits as these

No man can carry:

Half their bloom would fly,

Half their dew would dry,

Half their flavour would pass by.

Sit down and feast with us,

Be welcome guest with us,

Cheer you and rest with us.”—

“Thank you,” said Lizzie: “But one waits

At home alone for me:

So without further parleying,

If you will not sell me any

Of your fruits though much and many,

Give me back my silver penny

I toss’d you for a fee.”—

They began to scratch their pates,

No longer wagging, purring,

But visibly demurring,

Grunting and snarling.

One call’d her proud,

Cross-grain’d, uncivil;

Their tones wax’d loud,

Their looks were evil.

Lashing their tails

They trod and hustled her,

Elbow’d and jostled her,

Claw’d with their nails,

Barking, mewing, hissing, mocking,

Tore her gown and soil’d her stocking,

Twitch’d her hair out by the roots,

Stamp’d upon her tender feet,

Held her hands and squeez’d their fruits

Against her mouth to make her eat.

White and golden Lizzie stood,

Like a lily in a flood,—

Like a rock of blue-vein’d stone

Lash’d by tides obstreperously,—

Like a beacon left alone

In a hoary roaring sea,

Sending up a golden fire,—

Like a fruit-crown’d orange-tree

White with blossoms honey-sweet

Sore beset by wasp and bee,—

Like a royal virgin town

Topp’d with gilded dome and spire

Close beleaguer’d by a fleet

Mad to tug her standard down.

One may lead a horse to water,

Twenty cannot make him drink.

Though the goblins cuff’d and caught her,

Coax’d and fought her,

Bullied and besought her,

Scratch’d her, pinch’d her black as ink,

Kick’d and knock’d her,

Maul’d and mock’d her,

Lizzie utter’d not a word;

Would not open lip from lip

Lest they should cram a mouthful in:

But laugh’d in heart to feel the drip

Of juice that syrupp’d all her face,

And lodg’d in dimples of her chin,

And streak’d her neck which quaked like curd.

At last the evil people,

Worn out by her resistance,

Flung back her penny, kick’d their fruit

Along whichever road they took,

Not leaving root or stone or shoot;

Some writh’d into the ground,

Some div’d into the brook

With ring and ripple,

Some scudded on the gale without a sound,

Some vanish’d in the distance.

In a smart, ache, tingle,

Lizzie went her way;

Knew not was it night or day;

Sprang up the bank, tore thro’ the furze,

Threaded copse and dingle,

And heard her penny jingle

Bouncing in her purse,—

Its bounce was music to her ear.

She ran and ran

As if she fear’d some goblin man

Dogg’d her with gibe or curse

Or something worse:

But not one goblin scurried after,

Nor was she prick’d by fear;

The kind heart made her windy-paced

That urged her home quite out of breath with haste

And inward laughter.

She cried, “Laura,” up the garden,

“Did you miss me?

Come and kiss me.

Never mind my bruises,

Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices

Squeez’d from goblin fruits for you,

Goblin pulp and goblin dew.

Eat me, drink me, love me;

Laura, make much of me;

For your sake I have braved the glen

And had to do with goblin merchant men.”

Laura started from her chair,

Flung her arms up in the air,

Clutch’d her hair:

“Lizzie, Lizzie, have you tasted

For my sake the fruit forbidden?

Must your light like mine be hidden,

Your young life like mine be wasted,

Undone in mine undoing,

And ruin’d in my ruin,

Thirsty, canker’d, goblin-ridden?”—

She clung about her sister,

Kiss’d and kiss’d and kiss’d her:

Tears once again

Refresh’d her shrunken eyes,

Dropping like rain

After long sultry drouth;

Shaking with aguish fear, and pain,

She kiss’d and kiss’d her with a hungry mouth.

Her lips began to scorch,

That juice was wormwood to her tongue,

She loath’d the feast:

Writhing as one possess’d she leap’d and sung,

Rent all her robe, and wrung

Her hands in lamentable haste,

And beat her breast.

Her locks stream’d like the torch

Borne by a racer at full speed,

Or like the mane of horses in their flight,

Or like an eagle when she stems the light

Straight toward the sun,

Or like a caged thing freed,

Or like a flying flag when armies run.

Swift fire spread through her veins, knock’d at her heart,

Met the fire smouldering there

And overbore its lesser flame;

She gorged on bitterness without a name:

Ah! fool, to choose such part

Of soul-consuming care!

Sense fail’d in the mortal strife:

Like the watch-tower of a town

Which an earthquake shatters down,

Like a lightning-stricken mast,

Like a wind-uprooted tree

Spun about,

Like a foam-topp’d waterspout

Cast down headlong in the sea,

She fell at last;

Pleasure past and anguish past,

Is it death or is it life?

Life out of death.

That night long Lizzie watch’d by her,

Counted her pulse’s flagging stir,

Felt for her breath,

Held water to her lips, and cool’d her face

With tears and fanning leaves:

But when the first birds chirp’d about their eaves,

And early reapers plodded to the place

Of golden sheaves,

And dew-wet grass

Bow’d in the morning winds so brisk to pass,

And new buds with new day

Open’d of cup-like lilies on the stream,

Laura awoke as from a dream,

Laugh’d in the innocent old way,

Hugg’d Lizzie but not twice or thrice;

Her gleaming locks show’d not one thread of grey,

Her breath was sweet as May

And light danced in her eyes.

Days, weeks, months, years

Afterwards, when both were wives

With children of their own;

Their mother-hearts beset with fears,

Their lives bound up in tender lives;

Laura would call the little ones

And tell them of her early prime,

Those pleasant days long gone

Of not-returning time:

Would talk about the haunted glen,

The wicked, quaint fruit-merchant men,

Their fruits like honey to the throat

But poison in the blood;

(Men sell not such in any town):

Would tell them how her sister stood

In deadly peril to do her good,

And win the fiery antidote:

Then joining hands to little hands

Would bid them cling together,

“For there is no friend like a sister

In calm or stormy weather;

To cheer one on the tedious way,

To fetch one if one goes astray,

To lift one if one totters down,

To strengthen whilst one stands.”

Psyche; the Goddess Collection in Completion

The Psyche, the Goddess collection was completed in the summer of 2015, inspired by John Keats’s poem ‘Ode to Psyche’ and his star crossed lovers relationship with Fanny Brawne who was a major influence and inspiration to what is now viewed to be some of his best poetry.

This collection stands for love, devotion and celebrating the goddess inside every woman, as Psyche born human became the goddess of self through the trials of her life and commitment to stand by what she wanted and who she loved.

Goddess, Porcelain and labradorite on silk.

Lovers, Porcelain on silk.

Ritual, Porcelain and labradorite on silk.

Night, Porcelain and freshwater pearls on silk.

Bloom, Porcelain and freshwater pearls on silk.

 Psyche launched at Pure London 2015 and went on to be featured in Collezioni Accessori Magazine, S/S 2017 issue.

Fox & Friends Range

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Photo by Annie and Co, Fox and Friends range.

Since graduating I have been exploring what my practice is to me and the potential it has. Whilst at university I felt  I was never encouraged to explore my practise as commercial; which to me meant a range that was everyday wearable with an accessible price range. Something that I was deeply interested in as I desire for my work to be easily accessed by not just the type of person who has a deep passion for art and a bank balance which allows for great expenditure in luxury goods. I wish for the everyday person who wants to adorn themselves with something a little different and who has a more average budget to be able to purchase my work because this is who I can personally relate to. (Afterall if I don’t have a range of jewellery that I can see myself purchasing then I honestly think it would be time for a rethink!)

So in my first few months as a graduate I began paying close attention to what people liked about my work, what sold and what my ranges where missing. I was fortunate to have started stocking at Annie & Co in Cardiff and received great feedback from there also which helped lead to me designing the Fox & Friends range. A range which has since proven to be extremely popular.

But as a fresh out of university maker I am still constantly learning and editing, as of very recently I have developed and refined the making process of this range to create a better end product that I have more control over, can develop further and add new designs too.

As my first out out of university range this collection symbolises a lot to me; my abilities to learn, adapt, to think outside the box, but most of all meet a customer type that I consider myself to be apart of and see around me in my day to day and that is what I love most about this collection.

Fox & Friends range is available online on my  Folksy and  Etsy

Willow pattern

Willow Pattern is a ceramic functional ware design originally designed by Thomas Minton; an english potter based in Stoke-on-Trent around 1790, which is still easily recognized today. Inspired by chinese imported ceramics and design, applied to the ceramic through transfer or stamp and most well known in a cobalt blue reminiscent of chinese blue and white china, though also found in pink, green and brown.

The design illustrates a story; created for the willow pattern, of the daughter of a wealthy lord who falls for a man of a lower class and runs away with him to a small island rather than marry the man of her own rank that her father has picked for her, her father’s men chase them and put them to death, the gods feel sorry for them and turn the two lovers into birds.

Keats; born in 1795, grew up with the willow pattern a fresh and new design and would have encountered it in passing through his life. Its narrative connects not only to him in his own life experiences; his romance with Fanny Brawne a woman in a class above him who therefore he couldn’t marry, also in his narrative which appears in many of his poems include ‘Ode to Psyche’; a woman of a different class who is unobtainable to the male character who loves her.

The willow pattern narrative connects to the story of Psyche; the goddess and focus of ‘Ode to Psyche’, as a story of love between her and her husband Cupid who she is separated from through the ‘class’ differents; him a god and her a human, till she is reborn as a wing goddess; as the lovers are reborn as winged birds, as to remain forever with her love.

Within the context of colour the willow pattern simplistic and bold colours; blue, white and gold trim, work so successfully as their simplicity allows sole focus on the illustration and narrative, whilst they give a regal air to the pieces; through the use of the cobalt and gold which would have made this piece a symbol of status and class when it first appeared but now as the design has aged holds more of a traditional and quaint feel to us as we link it to time gone by. These colours within my work should allow for focus on the sculptural detail as they do within the willow pattern. They suggest a simplistic grace, hint at traditional ceramics from an ere of inspiration and give a mood suiting my narrative.

I personally connect to this pattern as I found out this year that I have ancestors who worked in Stoke-on-Trent around the time of Thomas Minto. Five generations from 1816 to 1910, who worked in the pottery industry as painters, cup makers, warehouse workers and saucer makers.

International Jewellery London- displays

One of my main aims in visiting IJL was to study how jewellers displayed their work. One of my absolutely favourite stands for display design was Alex Monroe’s; a jeweller well known for his beautiful bee pendant necklace stocked by places such as Liberty. The design of this stand connected perfectly with the values and style of the jewellery itself. Speaking of sweet classical, floral and natural, the stand used unique pieces such as small glass display cases and repurposed wooden cases and draws, alongside elegant jewellery stands and framed photos giving an insight into the brand itself to create a handmade and effortlessly elegant stand which was engaging and approachable. There was a table near the centre of the stand for the people staffing the stand to sit and still be able to see the whole stand easily and the display was set against the back of the stand; inviting people to enter into the space to look closer at the pieces; these elements also brought a relaxed and welcoming feel to the stand by not barricading off the visitor from the staff.

http://www.alexmonroe.com/

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Alexis Dove used paper cut into leaf shapes like those that appear in one of their collections to add an unusual dimension to their stand which almost made it feel as if you were dipping into a little world. Use of found items brought character to the display whilst mixed in with sleek stands in colours matching the stand walls colours created a feel of harmony and precision, lots of space between pieces made it easy to see all the pieces and gave room to see individual collections and their different characters whilst still working as a whole. Plants were dotted throughout the display to bring a vivid rich crisp colour and literal inject some life into the display. Once again the display was set against the wall in this stand too; drawing the visitor into the welcoming space.

http://www.alexisdove.com/

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Amulette stand also used plants; these ones fake, to great effect, highlighting their natural inspirations through their display in a simplistic and stylish way which voiced the jewellery it displayed beautifully. Using a simple black for the jewellery stands allowed the pieces to stand out and take centre stage, the design remained minimal at counter level to allow the jewellery to shine yet used all space by hanging wooden mannequin hands from the top of the display holding more jewellery; a unique look which made Amulette stand out and immediately portrayed it on first glance as an intrigue and a display worth looking closer at.

http://www.amulette.co.uk/

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flowerie88 stand held a lot of jewellery in a smaller space than a lot of the other stand that I really admired but she had done it in such away that all the pieces were still easily taken in, with colours consistent with her brand and that let the pieces do the talking. Using wall space to display as much as counter as to make the most of the area in a way that spoke of a clever brand, using images throughout this display to piece the tiny pieces in large images which allowed for the detail to be fully appreciated. Whilst holding so much, the design of the stand allowed the space to be inviting and connect fluidly to flowerie88’s style and values.

http://www.flowerie88.com/

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