Jane Eyre inspired plates and Staffordshire pottery

Jane Eyre inspired plates and Staffordshire pottery

What was in store for the second week of MATS class dedicated to home decor? A weird surprise: at the beginning of the week, we had to draw Staffordshire pottery, especially figurines. If you don’t know what it is (I didn’t), you can ask Google, or visit that specialized site where said pottery is at least well lit and photographed, or you can take my word when I say it’s extremely kitsch and not many people’s cup of tea. But of course, the teacher obviously knew what she was doing, and once I got past the first rejection phase and started really observing the Staffordshirestuff, the exercise became interesting.

Then the main assignment arrived: creating a series of plates, inspired by Staffordshire pottery. Mh. I could think of 2 vaguely appropriate things to make the exercise interesting for me, animals or English literature. I picked the latter, thinking of a coordinating plate with a quote. By the time I realized the whole thing wasn’t a very good idea, it was already too late to switch back to animals if I wanted to finish the assignment.

Why was it a not so good idea? Because as much as I love Jane Eyre, I wouldn’t want to eat in a Jane Eyre plate! At least not in that style, but I never managed to translate the very modern and deconstructed style I had in mind in the finished result. I could probably use the image in another context, though, so not all is lost, and at least I learned what doesn’t work.




About the “I am no bird plate”. My first choice for a quote was something Edward Rochester tells Jane Eyre when she’s just saved him from being burned in his own bed: “I knew you would do me good, in some way, at some time; I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you”. But then, that quote is long, and time was short, so I had to adapt. I shortened another passage where Jane says “I am no bird; and not net ensnares me: I am a free human being with my own will”, and I like that the result is the exact opposite of the usual “put a bird on it“. I have simple joys, I know!

But back to Jane Eyre: at first, her dress was the proper governess gray, but then I decided I could take a little liberty and represent her rich inner life by using some colors. Here’s a glimpse of the work in progress, from the first digital sketch to different variations.