Friday, 25 August 2017

The Tile Museum at Ironbridge

We had a day out at Ironbridge this week. It's a World Heritage Site with ten varied attractions. We have annual 'passports' that allow us to go as often as we like - on this occasion we chose to visit the Tile Museum.

I loved this display cabinet in the old trade showroom.

And the stores of tile molds were fascinating - every one numbered on its side to identify the design.

There are hundreds of examples of tiles displayed in cabinets as well as on the walls and floors of the buildings themselves. The floral designs were beautifully observed from nature.

And I particularly liked this nasturtium panel, one of about a dozen different plant designs on a Victorian washstand. Who knew what meaning it might convey?

I shall have to avoid scarlet geraniums now I know what they signify.

Back home, when I looked at my photographs I was inspired to draw a few flowers just for fun. I've got another of those little concertina sketchbooks just waiting to be used and the garden is full of nasturtiums!

They are at their peak and running riot at the moment so I could pluck a few without compunction! It's such a treat to sit in the garden and draw whilst enjoying the late summer sun.

It was very satisfying to have the real flowers to study but, referring back to the museum image I realised that why the tile design had been so compelling was the way it combined such a realistic depiction of the plant in combination with a highly stylised geometric pattern as a border. I loved the way the flower broke free of the frame too so I started to add a similar pattern to my pages. I may tone the border down with a wash of watercolour at some point.

Of course the tile had a dramatic black background too - I'm not sure if I'm going to give my drawing the same treatment yet. I might leave it for a day or two and then make a decision! Whatever I decide, it'll be another excuse to get out in the garden and enjoy the summer while it lasts. Small pleasures but none the worse for that!

Bye for now - Linda x


  1. Oh how I love nasturtiums. They are like the late summer version of Sweet Peas - reliable, colorful, and a delight to grow. Their peppery flavor is a bonus. I love how the border plays with the dark base on your concertina pamphlet with the nasturtiums dancing through the middle. I'm hoping the heat will lift long enough to go out and draw in the garden. If not, I'll bring a few inside. Have a wonderful weekend and as always, thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I've got a spectacular pot of scarlet geraniums outside the front door! Hmmm. What does that say about me?

    Lovely little painting and I love things that escape their confines and rebel into the borders.

  3. That's beautiful Linda! Annabel

  4. You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! Fönster – Made by Småland