Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Willow Pattern Story Retold
This project began two years ago with an exploration of the Willow Pattern Story. My mother used to tell my sister and me the story she learned (she knows not where) that goes with the plate. She had a set that was bought by my father in the late fifties.
My interest was sparked when I began beachcombing on Deptford foreshore, where I kept finding shards of blue and white ceramic that were mostly Willow Pattern.
I discovered there were many versions of the story - as many as there are versions of the plate. I also discovered the story was invented to sell the design, and that the plate did not illustrate an already existing legend.
This led to research into when and where the design was first conceived, and also I found myself looking into the culture surrounding breaking plates, and correspondingly, the breaking up or cutting up of words and narrative.