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V&A X Tatty Devine Workshop 🌻

August 14, 2018 - Charlotte Prichard
V&A X Tatty Devine Workshop 🌻

"Rain? What rain?" 😉

Last Friday, we battled the elements to host a very special #TattyWorkshop at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Knightsbridge. Team Tatty and sixteen keen jewellery designers descended on the V&A’s design suite, to design a piece inspired by Mexican folk art, textiles and the museum's blockbuster exhibition, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up. Tatty Devine co-founders Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine kicked off the session with a pep talk:

“For us, art school was a brilliant start in life as it gives you a different view, you’re encouraged to look at things in a slightly subversive way. It’s a lovely way to go about being in the world. I’m sure you know about Frida Kahlo already and what to see today and to expect from the exhibition. We’re going to try to push past that and find the thing that strikes a chord with you.. something that makes you feel. Almost pushing past instilled layers of cultural history and what you think you know about her.” - Harriet Vine. 

We even brought a selection of Classic pieces with us to help serve a lil' 'spo to our budding designers. Spot the Watermelon Earrings from way back in 2012, Rainbow Necklace - Mirror and La Luna Moon Brooch - Gold 

“No pictures, no pictures!” Photography is not permitted in the gallery (eek!) so clipboards, pencils and plenty of paper were the order of the morning as we headed down to the exhibition. From paintings to perfume bottles, crutches and cheesecloth keepsakes: we had a huge range of objects from which to draw inspiration. “I was overwhelmed by the body casts and objects such as her used lipsticks and blusher, they’re real! Not just an item in a painting, a real personal item. You could spot something like her achingly delicate shoes and be inspired to go away and create a necklace that’s loads of legs…” - Harriet Vine  

After a quick lunch, it was time to knuckle down and pinpoint which themes were our favourite and the most realistic for using to create jewellery. Grinning suns and drops of blood? Tick! Wide eyes, tweeting birds and breasts? Tick, tick, tick! “Designing your own jewellery to wear means looking at yourself in a different way, it’s almost like a self-portrait. You’re pretty much wearing your heart on your sleeve. You’re putting on something that was once a part of you, almost akin to the way Frida worked.” - Harriet Vine

Rosie, Harriet and super intern Beau roved around the room, assisting attendees in tracing and drawing symbols and shapes. With a well-stocked gift shop, our aspiring designers had plenty of extra inspiration to hand: from Mexican tin decorations to postcards of iconic aspects of the exhibition, including Kahlo's prosthetic leg. 

Ornate designs began to appear before our eyes, as everyone got to grips with Illustrator and understand the techniques behind creating pieces. "It's not quite as easy as you think... the behind the scenes process takes time as you consider every aspect within the concept you're bringing to life." - Rosie Wolfenden

Eye, eye! Once designs were finalised, tech sheets were painstakingly filled in for our production team to pour over. How many jump rings? Which colour chain? Yep, we didn't make it easy... These drawings and specifications will be laser cut, packed up and sent to our group of talented designers to assemble themselves at home, eeek! 

Go team! Thanks to our sixteen super designers (and two photobombers!) for joining us, we can't wait to see your creations. Fancy getting crafty at a #TattyWorkshop? We're taking a summer break but will be back in the autumn with fresh new makes, you heard it here first! Keep up to date over on our Workshops page now.