Blue Plates - Ailbhe Phelan

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Ailbhe Phelan

A couple of years ago I sourced 3 vintage Meissen dinner plates with the classic “Blue Onion” design. I love that they come with a history of usage. Since then I have added to my blue & white dinner plate collection with a mix of vintage and contemporary plates, loving the mix of decorative style and stories, old and new, that each plate offers as it functions.

All of which brought me to browse the delftware collection at the V&A where I fell in love with the blue & white delftware plates that I came across. Inspired, I decided to create my personal commemorative blue plate set, not in ceramics but as an etched print whose sole function is to be displayed and gazed upon rather than grazed upon!

I've etched on zinc using soft ground technique, applied aquatint and used a drypoint tool.

Although plates are etched at this date (8 March 2016), I do need to do some final burnishing and drypoint work. One plate needs to be cut out to its circular form, filed and the final double plate print needs to be pulled and framed. I attach some initial templates, the current draft pulls and the proposed final layout. The final size given is the proposed framed size. I have been working on this blue plate set print as part of my Morley printmaking course, Monday afternoons 2 - 4.30 pm. I realise that my work is not finished at this stage which may not make this entry eligible. But I wanted to try!

Blue Plates - Ailbhe Phelan

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:



Portugal (made)

ca. 1700 (made)

unknown (production)

Tin-glazed earthenware, decorated in colbalt-blue

V&A collection reference number(s):
3869-1901, C.244-1983, C.54-2003, S.118-1988, C.9-2008

2015 Exhibition Guide

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