My Day at BAJ: Visit to the V&A with archive handling session

My Day at BAJ: Visit to the V&A with archive handling session

Follow our My Day at BAJ series to gain an insight into the daily life at the Academy. Get the feel of our school and read about the recent and current events from students’ and tutors’ perspective. This week our Level 2 Diploma student Anna Allan shares her experiences from the recent student trip to the V&A Museum archives.

On Friday 7th July our Level 2 Diploma group went on a trip to the V&A as part of our historical research – to give us inspiration for the design aspect of our course.

The first part of the day we were fortunate enough to go ‘behind the scenes’. Our fabulous tutor had arranged for us to have access to a veritable horde of treasures that ranged everything from a coral tiara from 18th century Italy to the 17th century exquisitely enamelled English watch and pair case.

The public does not usually get to see these pieces but we were given the opportunity to handle and draw them whilst hearing about their history from the curator – suffice to say we were like kids in a candy store.

The next part of the day we split into groups to research either middle eastern and Islamic gallery, Korean gallery or Japanese gallery. It was a great opportunity to gain some cultural research as well as historic. In our groups, we looked at the techniques, designs and themes that were prevalent in the art of that culture then designed a jewellery piece based on what we had found.

After lunch, we moved onto independent research with the guidelines of finding and drawing interesting examples of pattern, texture, technique, shape and form to hopefully use in our own jewellery designing and making. We had the whole of the V&A to explore for this and we were advised to think outside the box and look for inspiration throughout all the galleries.

This was a really interesting exercise as it encouraged us to really think creatively. Personally, I got a lot of my ideas for my final piece from this task. The whole experience was fantastic and gave us all loads to think about.