The Designer’s Banquet

19 Jan

As promised, I am putting up the photos for the Designer’s Banquet. If you remember, my banquet is based on the artist William Morris and his textile piece Strawberry Thief. This textile piece was created by Morris when at his garden strawberries were taken by thrushes and Morris enjoyed watching them do so, therefore recording the small event that took place.

The banquet has to reflect with what is on the essay we have done. And just to sum it up, it’s using the influence of Morris and using both traditional and modern crafting techniques and materials to make the pieces. I was also very much in love with the Strawberry Thief textile when I first saw it and wanted to base my Banquet on this piece.

The photo below is of all the Banquet items and I’ll explain each and every one of them and how I done each piece.


 The images come from the Strawberry Thief piece, and I selected three areas of the textile which I felt reflected nature a lot (an aspect of Arts & Crafts — the movement William Morris was a founder of). The images were first transferred using tracing paper and when they were placed onto the porcelain, I used relief paste to outline it and used porcelain paints to block in the colours.


The coaster and placemat, both made of a cork-type material, was first painted white on one side so when it is painted, the colours become quite vibrant.  I traced the images onto the placemat/coaster (traced from a reverse image) and outlined it in the relief paste then once dried, painted the colours required.


The cutlery’s birds and strawberries were made out of air-dry clay and painted with acrylic paint then varnished. Once all dried, they were glued onto the fork/knife/spoons.

Before the air-dry clay was dried for the strawberry with the knife, I used the knife to make a slit into the strawberry so it looks like it is slicing it in half. The strawberry on the fork was done by using it to embed holes into it so it stays placed on the fork when glued. The dots/’seeds’ in the strawberries were done using cocktails sticks to poke holes into the clay.


The menu design was made using Adobe Illustrator by outlining the motif sections I chosen to do and re-arrange it into my own motif depicting both Strawberry Thief and William Morris.  I included dishes that I could think of that would contain strawberries, and obviously the name of it is in reflection of the actual textile piece. The font is Plantagenet Cherokee, and I chose this as I felt it was well-suited to the style and brought a form of friendliness and formality. The actual menu is A5 size and laminated.


The napkin design was done from potatoes cut into shape (oval shape and triangles) and poster paint thinly applied to the flat edge to do potato stamping (oh how I remember doing this when a kid!). I did this technique as I felt it was appropriate for the tissue material and William Morris used a somewhat similar technique, woodblock printing, for the Strawberry Thief. The dots were done using cotton buds and poster paint.

Drinking Glass

The glass, again, used birds and strawberries made out of air-dry clay, with two small strawberries glued to the bottom, and the other larger strawberries being placed by hand into the glass. I attached the bird onto the rim of the glass by cutting-to-length two hairpins that are attached to the bird by embedding a hole using the pins into the clay, then gluing them to stay in place.

And I think that’s it. Hope you enjoyed looking at them. Took me roughly a month to finish and I am extremely pleased with the outcome and quality of it. Don’t think I’ve been this happy about a final piece like this before ^___^


2 Responses to “The Designer’s Banquet”

  1. Mark Armstrong January 26, 2012 at 12:44 #


    Wow, wow, wow!!

    (insert thunderous applause here)

    This is an extraordinary achievement, Sabine! Your banquet is beautiful. You’ve given it both unity and harmony. It’s lovely– I’m tremendously impressed!!

    I was particularly taken with the cutlery and the drinking glass. They’re beautifully crafted with amazing attention to detail. You have succeeded as both illustrator and sculptor.

    And your photography and presentation here are first rate. Great project, great post– take a bow!!

    • Sabine January 26, 2012 at 13:25 #


      You're making me blush with happiness from all the compliments!
      Thank you so much ^^

      The little birds and strawberries were fun to make, although annoying when some broke and had to be re-glued etc.

      But I am really thrilled you like them. They certainly are the highlight of the Banquet.

      As for the presentation, I wish I done the same in my journal. In there it was just the whole process from beginning to end in print-outs with small explanations!

      I'm hoping my tutor sees this and will see the final outcomes in better viewing…

      And I definitely will *bows* =^__^=

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