The commissioning process is a personal and rewarding process for both client and craftsperson. Here Rauni shows the creation of a commission from sketch to completion

The Making of a Loving Cup for the Clothworkers’ Company

The inspiration for this Loving Cup design was the Teazel plant, especially the characteristic spiky flowerheads, being an emblem of the Clothworkers’ Company. I did lots of first-hand drawings, and took lots of photographs of fresh and dried Teasel flowers, stems leaves and bracts.

The form of the cup is based on an upturned whole flower head, while the three holding handles are based on the bracts, as are the three base ‘handles’, which visually and physically balance the cup. In the design proposal meetings, the importance of functionality was stressed, clear handles, a well-fitting lid that is easy to lift and relocate, and of course, it must be comfortable to drink from.

The three handles are comfortable to hold, but I wanted to evoke the feeling of spikiness, so the ridged edges have a sharp hammered texture which is polished for contrast. The lid has an easy to grasp handle, based on the cross section of the prickly stem, with an embossed design on the lid to suggest the bracts emerging.

After the initial sketch drawings, I developed the design in three-dimensions, carving modelling materials and moulding aluminium mesh and papier mache. A full size model was made and approved before starting in silver, to refine the proportions.

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