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Dialogues in Design - The Novium Museum at 10

Dialogues in Design invites local designers and artists to make responses to The Novium Museum's collection and displays. The result is a collection of unique contemporary craft objects connected to both historical and present day Chichester: visual dialogues through time. 

Local artists Gael Emmett, who designs and makes jewellery and Charlotte Deal, who specialises in ceramics have produced a new Dialogues in Design range to celebrate our 10th anniversary inspired by the theme 'Treasures'. These stunning ceramic and jewellery pieces are available exclusively in-store at The Novium Museum. 

Gael Emmett

'I wanted to create pieces that reflected what you see on a visit to the museum.  That look like they could have just been 'unearthed' themselves'.

My design process involved my response to the shapes, textures and colours seen in the pieces exhibited in the museum. The exhibits I saw were displayed in the condition they were found, after many hundreds of years buried deep in the earth. The patinas that resulted are what we see, not the pieces as they would have been in their original state, when worn with pride by their original owners. I wanted to reflect this in my designs - the concept that you could leave the museum with a piece of jewellery that was representative of your experience whilst visiting the museum.

I used a mixture of hand worked and computer rendered design sheets. This helped to develop ideas of colour, and shape for the final pieces. The materials I chose, most particularly working with copper, with silver details, was to reflect materials used in the original pieces. I then spent time developing the patina - using oxidisation and enamelling processes to create the 'aged' surface finish. I decided to focus on two key shapes, the spear and the shield, seen repeatedly throughout the exhibits.

For the 'hero' pieces of the collection, I have looked at the shapes seen in the Novium emblam, which has a shield like emphasis. I will be developing this into some key pieces for the collection to be launched at the official birthday celebrations

Charlotte Deal

Charlotte Deal is a local artist who specializes in ceramics.  For her new collection developed specifically for the Novium Museum's 10th anniversary, Charlotte chose the theme of 'Treasures'. 

Working from the museum's collection, Charlotte considered the notions of both finding treasure and then keeping it safe and displaying it.  So there are boxes for precious treasures to be stored in - even if these are just treasures from the beach - and trinket trays for displaying prized items.  The vessels themselves evoke the pieces in the museum's permanent collection with more pieces being handbuilt than thrown and again, as with her last collection for the museum, the 'Treasures' theme recalls the moment of finding treasure in the ground. 

Charlotte also used a bronze-colour oxide to decorate the pieces, to echo the bronze artefacts in the collection.  Bronze is also a decorative element of the Chichester city lantern that plays an important role in the anniversary celebrations.  With this in mind, some of the pieces use a criss-cross pattern that relates to this decoration.  As with all of Charlotte's work, there is an emphasis on simple, tactile forms with purposeful but spontaneous decoration.