Merry Christmas from The Minton Archive

With Christmas almost upon us it’s time to select another festive scene from Hildesheimer & Faulkner’s portfolio of Christmas and New Year cards before we bid you farewell until the new year. We also couldn’t resist picking out some Minton-related highlights from the past 12 months – read on to recap what we’ve been up to…

In September of last year we welcomed project conservator Jess Hyslop to the blog and throughout 2017 her brilliant conservation series showed us what goes on behind the scenes to keep the Archive’s volumes and artworks available for you to use. Thanks to her extensive work on a number of important volumes we were also able to digitise these items in their entirety and on the site’s second anniversary we made Pattern Book No. 1 available to view online.

Since then we’ve added more browsable volumes to the site and the plan for 2018 is to fully integrate these into the online catalogue. Oh, and digitise some more volumes too, of course.

As well as continuing with our popular Folio Friday series we also added two new regular features to the blog in the autumn of this year. Truth, Beauty, Power, which highlights the stunning artwork of Dr. Christopher Dresser, and Magnificent Majolica, which focuses on the wonderful designs found within our special Art & Design folio, will appear on alternate months throughout 2018 (and beyond, given that there’s so much to share with you!).

Both series were introduced by informative In Depth articles – one adapted from extensive research notes found within the Archive itself and the other by this year’s Annual Archive Ceramics Lecture speaker Claire Blakey – and we’ve (very!) recently published The Ceramic Staircase, our most detailed longform article to date. There’s now plenty to get your teeth into should you have some down time over the Christmas period…

It feels like no round-up of the blog’s activities would be complete without a mention of Eliza Smallwood, our favourite apprentice china enameller. Her name is synonymous with the Archive’s Register of Apprentices and it was the continuing work to index this volume which allowed us to pick out some wonderful names and poll our Twitter followers to find their favourites. Once the indexing was complete we were also able to begin to analyse the data gleaned from it’s pages – the fully searchable dataset should be available for you to use in early 2018.

It was also Eliza who provided us with the most magical of Minton-related moments this year, one that’s definitely worth revisiting – we really hope our amazement and excitement comes through in that particular blog post!

And on that feel-good note we’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas from the Minton Archive. See you in 2018!