We’ve added many unusual items to bespoke terrazzo over the years, but this project for the V&A in South Kensington was one of a kind.
Diespeker was asked to crush Wedgwood Jasperware seconds to use in terrazzo for large panel cladding for the refurbishment of restrooms at the grand entrance to the V&A, the leading museum of art, design and performance.
Jasperware is a type of unglazed stoneware first introduced by English potter Josiah Wedgwood in 1775. It’s extremely recognizable, with its pastel blue and pink base and white moulded reliefs. You may have seen it on the last Great Pottery Throw Down semi-final where the contestants were tasked with ornamenting a classic Jasperware ‘Bountiful Vase’.
When the items arrived at our factory (including several Bountiful Vases), the Diespeker team was almost reluctant to start crushing. But they reminded themselves that the ceramics were seconds which would otherwise have gone to waste. This dispelled their hesitancy and the team got busy with onsite crushing machine, Jaws.
As with all bespoke projects, the first part of the process was to create samples to ensure the terrazzo met the design brief. The jasperware was mixed in with marble and set into a resin base, with just 6 samples needed before the client signed off the final combination.
Then it was full steam ahead to make the bespoke terrazzo panels measuring 2000x1000mm ready to be installed by Diespeker in the V&A restrooms. One minor challenge for the team was having to sieve all the pieces to remove the dust and to get the chippings to exactly the right size – a time consuming process which as usual they undertook with patience and precision.
V&A Wedgwood Collection’s spring display ‘Earth and Ware: Wedgwood and Nature’ has just launched. Running until September 2022 this offers a trail for visitors to follow, to discover objects inspired by nature and wildlife. The recycled jasperware terrazzo concept fits perfectly within the display’s aims, which includes a programme of events looking at questions of climate change and sustainability in the ceramics industry.
The Jasperware terrazzo was created for the V&A via building contractor, Alcema.