Chosen by Ananda Rutherford, First Decade Project Manager
We ask makers, curators, designers, creative practitioners and the Crafts Council team to select their favourite object from the Crafts Council Collection and to tell us why.
Ananda Rutherford, First Decade Project Manager:
"It has a strength and monumentality at odds with the delicacy of most woven textiles"
When I started on the First Decade as project manager in 2014, I knew very little of craft in the 1970s and I had a few concerns. Did the collection have the strong, vibrant, seminal objects that would make the programme really work; objects that would speak to our audiences, objects that could tell stories and objects that would really sing about craft and making in the first ten years of the Crafts Council's history? Of course the answer is a resounding yes (as can be seen emphatically on the First Decade web pages), but Ann Sutton's 1-11 Floor Pad was the object that convinced me.
Working from lists of numbers, charts plotting the distribution of the collection for every year of the first decade, organized by maker, date, material and type, my only contact with the objects for several weeks was through the files that form the Crafts Council’s archive. I would suggest that that the Catalogue Card for the Floor Pad (see below) is a lovely item in itself (for those of us who like that kind of thing it is a near perfect bit of documentation), but it is just the ticket for the main event.
I clearly remember when I finally got down to the store to have a look at what we had and the floor pad was revealed in all its Technicolor glory. As the tissue was lifted it was clear that the colours were undimmed. I was surprised by the size of it. It is playful, instructive and apparently simple, but the continuous flow of colour and the boldness of the piece, give it a strength and monumentality at odds with the delicacy of most woven textiles. It would be not only my object of desire for this period, but also my key piece for the whole First Decade project - the stories, people, objects and ideas woven together in one continuous vibrant strand and forming the foundation of so much exciting craft to come.