Rob Ryan

Loving Cup For The V&A

Posted by on Thursday 8th May, 2014

Earlier this year Rob was commissioned by the V&A to design a Loving Cup for the V&A shop to coincide with their Wedding Dresses 1775–2014′ exhibition.

A loving cup is a shared drinking container traditionally used at weddings and banquets and usually has two handles.

Here is a exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the loving cup being designed and decorated here at Ryantown HQ!

lovingcupstartRob initially worked on a paper template which gave him the surface area to draw the artwork onto. By placing this on the blank cup it gave Rob a good idea what the final cup would look like.

We worked closely with the V&A to ensure they were 100% happy with the design – at every stage during the design process we sent the V&A images and artwork for their approval. Once the design had been finalised Tom could then screenprint the decals ready to be applied by hand to each blank ceramic cup.

Rob’s Loving Cup design reads: ‘Drink with me now and together our whole lives through for part of me is now a part of you’, and ‘My one, my only, accept this gift, that I offer to you, my heart.’



The decals were carefully applied in six sections; the writing on either side, the foliage around each handle, the heart at the bottom of each cup and finally the base. To read more about the process here at the studio of applying decals to ceramic click here.



Once the first black layer had been fired in our studio kiln we could then begin the process of hand painting each cup with gold lustre – this requires quite a steady hand! We dotted around the bottom of each cup and on either side of the handle using the lustre which gives the cups a really special hand decorated finish.



Rob created a special base for the cup which reads, ‘© Robert Ryan. This loving cup was exclusively made for the Victoria & Albert Museum 2014. This is number …. in an edition of 200′.

Each base is numbered in gold lustre and then fired for a second time before being packaged in it’s individual screenprinted box.


The exhibition is now open and runs until March 15th 2015. You can purchase Rob’s cup directly from the V&A shop in store and online here.

Louise Renforth
Studio Assistant

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