The collector: Caroline Norman - Design & Brand Consultant and Postgraduate Lecturer in Design Managment (UK).
The collection: Cruets.
The story behind your collection: I’ve always been interested in kitsch. I started collecting the cruets when I was a student at Leicester, the market there was full of stuff like this.
Why cruets? I don’t know. Designers, myself included, spend their lives being very ‘designer’, all very tasteful, the uniform black wardrobe, the all white minimalist home, maybe kitsch satisfies my non-conformist nature.
What is it you like about them? Bright colours, shiny glazes, twinkly bits, really cheap materials, fun, rude bits, other people thinking they’re awful.
How many do you have? Don’t know, 20 – 25?
How is your collection arranged or displayed? It isn’t displayed, it’s in a box collecting dust, I can’t bear clutter and loathe housework. I guess if I had time I’d find a clever way of displaying them, they would make a nice contrast to the white walls, but I’ve never got round to it. I’ve still got a load of paintings to be hung, life’s too short.
Tell us about your favourite find... The naked lady, she is THE BEST! The fake ruby nipples, just WONDERFUL! It’s a pity her breasts are cracked, time hasn’t been very kind to her.
Is your collection out of control? No. At heart I like things simple, whilst my head spins I want the world around me to be uncluttered, the fuller my life is the fewer possessions I want, so the magpie in me has learned to look, admire but rarely buy.
Images © Helen Powell with the kind permission of Caroline Norman.