LaTrobe-Bateman, Richard (4 of 10) National Life Stories Collection: Crafts' Lives

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  • Subjects

    Furniture making

  • Recording date

    2005-04-12, 2005-04-21, 2005-05-06, 2005-05-23

  • Recording locations

    interviewee's home, Somerset

  • Interviewees

    La Trobe-Bateman, Richard, 1938 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Hughes, Hawksmoor (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: Description of applying for the RCA, story about being told to redesign a ministry table. Remarks on being the first year selected by David Pye [DP]. Comments on the benefits of having an older student in a year group. Mentions fellow students David Colwell, Roger Dean, Geoff Lawson, Jane Dillon. Description of first term project re-designing a recliner chair. Definition of modernist furniture. Remarks on DP nearly throwing RLTB out of the department. Comments on RLTB’s urge to make things and discovering wood. Remarks on setting up a workshop at home. Comments on lecturing at St. Martin’s after leaving the RCA. Remarks on being a slow learner. Long description of teaching on the A and B course at St. Martin’s, mentions Peter (Atkins) Cardia, Gareth Jones, Garth Evans and Bill Tucker. Remarks on the affects of the experiment on the students, mentioned Richard Deacon. Comments on the arguments between staff. Description of Bill Tucker’s work. [30:00] Comments on RTLB not wanting to take on to much teaching and deciding to try to run his own workshop. Reflects on RLTB’s changed view of the A and B course. Story about a difficult student bringing a solicitor to a meeting with staff and RLTB realising that the world was changing. Comments on bureaucracy taking over design in bridge building. Story about resigning from St. Martin’s. Story about meeting Mary [MLTB] at the RCA, remarks on their moving in together. Description of MLTB. Story about telling mother they were getting married. Description of MLTB’s background, comments on her success in interior design and in Contemporary Applied Arts. Description of their registry office wedding and honeymoon. Further description of the RCA, mentions running the student newspaper. Story about receiving a letter from Darwin. Comments on the fashion departments not awarding degrees. Long description of DP, story about his appointment at the RCA. Remarks on knowing DP’s books by heart and using them for his own lectures. [01:00:00] Long description DP’s writings and their effects on RLTB’s way of thinking and making. Further description of DP, remarks on his good education. Story about DP criticising Geoff Lawson’s design for a chair in Latin. Remarks on DP writing his books by hand on the train. Comments on DP’s colleges negative opinion of his books and his demystification of design. Remarks on ‘Craft’ magazine’s and the RCA’s mystification of design. Mentions Ron Carter. Description of DP’s work. Remarks on DP not being a good judge of other people’s work. Mentions the DP’s selection for the ‘Eye of the Maker’ exhibition. Mentions DP’s house and workshop. Remarks on DP’s wearing overalls. Description of RLTB’s child’s high chair, remarks on DP’s regard for the chair. Description of RLTB’s magical moment when first learning something through his work.

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