LaTrobe-Bateman, Richard (9 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 9: Description of RLTB’s forefathers’ continued, mentions John Frederick Bateman and William Fairbairn [WF]. Description of WF’s scale model for Stevenson’s Menai bridge. Remarks on feeling connected to a tradition of designing. Comments on RLTB’s working relationship with engineers on his Langport Bridge, remarks on using a Pratt truss. Description of RLTB’s concern that the structure of a bridge is visually clear. Long detailed description of the properties of wood and steel wire rope used to make RTLB’s bridges. Long description RLTB’s bridges made for the Welcome Foundation and across the river Eden, Cumbria, description of the tropical hardwood bridges made in Cumbria National Park. Long description of RLTB’s unsuccessful proposal for a footbridge in Bristol, mentions having one a national award for the design. [30:00] Description of Eilis O’Connell’s winning bridge and the commissioning process. Comments on the bridges poor reception. Description of RLTB’s huge disappointment at not winning the commission. Mentions RLTB’s bridge across the Coln in Quenington, Wiltshire. Comments on not being invited to submit a proposal for a second footbridge in Bristol. Story about RLTB’s plan for a bridge in Australia not being realised. Long description of RLTB’s proposal for the Millennium Bridge, London. Remarks on RLTB’s opinion of other proposals and of the winning bridge. Mentions the Eden Project. Description of working with local councils, comments on being ill fitted to deal with them. Description of RLTB’s working relationship with engineers, mentions Mark Lovell [ML]. Remarks on not knowing where ideas come from. Comments on the benefits of making models of objects. [01:00:00] Comments on not receiving much serious peer review. Description of RLTB’s daily routine, remarks on not being disciplined or focused. Remarks on being skilled in know how rather than in motor skills. Description of a second child’s high chair made of ash. Description of a commission to make plank back chairs, remarks on the pace of work, pricing and the commissioning process. Description of the difficulty of selling furniture in galleries, mentions joining the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Description of pricing furniture. Story about showing students in San Diego a five dollar chair. Comments on not wanting to work for industry. Description of the qualities of Eames’ and Betoia’s furniture. Comments on the future for handmade furniture. Remarks on the emotional difficulties of MLTB working away from home. Remarks on being a life long honouree member of the CAA. Mentions David Roland’s [DR] involvement with the CAA management council. Description of DR. Description of RLTB’s and MLTB’s mutual support. [01:30:00]. Description of MLTB’s directorship of the CAA, remarks on her being a good designer. Remarks on MLTB’s choice of Elisa Morrison architects for the conversion of the CAA.

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