Break the Mould – the heroes behind the design
When we kicked off our collaboration with Hatch we had a very specific idea in mind. We wanted to celebrate and pay homage to a group of British people that broke the mould – creative, brilliant people that dared to stand out among their peers, who did things differently to the people before them, who changed the course of history through their ideas, imagination, creativity, will, hard work and contributions to society. It’s not exhaustive, of course, but it’s a pretty good start. And we knew Hatch’s completely unique style was the only way to bring this to life.
So here we thought we’d tell you a little more about the unique characters that feature on the Venus & the Cat indoor pot 'Break the Mould’.
– 29 December 2022)
Emmeline Pankhurst (15 July 1858 – 14 June 1928)
Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist. She is best remembered for organising the UK suffragette movement, crucially helping women win the right to vote.
In 1889, Emmeline founded the Women's Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections. In October 1903, she helped found the more militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) - an organisation that gained much notoriety for its activities and whose members were the first to be christened 'suffragettes'. Emmeline's daughters Christabel and Sylvia were both active in the cause. British politicians, press and public were astonished by the demonstrations, window smashing, arson and hunger strikes of the suffragettes. In 1913, WSPU member Emily Davison was killed when she threw herself under the king's horse at the Derby as a protest at the government's continued failure to grant women the right to vote. Like many suffragettes, Emmeline was arrested on numerous occasions over the next few years and went on hunger strike herself, resulting in violent force-feeding. In 1913, in response to the wave of hunger strikes, the government passed what became known as the 'Cat and Mouse' Act. Hunger striking prisoners were released until they grew strong again, and then re-arrested.
This period of militancy was ended abruptly on the outbreak of war in 1914, when Emmeline turned her energies to supporting the war effort. In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave voting rights to women over 30. Emmeline died on 14 June 1928, shortly after women were granted equal voting rights with men.
In 1999, Time Magazine named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating that "she shaped an idea of women for our time". That’s breaking the mould.
Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood DBE RDI is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream. Westwood came to public attention when she made the clothes for Malcolm McLaren's boutique in the King's Road, SEX, fusing new fashion and musical culture through the 1970s UK punk scene, which was dominated by McLaren's band, the Sex Pistols. She viewed punk as a way of "seeing if one could put a spoke in the system".
Westwood opened four shops in London and eventually expanded throughout the United Kingdom and the World, selling an increasingly varied range of merchandise, some of which promoted her many political causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups. She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1992 and advanced to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2006.