Kate Crumpet visits Clara Button at the V&A

Thank goodness I went to see Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day: A Fantastic Journey in the V&A. I have thought of Emily Sutton’s artwork as simply wonderful since I first saw her fabric songbirds years ago. A chance to see her original illustrations for Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day children’s picture book had me jumping on the bed with excitement.

The illustrations were hidden along a dark corridor in the V&A, next to the prints room on the first floor. It is always amazing to see illustrations ‘for real’, they look so different after being scanned and published. Emily uses a lot of pen in her work for drawing fine lines, combined with ink colour and body colour paints (gouache). I liked seeing the few bits of collage added to an illustration, or even to cover up a mistake!

Clara Button in London

Emily Sutton Illustration Ollie's Jungle Dream

Emily Sutton Clara Button Illustration Exhibition

After so much excitement, a cup of tea under a sparkling chandelier in the museum’s cafe was needed – just like Clara, Ollie and their Mum in the book.

– Miss C x

V&A cafe chandelier