I just recently discovered William Morris. I finished a needlepoint for my mum that she had started many years ago (the trellis design) and I fell in love. So I started to look into where this design came from.
I think that Morris still influences many designers and artists to this day. He was a very talented poet, architect, painter, writer and textile designer. He founded Kelmscott Press, the most famous of the Arts and Crafts private presses.
William Morris (1834-1896) was considered one of the most influential designers of the Arts and Crafts movement. He co-founded the art firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company (later Morris &Co).
As an interior designer, Morris focused on decorative arts. He designed wallpaper, textiles, furniture and stained glass windows. To create patterns he would create a block design which would be repeated during production.
Ultimately Morris & Co created over 600 fabric and wallpaper designs. He was a supreme colourist, using his own mixes from plant-based dyes even though commercial dyes were available.
When my husband and I travelled to England recently we were able to visit Standen House. Even though Morris never visited here he was involved in the interior styling. I took so many photos and admired the textiles. The rooms had a certain feel to them with the wallpapers, tapestries, and cushions all of the similar designs. I really was in my element.
I have now completed my second miniature Strawberry Thief needlepoint. I have my third, but I will save it for after I finish my Smitten quilt! The only decision is what will I do with these needlepoints? Will I make cushions or frame them?
I know that I find Morris and his creativity such an inspiration. I just wanted to leave you with a few of my favourite quotes.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.
“To apply art to useful wares, in short, is not a frivolity, but a part of the serious business of life”.