Monday, 13 June 2011

William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement - paste this into your browser and find out more about the 150 year celebration and where to find Morris & Co exhibitions

Well I said I'd be back with more on William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement. So if you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin ........

I am often asked to re-create a room in the style of Art Nouveau only to find that the client’s idea and the true representation of the period are two different things completely.  There is a distinctive difference between the two styles and an experienced eye will spot them immediately.  The Arts and Crafts movement was from 1860 – 1925 and was inspired by medieval architecture. Everything was made to the highest standards and where possible using traditional methods and materials. Furniture was made from oak and would have very simple straight lines.  The tone of the Arts & Crafts interior was set by William Morris in the 1860’s whose wallpaper and fabric designs were based on medieval motifs and on nature.  William Morris was one of the most significant characters during the time of the Arts & Crafts movement and he remains one of the most well known British Designers to this day.
His essential aim was to achieve the high standards of craftsmanship that he believed had been lost due to the dehumanising effects of the industrial revolution.
Naturalistic colours in warm, subtle colours included sage greens, rusts peacock blue and gold. If you want to see a great example of Arts & Crafts architecture locally  in Basingstoke visit the All Saints Church by Fairfields School and have a look at the commissioned Morris circular stain glass window design.

Art Nouveau style is far more exuberant than Arts & Crafts.  Its curvilinear style is more organic and flowing and wound it’s tendrils around France, Belgium and Germany between 1890 and 1910.  French Art Nouveau includes designers such as Tiffany and Gallet famous for lamps and glassware.  If you have had the opportunity to hop over to Paris check out the French Metro which embraces the style completely.  Britain’s most famous Art Nouveau designer was Charles Rene Macintosh.  Mackintosh favoured pastels such as soft pink and aqua or white, set off by a stencilled pattern at the top of the wall or accentuating a feature such as a fireplace or a window. He combined a mixture of stylised roses and thistles and geometric squares in his designs and often used black as a contrast accent. You can easily replicate Mackintosh in your own home as most of the large DIY stores will have stencils to apply yourself and even door handles.  Reproduction accessories to compliment your Art Nouveau interior can be found in high street stores particularly good examples can be found in Past Times. 
Couldn't resist sharing this photograph of a beautifully embroidered Honeysuckle firescreen on display at Standen -  And Tomorrow is a new day......

No comments:

Post a Comment