Art is the most spiritual and the most revolutionary of enterprises. Morris's quandary was this: He espoused medieval craftsman values and at the same time, long before his socialist years, sought to improve the quality of life and make art available for all people. He improved upon the medieval tilemaking process, developing better methods and dyes, while providing a good wage and exemplary working conditions for his time. We've improved on his methods further with advances of our time, but the values endure. Each tile is created individually, handled individually with attention and care. We make:
Tile was one of the earliest media that William Morris explored with Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and other members of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Tiles imported from Holland were painted by Morris himself, as well as others in the Morris & Co. circle. Many of these original tile designs later made their way to implementations in stained glass and textiles. Some examples:
Burne-Jones and Morris had already created one-of-a-kind furnture for their shared bachelor lodgings in London, but it was in the decorating of Red House that the Arts and Crafts movement was born. Morris was incredibly in love with the 19-year-old Jane Burden and commissioned his friend, architect Philip Webb, to design Red House as their first married home. Morris oversaw every detail. Finding the furnishings in the shops to be lacking, Morris, Burne-Jones, Rossetti, and friends took up the task of decorating Red House themselves, designing furniture, tapestries, murals, and tile with loving attention to detail. These tiles are based on the decorative arts of Red House:
Red House Daisies - William Morris, Jane Burden Morris
Love Moves the Sun and Stars - Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Not true reproduction tiles, these designs are based William Morris wallpaper, tapestries, and stained glass. Some are William De Morgan designs after leaving Morris & Co.These tiles are adaptations of stained glass, textile, tapestry, and wallpaper designs. The ceramic and porcelain tiles are truer to the original Morris design. The marble tiles focus on a design element while allowing the natural beauty of the stone to come through.
Classical mythology, fairy tales, and medieval themes were favorite subjects for William Morris, Burne-Jones, Rossetti and the PreRaphaelites. Morris translated the Icelandic Eddas, built his first married home, Red House, along the Pilgrims Path from Chaucer, and many claim his best work was Defence of Guinevere.
Book of Hours: Les Très Riches Heures (for lovers of cobalt)
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