William Morris, William De Morgan, Morris & Co.: Tile in the English Arts and Crafts Tradition

William Morris Tile: Tile Sets, Panels, and Murals Based on the Designs of William Morris, William De Morgan, and Morris & Co.

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William Morris Designs from Tiles, Tales, Textiles

Tiles in the English Arts and Crafts Tradition

and Medieval Bestiary Tiles

Dragon tile backsplash

Dragon Tile Backsplash

You might also be interested in The Installation of the Dragons.

Cat with green stripes, having just caught a mouse.  Marble Tile by williammorristile.com Dog playing a cat bagpipe, from The Funeral of Renard the Fox.  Marble Tile by williammorristile.com Cats in the Middle Ages with birdcage, 13th century Bestiary, England.  Marble Tile by williammorristile.com Dog from the coat of arms of Henry VII.  Marble Tile by williammorristile.com Three brackers, hunting.  Marble Tile by williammorristile.com

From left: Medieval striped cat with mouse, dog playing a cat bagpipe from The Funeral of Renard the Fox, cats with birdcage from Harley Bestiary c.1320, Dog from the coat of arms of Henry VII, three brackers.

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Morris's Quandary

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:

We don't stock anything, except overruns and some samples. We make each tile for you. We think Morris would approve.

Membland Backsplash and Fireplace Surround

After more years than I care to admit, the Membland backsplash and fireplace surround are available in width from 12 inches to 21 inches. How did this happen? I wanted this pattern on my own stair risers. See the particulars. Note that the original is 36 inches by 63 inches. It will come.

These reproduction tiles are based on the original drawing for the panels installed at Membland Hall. Panels can be installed side by side for fireplace surround or undercounter panels, , as in the original Membland installation, or alone as a backsplash. Membland reproduction tiles are available in several widths and heights.

Membland Tile information.

William Morris Tile: Design for Fireplace Surround, Membland pattern
Design for fireplace surround with three side-by-side panels

Tiles from Textiles: Morris & Co. Designs

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.

William Morris Wallpaper and Embroidery

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.

MedwayWillow Brother Rabbit Yellow Peony Golden Lily Bird and Trellis Morris Lodden in blue and white May Morris Flowerpot Tile

From top left: Medway, Willow, Brother Rabbit, Yellow Peony, Golden Lily, Bird and Trellis, Lodden, May Morris Flower Pot

See many more patterns and color variations

'The Forest' Tapestry Animals and Fireplace Surround, Backsplash Garden Mural

William Morris, The Forest William Morris, The Forest

William Morris Forest Tile and Forest Animals

Morris & Co. Decorative Tiles

These are classic floral tiles based on Morris & Co. designs.

William Morris, Morris & Co. Reproduction Tile

English Arts and Crafts Designs by William Morris, Kate Faulkner, William De Morgan and 'Firm' principals

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:

William De Morgan Reproduction Tile

William De Morgan met William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones when he was 24. He became a close friend of both men, initially implementing Morris's designs for Morris & Co. in stained glass and tile. He went on to become one of the chief designers of stained glass and tile for The Firm and eventually took over the tile production for the company. His designs were sold by Morris & Co. for many years.

Early English Arts and Crafts: Red House Designs

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:

Mythic and Medieval Themes

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.

Bestiary Tiles

William DeMorgan Persian dragon Early medieval dragon Aztec Qetzalcoatl dragon eating a man Basilisk

More Bestiary dragons, basilisks, and wyverns

Hunt for the Unicorn Captive Unicorn Lady and the Unicorn: Sight Tile based on the background from the medieval unicorn tapestries

The Unicorn Tapestries

Medieval: Book of Hours of the Duc Du Berry Tile Panels

I did these 15-tile murals for the World Food Prize Foundation. These photographs are in the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines, Iowa.

Book of Hours tile mural at World Food Price Foundation

Book of Hours: Les Très Riches Heures

Legends and Fairy Tales

Fairy tales are the myths we live by. Camelot and fairy tale themes were favorites of Morris and his circle. Morris also translated the Icelandic Eddas. William Morris built Red House, his first married home, in a location along the route the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales would have taken.

Edward Burne-Jones: Briar Rose

The Briar Rose fairy tale was an important theme for Edward Burne-Jones, one of Morris's closest and arguably longest friend.

Glasgow Arts and Crafts: Jessie M. King

This mural is based on Jessie M. King's illustration to Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid. It's suitable for a backsplash or shower wall.

Jessie M. King, Little Mermaid, Mermaid backsplash

Jessie M. King Mermaids Backsplash

Preraphaelite Art Tile

Morris and Co. designs often were created for one medium and then adapted and modified for another. Many designs were first implemented as tile and later in stained glass or as paintings on canvas or furniture. In the Days of Creation, The Fourth Day was cut from its frame in a dining room in Dunster House at Harvard University in 1970 where the entire series was on loan from the Fogg Art Museum, and never been recovered. I've recreated it based on Frederick HOllyer's platinotype and Oscar Wilde's description.

Edward Burne-Jones

Edward Burne-Jones, Angels of Creation, First Angel Edward Burne-Jones, Angels of Creation, Second Angel Edward Burne-Jones, Angels of Creation, Third Angel Edward Burne-Jones, Angels of Creation, Fourth Angel Edward Burne-Jones, Angels of Creation, Fifth Angel Edward Burne-Jones, Angels of Creation, Sixth Angel Edward Burne-Jones, Angels of Creation, Seventh Angel

See Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Days of Creation Angels, May and Jenny Morris models.

Visual Index: For a visual index, all, or nearly all, available tiles are pined on the William Morris Tile board.

New tile announcements, tiles in progress, tiles I dream of doing, and other Morris and DeMorgan inspirations are pinned on the general Morris and DeMorgan board.

Articles

William Morris: The Soul of Arts and Crafts

What is Arts and Crafts?

Morris & Co. Tile Making Process

About William Morris Tile

How to Order William Morris Tile

Hunting Dragons with Lemon Gloria

Recent Additions

William DeMorgan Persian Serpents

William DeMorgan facing blue snakes on cobalt background.

Snakes were a popular motif in the 19th century, so much so that Prince Albert gave the very first engagement ring to Victoria, a jewelry snake with an emerald-set head. Victorian snakes were the symbol of eternal love.

Birds and Betrayal : William Morris in Iceland

Design for tile based on William Morris cover to The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs

I just finished Birds and Betrayal, a tiles based on the cover of William Morris's Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs. The cover was a William Morris and Philip Webb's collaboration. It has an interesting backstory here.

This tile is be available in both 6 and 8 inch ceramic. Both background and foreground colors can be modified.

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If you would like to donate to Children's Healing Art Project or Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary or Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, I will discount your order 50% of your donation, up to $125.

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