Much of the jewellery and décor items we see today
are influenced by decorative and design styles of the late 19th and early 20th
century. In our next series of blogs, we will provide a quick checklist to some
of these influential design movements.
One of our favourite significant movements was the
arts and crafts movement.
Thief", One of William Morris's Most Popular Repeating Designs
- Originated in Britain the late 19th century.
- A reaction against the lack of quality, design,
craftsmanship and artistic merit found in items produced as a result of the
mechanisation of the industrial revolution.
- John Ruskin (1819-1900) was a leading proponent of
the movement and his writings greatly influenced other followers of his
principles including a young William Morris whose talents as a designer of
patterns for textiles and wallpaper are legendary.
- One of the main ideas was to create an environment
whereby an individual could create a piece from start to finish, but since many
different skills were required to do this the outcome was often quite crude in
- The movement had a very strong social conscience and
thought that by bringing the artist craftsman into close contact with the people
they could uplift the working man from his extremely miserable existence.
- Amateur craftsmen were encouraged to experiment and
learn in the right kind of environment by creating co-operative guilds and
- Sadly the movement itself was not commercially
successful but its principles and theories of design and craftsmanship had a
huge influence from the end of the 19th century right through to the 1920's.
Arts and Crafts Movement in Canada
- William Morris Gallery
Morris at the Victoria and Albert Museum