PaperBlanks William Morris Windrush Mini

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William Morris

Windrush

Mini Size

Lined

  • Decorative printed cover paper
  • FSC-certified text paper
  • Threaded stitching and glue, as needed
  • Cloth headbands
  • Acid-free sustainable forest paper
  • Flexible cover and spine

This Windrush pattern comes from a pencil and watercolour sketch that William Morris worked on in 1881–1883. Designed for block-printed cotton, Windrush highlights the creative approach Morris took to revealing elements from the natural world in his decorative furnishing fabrics.

William Morris (1834–1896) is one of the most renowned figures in the decorative arts. As a textile designer, he developed an original style that charmed his contemporaries and has since become a point of reference for all those interested in design and decoration. His creative approach was characterized by his pronounced views on what constitutes beauty and a firm belief in the essential value of art and handicraft. The Arts and Crafts movement, inspired by the ideals of Morris and the social theorist John Ruskin, had as much of an anti-industrial ideological component as it did an aesthetic teaching.

Studying Classics at Oxford University, Morris developed an interest in the history, social values and art of the Middle Ages. His appreciation of the medieval theme found its way into his designs, with patterns often replicating the “millefleurs” style of the 15th and 16th centuries. Characterized by an abundance of small decorative flowers and plants used to fill the background space, this style is most closely associated with the tapestry-making traditions of France and Belgium.

Morris was also an influential writer and a staunch social activist and was aghast at the effect that industrialization was having on human productivity. New methods of production eroded the value of individual skill and a sense of accomplishment that came with the process of handiwork. He perceived medieval crafts guilds to be an ideal arrangement, where everyone contributed according to their own skill, and art and creation were a lived experience for both craftsmen and consumers. When he founded an interior design business together with a few like-minded associates, it followed the guild model and relied on traditional labour-intensive methods of production.

Ultimately, Morris believed that traditional crafts ensured higher-quality products, and so he made his furnishings using traditional weaving and the old technique of hand woodblock printing. For motifs, he looked to nature as his primary source of inspiration, which for him had an added element of defiance to the corrosive Industrial Revolution.

The rich pattern of this Morris Windrush design reflects his abiding interest in naturalism. This is a reproduction of a textile crafted in 1881, the time when Morris’ work was celebrated internationally, and it remains a popular pattern to this day.


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