About the Object
William Morris is one of the more well-known British designers of the 19th century. He was one of the major figures credited with influencing the Arts & Crafts Movement in Victorian Britain, which rejected industrialization and instead, advocated for the return to traditional handcrafted methods of production. He designed patterns for textiles, carpets, stained glass, and wallpaper. Design drawings—like the one for the Loddon pattern shown here—were made to practice getting the parts of the design just right before they could be arranged into the overall design. Drawings like this also helped the person carving the pattern into the woodblock by showing all the details sharply, which was then used to print the pattern.
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Click to see how these drawings look in a pattern and in other colorways.
Industrialization – machine-made production; Morris and other Arts and Crafts advocates rejected this method of production because they believed factories were soulless and dehumanizing. They also argued that the goods manufactured by repetitive machines lacked personality because there was no human connection
Textiles – cloth or woven fabric
Woodblock Printing – a carved or engraved block of wood to which color is applied to then print onto paper, fabric, or wallpaper
Colorway – one of the various combinations of colors in which the pattern or design is available
More to Explore...
DESIGN YOUR OWN WALLPAPER OR TEXTILE
- On a blank sheet of paper, you can either recreate the Lodden flowers seen here, or create drawings of your own favorite flowers.
- Color your individual flowers. Are you happy with how they look? If not, it’s okay to do it again…that’s all part of the design process!
- Think about how these prints might look in a repetition or pattern. You can fill in the background by drawing whatever you like (dots, shapes, more flowers?), or just leave the background blank. Use your own imagination for this or recreate William Morris’s design by arranging your colored flowers into a repeating pattern like you explored via the links provided above.
- Which design approach did you use? Did you freestyle or copy?
- Did you try your finished design in different “colorways”?
- Where would you like to see your textile design displayed? On a favorite chair? Your bedroom walls? Or, perhaps as the subject of a museum’s coloring page?