Creative Duet: The Prolific William Morris
October 21, 2012 § 2 Comments
Perhaps the grand lord of the decorative arts, one could think of William Morris as the craftsman’s craftsman. His uncompromising belief that the best things in life were hand-made using natural materials combined with his exquisite drawing and watercolor skills to produce a vast collection of wallpaper and fabric design still widely used today.
Early on he was dedicated to creating beautiful, hand-crafted furnishings, which led to fabric printing and then to excelling in the arts of carving, dying, embroidery, stained glass and weaving. A prolific individual, to be sure.
But ~ yes ~ there was more to this inspired man than textile design. Throughout his life he wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts. As author, illustrator and medievalist, he helped establish the fantasy genre, and was a direct influence on authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien.
Morris was born into a well-to-do family on March 24, 1834 in Essex, England, educated at Exeter College in Oxford, and was married to Jane Burden until his death in October, 1896.