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Born on this day; Edward Burne-Jones

28th August 2019

Born on this day in 1833, Edward Burne-Jones was a British artist and designer. Heavily involved in the later Pre-Raphaelite movement, he was a lifelong friend and colleague of William Morris. He was also a founding partner in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. His main passion project throughout his life was to revive the art and production of stained glass in England. Some of the fact we have lots of stunning stained glass around Britain today can be credited to Burne-Jones.

We’re also lucky enough to have a remaining collection of his own work. You can see this in; St Martin in the Bull Ring in Birmingham, Christ Church, Oxford, Cumbria – the Church designed by Philip Webb. Also, St Edward the Confessor Church at Cheddleton Staffordshire to name a few.

He looked up to Dante Gabriel Rossetti as a figure of influence. This was alongside friends Morris and Philip Webb and earlier works do show this influence. By the 1860s however, he’d really stepped into his own style which we’re really glad for so we can see both of their works!

Within the Firm, he was involved with stained glass along with many other art forms including ceramic tiles, tapestry work, jewellery and mosaics. He is also noted to have tried his hand on book illustrations and designed woodcuts for Kelmscott Press’s Chaucer in 1896.

Early life

Born in Birmingham, his path crosses William Morris’s when they both attended Exeter College in Oxford to study Theology. Bonding over a mutual interest and love of poetry, he invited Morris into his friendship group from home. These friends included John Ruskin and Tennyson who were known as the ‘Birmingham Set’ and later ‘The Brotherhood.’ They didn’t personally know Rossetti at this time but were aware of him and took him as a point of inspiration. He influenced Burne-Jones to leave the path he was on to become a church minister and follow his passion to become an artist.

We can get an insight into this period when they were building a friendship with Rossetti from a letter dated February 1857 written by Rossetti and written to his friend William Bell Scott.  “Two young men, projectors of the Oxford and Cambridge Magazine, have recently come up to town from Oxford, and are now very intimate friends of mine. Their names are Morris and Jones. They have turned artists instead of taking up any other career to which the university generally leads, and both are men of real genius. Jones’s designs are marvels of finish and imaginative detail, unequalled by anything unless perhaps Albert Dürer’s finest works.”

Personal life

Edward Burne-Jones married Georgiana MacDonald in 1860. She was the sister of one of his school friends so this was how they initially met and then they went on to have a son Philip a year after they married. Tragically, they had a second son who passed away during the winter of 1864 when he contracted scarlet fever. Georgiana herself was very ill during this period. No longer wanting to stay in the place they lost their son, they moved to 41 Kensington Square where in 1866, they had a daughter, named Margaret.

The Firm

In 1861, when William Morris found Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. with friends Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown and Philip Webb as partners in the decorative arts firm. The Firm came about when Morris was furnishing Red House and realised that home furnishings wise, there was nothing that he wanted to purchase. He wanted a return to traditional craftsman products that were top quality. By working together, the group could all bring their own talents to the table; carving, stained glass, metal work, paper-hangings, chintzes and carpets. Each partner (plus Charles Faulkner and Peter Paul Marshall) had their speciality, Burne-Jones in particular was talented with stained glass. 

Many churches around the United Kingdom feature stained glass and this sector was a huge part of their business. The work they showed at the 1862 International Exhibition really boosted them into recognition and within a few years they were flourishing. Their two notable commissions was at the South Kensington Museum (today the Victoria and Albert) in 1867 and St. James’s Palace in the late 1860s which we were lucky enough to see for ourselves! In 1871, Morris & Co. were to design the windows at All Saints, designed by Burne-Jones for Alfred Baldwin, his wife’s brother in law. Even after the firm dissolved and relaunched as Morris & Co. in 1875, Edward Burne-Jones continued to design for their stained glass projects and also tapestries. 

We have so many blog posts on the Pre-Raphealites and William Morris, so make sure to check them out to learn more about their lives and work. If there’s ever anything specific you’d like us to blog about – just let us know!

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We hope you’re having a lovely Easter 🐣 Choccy treats galore with some beautiful Morris florals, what more could we want! 🌷🤍
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Morris fan? There’s 15% off our entire collection of licensed William Morris fabrics and products, this Easter weekend only! 🐣 Use code: EASTER15 at checkout, on our website only, until Monday at midnight 🌙 Enjoy this Easter treat from us! 🤍
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We love all the beautiful spring florals this time of year 🌷 We’ve also not been able to resist starting early on the Easter treats! 🐣
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Introducing Daisy, our latest William Morris licensed design 🌿 Daisy was the second wallpaper William Morris designed, but the first to be produced in 1864, so it remains a special design to every Morris fan ✨ It must have been a favourite of Morris himself, as embroideries of Daisy were used to decorate at the stunning Red House, Morris's home in Bexleyheath. 
We hope you love Daisy as much as we do! Available now on our website, in a limited range of products, fabric is coming soon! ☺️
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A fabric stack of William Morris floral dreams 🤍
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Spring floral ready with our William Morris Willow Bough table setting 🌿 Do your weekend plans also revolve around tea/coffee and baked goods? 🤍
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Monday done right, laying the table with our beautiful licensed William Morris Willow Bough green tablecloth, completed with a @bettys treat 🥰 
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A little fabric stack of our William Morris florals, waiting to be crafted into a project 🪡 Can you name them all from the little peak? 🌿 
All our fabrics are printed in the UK and are licensed William Morris designs, printed both size and colour wise to our own specification ✨ If you’d like a sample, just send us a message 📬
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Showcasing our licensed William Morris Lily fabric, it’s so light and bright it’s making us excited for Spring! 🌿
Designed by William Morris in 1874, it incorporates the willow background with lilies and wild flowers ✨ The design must have been well loved by Morris himself- it was the wallpaper he used to decorate his bedroom at Kelmscott Manor, his home in Lechlade, Gloucestershire 🌿
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Thrilled with our reupholstered chair, brought back to life with our heavyweight William Morris Willow Bough Green 🌿 It’s amazing what a pop of colour and a floral will do to a room 🤍 If you fancy learning how we did this upcycle, we’ll write a blog on it ☺️ 
& if you’re in the UK and would like a sample of any of our fabrics, please let us know 📮
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The different weights of fabric 🧵 We have four weights of fabrics; cotton, heavyweight, drill and pvc, all work well for different projects. For a free sample, please feel free to message us and we’ll get them sent out to you 📮
✨ For our 100% cotton, it’s great for quilting, dress making and more, our lightest weight of cotton
✨ Our heavyweight cotton is perfect for curtains and light upholstery, a heavier fabric than our 100% cotton 
✨ Our drill cotton fabric is our heaviest weave fabric, suitable for light upholstery 
✨ Our PVC is our pvc/oilcloth coated cotton fabric, brilliant as a table covering, it’s sold by the half metre and as it won’t fray, is great to put straight on the table 🌿

The cotton, heavyweight and drill cotton are all 152cm wide and the pvc fabric is 140cm wide. All are sold by the half metre 📏
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In January when the Christmas sparkles come down, we’ve got to bring out even more Morris florals to make sure the house still feels sparkly and beautiful ✨ if you’re also looking to revamp any of the home and looking for a licensed William Morris design for a pop of colour, get in touch for any samples so you can choose which works in your home 🤍
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Our blue Strawberry Thief oven gloves are back in stock, just in time for Christmas! 🎄 will you be gifting some Morris floral magic this year? Or hope to be receiving some! 🎁 Our matching sets of kitchenware and tableware are very popular this time of year, remember if you’re sending direct to your loved one, you can select for the items to be gift wrapped at checkout on our website! 🌟
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Our Black Friday sale is now live! 🥂 On our website only, use code, BLACKFRIDAY10 all weekend for 10% off your order ☺️ Ends Sunday at midnight 🌙
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Dreaming of the sunshine 💭 This is our smallest size of tote bag, in our licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief, on this bike ride we were pretty happy that it was filled to the brim with snacks to eat on the beach ☀️ On Wintery nights we love to look back on the sunshine! ☁️
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We're so thrilled our new website is now live! 🌿Just in time for Christmas shopping, it's much easier to use, and still full of beautiful licensed William Morris designs on every page! We hope you like the change, especially where lots of you are featured on the new 'inspiration' page! 🌟 We absolutely love that it showcases everyones tablescapes and craft projects, just click on them to see the design and who posted the photo so you can see more of their content ☺️ If you're happy for us to use your photos, just send us a message, we'd love it to be a page we can keep adding to throughout the seasons 🪴
Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
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A few of our licensed William Morris designs all hanging out, aren’t they iconic! It’s amazing that you can see a Morris print and instantly know it’s his design 🌿
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