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“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.” – John Ruskin

8th February 2017

Born on this day in 1819, John Ruskin remains remembered as one of the most influential intellectuals and activists of the Victorian Age. You may have heard of his name in relation to the Arts & Crafts Movement due to the fact William Morris (often deemed the ‘father’ of the movement) held Ruskin and his work in such high regard and was strongly influenced by both his writings and social commentaries. Morris recalled being first introduced to Ruskin’s work, “To some of us when we first read it, now many years ago, it seemed to point out a new road which the world should travel.”

It can be claimed that it was Ruskin and his writings during the 19th Century which laid the foundations for the Arts & Crafts movement to flourish. The most important idea was that he called for a revival of traditional craftsmanship- as we’ve written about in past blogs, the Movement was fronted by those that saw industrialisation was killing artistry and craftsmanship for the ordinary man. This came from Ruskin in two of his most influential works, “The Seven Lamps of Architecture” (1849) and “The Stones of Venice” (1851-53- a trilogy works.)

Born in London to Margaret and John James, he was home schooled and well educated. His appreciation of art and literature came from his father, a prosperous sherry importer and art collector; he encouraged his son to take an interest in the arts. His mother was a Evangelical Christian, so raised in this environment he had Christian ideals instilled upon him from a young age; reading the Bible every morning from the age of 3.

Aged 11 he published his first poem- and his first prose at 15 showing talent from an early age! Attending Christ Church, Oxford in 1843, during his years here he not only earned a reputation for being a fine watercolour artist, but also won the Oxford Newdigate Poetry Competition in 1839 and was presented the award by William Wordsworth- an idol of his during his youth.

 

Ruskin with William Holman Hunt

 

One example of Ruskin’s views towards industrialisation comes from volume II of his ‘The Stones of Venice’ series;

“And the great cry that rises from all our manufacturing cities, louder than their furnace blast, is all in very deed for this- that we manufacture everything there except men; we blanch cotton, and strengthen steel, and refine sugar, and shape pottery; but to brighten, to strengthen, to refine, or to form a single living spirit, never enters into our estimate of advantages.” – John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice: Volume II (1853.)

Looking back through history, there are always figures we need to thank for their contributions to keeping beautiful architecture preserved and restored so we can still see it today. Ruskin is one such figure- interested in the Gothic Revival he saw it as a huge importance to preserve and restore Gothic architecture of the Middle Ages.

Also, Ruskin was known for his support of Pre-Rephaelitism as a movement, and the artists within the movement- writing of his support.

A visionary of the time, he spoke and wrote about topics not popular common issues at the time. These included women’s education, minimum wage, pensions, global warming and pollution among many others. Not only is he remembered today for his own writings and works, but the ideas he had at the time which were far beyond the time he lived in. We also remember him for the influence he gave to Morris, and how his ideas helped Morris’ own to flourish.

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A William Morris fabric stack 😍 What would you make from our licensed William Morris floral fabrics? 🪡🧵
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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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