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William Morris Stained Glass at Bradford Cathedral

24th October 2016

In our last post, we talked about the exhibition running at Bradford Cathedral celebrating William Morris. It couldn’t be left unsaid however, the beauty of the stain glass windows Morris & The Firm produced for the cathedral. It’s amazing when you’re researching Morris how widely spread his reputation was in the art he created, as word of mouth alone brought him much of his business.

John Aldam Heaton of ‘Woodbank’, Harden, suggested the cathedral commission the stained glass window to Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. Although only their third commission, the standard they produce made the group commissioning the piece confident. Heaton noted at the time, “the old tracery (of Jacobean character) was considered unfit to receive this valuable glass and it has been replaced by an entirely new window of the Perpendicular type, as more in harmony with such portions of the old church as remain.” (The tracery are the stonework elements which support the glass in these kind of gothic windows.)

Because all of the work carried out in The Firm was noted down, we know that Morris himself designed the angels in the top of the design, as well as several of the figures. His associates completed the rest of the work, including Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Peter Marshall, Philip Webb and Ford Madox Brown. screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-14-47-23

As described in the guidebook by Bradford Cathedral, the window theme could be described as “Witnesses to Christ.” From the guidebook, written in conjuncture with the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society, we can learn more about the different aspects of the window. “Jesus, in the upper centre light, is surrounded by four tiers of figures representing, in descending order, the Women who ministered to him, the Evangelists, the Patriarchs, and the Prophets who foretold his coming. The right hand of Christ in Majesty is raised in blessing and the left hand holds a golden orb surmounted by a cross. This is the work of Rossetti. The venerable figure of the patron saint, Peter, designed by Peter Paul Marshall, occupies the lower part of the central panel. His green cloak discloses a white robe, and from a golden chain round his neck hang two not very traditional keys and a bible. The panel is completed by Philip Webb’s Agnus Dei, the lamb being separated from the figures by a border of daisies within circles.”

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Installed in 1864, before this piece was added when renovations began, the windows were mainly plain and modest with only a small amount of heraldic detail.

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Morris was hugely influenced by the work of Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin, who wanted to reinstate values of past times to improve society. Morris aimed to provide affordable ‘art for all.’ The company Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. therefore worked within all the decorative arts. Though Morris’ is perhaps best remembered for his wallpaper and textile designs, he also designed and created embroideries, such as the alter frontal textile currently at Bradford Cathedral. He always specialised in tapestries, stained glass windows and other of the traditional arts which had been forgotten with the rise of industrialisation. Whenever we write about Morris’ life work, we wonder how he fitted in the time mastering all of the crafts he did; learning all the hand making processes, learning the best techniques when working with the materials so that he could pass on his skills.

The windows The Firm created are beautiful, the detail as shown in the photos makes it seem unbelievable that they’re made with glass. If you get a chance to visit the Cathedral, it’s well worth it.

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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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& 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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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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Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
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