29th April 2018
Inspired by the rose trellis in the garden of Red House, his home in Bexleyheath, Trellis was the first wallpaper designed by William Morris in 1864. The first three wallpapers he produced, Trellis, Daisy and Fruit are produced using a hand-printing process which took a lot of time to do and therefore cost a lot of money – each colour in the design required a separate block and so the trio of designs used each required 12 blocks so had to wait on these designs until the early 1870s when the Firm’s finances were more balanced.
It’s incredible to think that an artists first three designs are so stunning and have stood the test of time to be relevant and current and stylish so long after they were first designed. The interior fabrics used today are still similar to the ones produced by Morris and his influential designs appear to be still influencing designers and artists of today, how many designs do you look like that have been produced today which are similar or take inspiration from Morris.
Though he designed Trellis first, he did not produce it first as it had to wait for a finishing touch from his lifelong friend Philip Webb to design the birds and insects. The birds within the design are a beautiful addition in the design, which is a classic element of Morris and Webb’s work with naturalistic elements. This design in particular was obviously a firm favourite of both Morris and Webb despite the lots of different designs they produced since thirty years later Webb used Trellis extensively at Standen. It was also adapted for use for the bed hangings at Kelmscott Manor. The rooms it can still be seen in today are; the morning room corridor and the lobby which leads to the conservatory, May Morris also noted remembering it decorating her bedroom in Queen Square. She even was quoted that she used to lay awake at night scared by one of the birds within the design, ‘because he was thought to be wicked and very alive.’
We license and produce William Morris’s Trellis, one of our newest designs we’ve done on products, it’s grid like pattern dispersed with wildlife, birds and roses on the trellis is a beautiful one and a truly stand out piece not only in the history of William Morris, but even looking at his catalogue of work, remains of our favourites. It seems he didn’t need any lead up to producing one of his most iconic designs!
Also using Trellis as a featured pattern in our William Morris collection which features both Trellis, a photo of William Morris, his photo, signature and also one of his most famous quotes, “have nothing in your houses you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” depending on the product (different products feature various combinations of these.) Words to live by for sure, and ones that are beautiful on a tote bag! We’ve really been enjoying using this William Morris shopper bag as it can be folded down in your handbag until you need it on a shopping trip and then you can bring it out to use it – lightweight, useful and chic!
Have a look at our full range of Trellis products here and scroll down to see more of our beautiful products…