Archive for the category “Influences”

Head, Hand and Heart: Perfect Imperfections

How many of you who have taken a trip to the Post Office recently have noticed the new Royal Mail issue of stamps entitled ‘Morris & Company’?

The set is very attractive and features work from the latter half of the 19th Century by William Morris, Philip Webb, John Henry Dearle, Kate Falkner, William De Morgan and Edward Burne-Jones.  As the handmade craft movement within the UK would probably not exist in its current form without these pioneers and others like them, I thought I would use this post to write a little tribute!

Morris & Company was a reincarnation of an earlier design firm called Morris, Marshall, Falkner & Company.  The earlier company, set up by Morris and some of his Pre-Raphaelite colleagues set out initially to make ‘fine art crafts’, in stained glass, embroidery, architectural carving, tapestries and furniture.   At first the firm produced much of its work for ecclesiastical purposes, playing a role in the widespread church restoration projects that were ongoing at that time.  As the business progressed however, more work for private customers was undertaken in an increasing range of mediums, producing many of those famous designs that are still sold today as fabrics and wall papers and embroideries. Read more…

My Influences: Part 1: ‘Sons and Lovers’ by D.H.Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence

Well, I thought I’d have a go at writing some blog posts about those things that have influenced me as a person as well as my creative development. As I thought about this I found myself looking back and asking myself what had really had a big impact on me, what had gotten under my skin and stayed with me.  I don’t mean under my skin like a mite, more like…hmmm, I don’t know… perhaps like a hormonal implant; something that sends out messages all over your body and changes the way you feel about the world (yes, okay, I was struggling for an analogy there, but as it happened that one didn’t do toooo badly ;)). I could think of lots of things that I had enjoyed looking at, reading, listening to throughout my life; a string of new discoveries that had all fed into my creative process, but this wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I was looking for those ‘wow’ moments when the light bulb goes on and you either can’t pull yourself away from something or you want to rush out and research everything you can on it.

The first time I remember this happening to me in any kind of serious way was at school when we read D.H.Lawrence’s ‘Sons and Lovers’ for an English class.  Up until that point, we had read lots of books that I will always remember: George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’; Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’; Jane Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’; Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’; H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’, and many more, but this book – ‘Sons and Lovers’- changed everything. Read more…

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