Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Comments on the work - The Studio

The Studio described itself as ‘an illustrated magazine of fine & applied art’.  Published in London from 1883, it was an important source of arts and crafts news, featuring exhibitions, reviews and lots of pictures of this new art.  Most copies of The Studio are available at 

The Studio vol 11-13
The Home Arts and Industries Association at the Royal Albert Hall 1897.  “Perhaps the most novel examples in the whole Exhibition were some bold and simply embroidered pieces of appliqué-work after designs by Mr. Godfrey Blount.”  – refers to Kate Shawyer and the Class pictures below

Applique-work, Portiere, designed by Godfrey Blount, Executed by Kate Shawyer, Haslemere
Applique-work Portiere, designed by Godfrey Blount, executed by the Class, Haslemere

The Studio vol 17-19
The Home Arts and Industries Association.  “Among the textiles, the Haslemere peasant tapestries deserve special praise for steady development on bold yet wisely unpretentious lines.  Under the tuition of Mrs Godfrey Blount the villagers have learnt to set simple appliqué patterns with accurate finish, and often with surprisingly rich effect.  Their work should be greatly helped by Mrs Joseph King’s weaving industry in the same district, through which some very fine and substantial fabrics are now being produced.”

The Studio – vol 29
Liverpool handicraft exhibition with the main object of the exhibition being the revival of the spirit of the old craft guilds – the upholding of the dignity of hand labour as opposed to the production of decorative work by machinery.  “The Haslemere peasant industry sent a fine appliqué hanging, The Spies, designed by Godfrey Blount, and several rich hand-woven rugs, all work of a high quality.”

The Studio, vol 29
At Haslemere, many years of wisely directed work on the part of Mrs Joseph King and Mr, and Mrs. Godfrey Blount have resulted in a “developed industry’ of spinning, weaving and embroidery which, for the quality and variety of its output, may now compare with anything of the kind in this country.  The workers have a very real sense of beauty in texture, colour and ornament, and their work has the charm and freshness of being deliberately and intelligently done.  Their woven wool rugs are again conspicuous for their soft finish and delicate colouring; and the fine qualities of the craft have been in no way coarsened by its application to the heavier stuffs.  The linen and woolen hangings, household tapestries, and dress goods are as pleasing as ever; and the appliqué embroideries show many novelties in design without departing from the breadth and simplicity which have marked them from the first.

Hand-woven pile rug designed by Godfrey Blount

Peasant Tapestry Wall-Hanging "The Deep Sea" designed by Godfrey Blount

Hand-woven Linen Coverlet designed by Godfrey Blount
Peasant Tapestry Wall-Hanging designed by Godfrey Blount
Portion of a Frieze of Coloured Woodcarving designed by Godfrey Blount

Box designed by Godfrey Blount

The Studio, vol 43, February 1908
At this point 12 or so girls are being taught at St. Cross.  It is noted that the spinning wheel is not often used.  The Weaving House is called one of the most artistic buildings in Haslemere.

“The revival of handicraft at Haslemere, and especially the introduction there of the handloom, owes its inspiration principally to that unique personality, Mr. Godfrey Blount. At his house, St. Cross, a dozen or so of village girls are taught to weave at the hand-loom. Peasant tapestry (applique), hand-woven pile carpets and tapestry carpets are worked by well-trained hands here. These are sold either at the shop of the Peasant Arts Society in the High Street, Haslemere, or at the London Depot of this Society, which was founded by Mr. Blount in 1896 at 83, New Cavendish Street, W. Mr. Godfrey Blount is largely responsible for the exquisite designs, though Mrs. Blount often suggests the harmonies in colour, and besides teaching the girls, herself weaves at the hand looms. The great difficulty at Haslemere has been that of trying to wed cheapness to beauty, and the sacrilegious nail in furniture making has been an innovation of quite recent years. The Spinning Wheel, as shown in the photograph, is
not often used.

The Haslemere Weaving Industry was founded in 1894 by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph King, and is
really a branch of the Peasant Arts Society. Miss Jones manages this Industry, and many ladies who have desired to set up hand-looms of their own and weave on their own account have been pupils under Miss Jones. One large fly-shuttle is used here besides the ordinary hand-looms, and from the flax obtained from Ireland the girls weave cotton for the making of frocks, pinafores, towels, etc. This is altogether a larger workshop than the one at St.Cross, and is certainly one of the most artistic buildings in Haslemere.”

Hand-loom workers at St. Cross, Haslemere
Weaving Room of Haslemere Weaving Industry

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