Useful … and beautiful

William Morris

Have you ever come across the quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”? It is a quote that I have on the front page of my British Craft House shop because I feel it sums up where I am coming from as a maker.

(I would perhaps include the word ‘garden’ as well as ‘house’ to be true to the range of things I make.)

The quote is from William Morris, the most famous 19th century designer and key figure in the Arts & Crafts movement. He developed an interest in his childhood for wildlife, flowers and the natural world which would have an influence on his work in later life. Contrary to the Victorian ideal of mass production & industrial processes William Morris championed artisan production of handmade items in textiles, wallpaper, carpets, embroidery, tiles & books.

He brought the natural world indoors by using patterns from the countryside, hedgerow plants and old-fashioned garden flowers to create his designs. 

This spirit of unique, handmade design inspired by nature I hope is reflected in my ceramics – nothing mass produced, nothing copied, hopefully beautiful or useful, or both!

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