Out on the tiles - Victorian Style
The Victorian Age
The Victorian period was a time of great change; new inventions and manufacturing processes helped to make Britain into the world’s richest nation.
The huge generation of wealth meant that objects for the home were cheaper and widely available, enabling the middle classes to decorate their homes.
Some people began to question the methods of producing objects such as tiles, pottery, furniture and textiles. The disastrous effects of industrialisation on the working population had been recognised as early as the 1840’s - by the 1860’s artists and designers began to use their creative skills to influence the public and manufacturers by developing new approaches to the design and production of the decorative arts.
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900) - a famous writer, philosopher and art critic influenced many artists through his books ' The Seven Lamps of Architecture' and 'The Stones of Venice' where he advocated a return to the values of the craftsmen in medieval times – he believed an honest approach was evident in the work produced in the 12th - 14th centuries.
William Morris (1834 - 1896) put Ruskin’s ideals into practice. He believed that Victorian society cared only about making money and not about people - machines had replaced the traditional skills of the craftsman. Morris was attracted by the idea of skilled craftsmen working with their hands to make beautiful objects out of natural materials that people really needed and wanted.
These two hugely influential men are recognised today as the founders of the Arts and Crafts Movement.