The Midnight Garden Jar

Do you see the imprint of William Morris here? Well it is true that Morris amongst many others is a great inspiration for me. But I also see references to the Arab quarter of the city of Granada in this little pot too; maybe it is the domed lid and the little stars and also the plants being captured here in the dark. What I think is so interesting about Morris is that he in turn was inspired by Islamic art, in particular Turkish ceramics and Persian carpets. It was this that helped him to create a new movement in British design. For him, the Muslim world had managed to preserve the art of the craftsman and avoid the ills of industrial production. He espoused the philosophy that art should be affordable and hand made; this was already a reality in the Islamic world. Not stopping at arts and crafts, he was a passionate advocate of social utopianism and believed in the rights of the worker.

Victorian designer, poet, craftsman and socialist radical William Morris photographed here at the Hammersmith Socialist Society. [possibly 1885], Morris standing in second row photograph from the Mark Samuels Lasner collection source