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Silver Arts & Crafts

by Edinburgh Silver

Arts and Crafts Silver 


Silver and the Arts and Crafts Movement of 1880. Many of our own products made by Edinburgh Silver are influenced by this Movement. So, in today’s blog we all thought it’d be extremely interesting and informative to bring to you some information about the Arts and Crafts Movement. The history, background, names, influences and much more.  


Origins of the Arts and Crafts Movement: Where It All Began.

The Arts and Crafts Movement was really one of the most important and influential design movements of modern times. It began in Britain around 1880 and very quickly began to reach and spread across America and the EU. It finally emerged as the Mingei (Folk Crafts) movement in Japan. So, you can see it was a huge movement that was known across the world. 
The Arts & Crafts Movement was inspired by the Socialist principles and led by a famous and important man named William Morris. We shall speak more about Mr Morris shortly. It took it’s name from the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, founded in 1887. However it enveloped a wide variety of like-minded societies, workshops and producers. Associates of the Movement used a more medieval scheme of trades and guilds to start their own companies to sell their goods. 

The Companies That Embraced The Silver Arts and Crafts 

Originally Liberty and Co was founded by A.L. Liberty. Consequently is now seen as a pioneer in the Art & Crafts movement. A. L. Liberty was born Arthur Lasenby Liberty in Buckinghamshire in 1843, and decided to start his own business in 1874. After working for Farmer and Rogers in Regent Street for over ten years, opening up his first shop in 1876.


The Arts And Crafts Grow 

The Movement grew out of a worry the effects of industrialisation had: on design, on conventional skills and, interestingly, on the lives of ordinary people. It arranged a new set of rules and principles for the living and the working. This is what intrigues us. We find this Movement to be really involved in anti-mass production and anti-industry. Which is something we always take pride in when it comes to Edinburgh Silver and our own pieces. We are not like most companies out there. We like pieces with a story, with history, with art. This is exactly what the Arts and Crafts Movement was doing. It was turning the everyday home into a piece of art.
This was the Movement born of goals and ethics. 
sliver spoon inspired by the arts and craft movement

Style: How Does It Look?:

The pieces that were typical to the Movement were handmade with simplistic forms and ornamentation. You can usually see stylised flowers, allegories from the bible and literature. Along with Celtic motifs on the pieces associated to the Arts and Crafts Movement. 
Influences: Who/What Motivated the Movement?
The Arts & Crafts Movement was very interested and motivated by medieval styles and the Gothic revival by A.W.N. Pugin. As William Morris was a socialist the movement was therefore very influenced by socialism. Also the ideas of John Ruskin (a theorist and critic) and early Marx. Especially the degrading and dehumanisation effects industrialisation had. Also, the Orient, the pared-down quality of the art of the Japanese. 

Important and Influential Names:


William Morris:

As mentioned before, William Morris was a very important figure in this Movement. William Morris was an English textile designer, Furthermore a talented artist, insightful writer and an activist. He was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and, of course, the English Arts and Crafts Movement. He set up his own company with fellow artist called Marshall, Faulkner and Co in 1861. They produced everything from furniture and textiles to wallpaper and jewellery. They very much influenced the decoration in churches and houses in the early 20th century. 
By the 1880’s William Morris had became an internationally renowned and commercially successful designer and manufacturer. New guilds and societies began to adopt his ideas and for the first time a unified approach among painters, architects, sculptors and designers was established. In doing this, they all brought Arts and Crafts ideals to a wider public. Which is absolutely astounding. 

John Ruskin:

John Ruskin was a leading English art critic of the Victorian era. He was also a very prominent social thinker and philanthropist. Ruskin observed and examined the relationship between art, society and labour. Morris put Ruskin’s philosophies into action and placed a big value on work, the joy of craftsmanship and the natural beauty of materials.  

Facts for Perspective: What Was Going On At That Time?

  •  1861:- Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations
  • 1863:- The first underground railway was opened in London
  • 1867:- Karl Marx writes “Capital: A Critique of Political Economy”
  • 1874:- Major Impressionist art exhibition with works by Monet, Degas, Denoir
  • 1885:- The handy light-bulb was invented by Thomas Edison

Summing Up The Arts & Crafts Movement 

 Other countries all over the world adapted Arts and Crafts philosophies according to their own needs. While the work may be visibly very different, it is unified by the ideals that lie behind it. 
We are so influenced by this Movement because it’s unlike any other reform. Therefore we really like the hands-on take in business and we take it personally. It placed a value on quality of materials and design, as well as people’s lives.
The Arts and Crafts Movement shaped the world we live in today… and definitely shaped and influenced most of our designs here at Edinburgh Silver. Silver arts and crafts changing perspective’s.

Eating with Elegance

napkin ring in the arts and craft style movement

Keep The Arts And Crafts Alive

We do like the traditions of the arts and crafts movement and we do what we can to keep it going. To this end we have commissioned two unique silver items for Edinburgh Silver. The first one we had made was a Silver Quaich. The next silver item to be hand made was our beautiful Britannia Silver Napkin Ring

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