Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I have been busy and so it is timely to provide an update on some of my stores on CafePress and Zazzle.

1. What started off as a showcase for gift items incorporating Pre-Raphaelite art now has a rapidly-growing section devoted to the work of some artists from the Art Nouveau Movement. What brought this about was the discovery that some Art Nouveau and Art Deco items were listed as 'best-sellers' and so I decided to create some offerings aimed at meeting the demand.

2. On Zazzle I redesigned Poe Gifts to be a little more Poe-esque rather than have the plain vanilla off-the-peg store. I still view it as a work-in-progress and may tweak it after I have finished on the current phase of the Art Nouveau project.

3. I also gave PreRaphaeliteArt its own identity and store design. There is still much to be done in terms of populating it with items but I do like the design and I hope that visitors will find it attractive and be enticed to buy from it.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The opening of the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Tate brings to mind what I believe to be one of the finest stained glass window designs by the two great Masters, Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, who were right in the midst of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement. The window is in St Martin's Church in Brampton, a small, Cumbrian, market town just 9 miles east of Carlisle. The church is popularly known as 'The Pre-Raphaelite Church', partly because all of the stained glass is by the Morris Company, using designs by Burne-Jones, Morris and some later designers, and partly because the church itself was designed by Philip Webb, a Pre-Raphaelite architect.

The design that I wish to showcase here is 'The Pelicans' by Burne-Jones with foliage by William Morris. It forms the centre of a 5-light window which was commissioned by George Howard, a close friend of Morris, in memory of his father, Charles. The design is the subject of one of the funniest entries in Burne-Jones' book of accounts, which is more of a diary than a set of accounts, I would quote it here but can't locate the file so it will have to wait for another post.

As you are probably aware stained glass designs are often re-used several times over in different windows and this was certainly true of designs by Burne-Jones and others who designed for Morris Company. Contrary to this practice 'The Pelicans' was only used once, probably out of the respect shown by Morris for George Howard and his father Charles. It is my belief that this is one of the finest Morris windows, both in design and execution but you can judge for yourself.
It's that time of year...October 7th, anniversary of his death in Baltimore in 1849 and then Halloween. So, to mark the occasion, here are some Edgar Allan Poe gift items:

See other gifts available on Zazzle.
The Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition at the Tate in London is well underway and is receiving rave reviews. I was lucky enough to see the last one, in 1984, by routing a business trip through central London. Sadly, barring a miracle, I am unlikely to be able to see the present one. I have, however, designed some gift items incorporating some of these great works of art.

Browse other gifts from Zazzle.