The Victorian artist, poet, designer, and social activist William Morris is credited with inspiring the international design movement known as Arts and Crafts. The Arts and Crafts movement stressed joy in labor as opposed to the growing alienation and social disorder stemming from the rapid industrialization of England and beyond. Through his writings, Morris urged his readers to embrace the craftsmanship upheld by medieval guilds. The Arts and Crafts aesthetic echoed his love of handicraft and produced notable examples of furniture, pottery, metalwork and print widely adored and collected today.
Near the end of his life, Morris opened a printing shop to produce great works of literature in his highly crafted vision. The Kelmscott Press produced some of the most amazing and beautifully illustrated and bound volumes the world has seen. One of the most notable projects undertook by Kelmscott is the reprint of the complete works of Chaucer, designed and illustrated by Morris and his friend, artist William Burne-Jones.
We received an unique opportunity here at Cherry Creek Custom Framing when a client brought us two unbound pages from the Kelmscott Chaucer for framing. The pages, printed on both sides and including Morris’s illuminations and type, deserved a special treatment. First we designed a double sided presentation so all of the pages would be visible. Next we hit the books and did research on historical Arts and Crafts frames. We came up with a great frame design that properly showcases the artwork as well as staying true to Morris’ overall aesthetic. The craftspeople at Cherry Creek Custom Framing were excited to show off their skills by fabricating this technically challenging project. A through tenon is a method of joining wood more common in fine furniture, but our in-house craftsman was not deterred. The detail of the construction, combined with the finely figured oak grain provide the top notch details that make this work of art stand out on the wall!