Happy Birthday William Morris (& a Free Download)

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 8.34.59 AMIn honor of designer, poet, novelist and social activist William Morris, who was born on this day in 1834 (d. 1896), I give you this Shop of the Crafters Morris Chair article, by Christopher Schwarz.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris

This chair is (clearly) far more in the Arts & Crafts vein than 1860s adjustable-back Victorian chairs produced by Morris & Co. (from a design by Sussex carpenter Ephraim Colman) – but it is undeniably the style we think of today when we think “Morris Chair.” (I also think it more beautiful than the somewhat fussy original.)

The Shop of the Crafters was a Cincinnati company that had European design influences, for example the inlay often used on its work, which is more prevalent in English Arts & Crafts work than American pieces (you can download a copy of the company’s 1906 catalog here) or visit the Cincinnati Art Museum to see some of the work in person (there are a few pieces shown from that collection in this blog post from Chris).

Here’s the article:
Morris Chair PDF
Click here to download the SketchUp model (by reader Dan Noren) from our 3D warehouse.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 8.52.49 AMAnd by the by, Chris’s chair is the cover piece for “Popular Woodworking’s Arts & Crafts Furniture, 2nd edition,” – we added 17 projects (there now are 42 total) to the original, 2008 collection.

— Megan Fitzpatrick