Island of Arts and Crafts

The Origins and Influence of The Arts and Crafts Movement

During recent decades society has gone through a period of rapid change. This has left many people feeling uncertain about their place in the world and what the future might bring. The Industrial Revolution was also a period of rapid change, which brought fear and uncertainty to many, but was perceived by others as offering opportunities. Parallels could be drawn between the experiences of those previous generations and what is happening today.

The emergence in nineteenth century Britain of the Arts and Crafts Movement was a response to concerns about quality of life and the importance of a healthy society. Followers of the movement influenced art and design around the world and their work continues to inspire new generations of artists, designers, craft makers, architects and town planners. The movement was also concerned with social issues and its supporters helped to shape education, training and the provision of public services.

Island of Arts and Crafts book cover

Craft places an emphasis on the practical skills involved in the making of something and the importance of learning the required skills. Art is an exploration of ideas and emotions and involves their expression through the work created. The Arts and Crafts Movement sought to bring art and craft together, so that each craft maker would also become an artist and each artist a craft maker.

Island of Arts and Crafts explores the origins of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the ideals upon which it was founded. The book is not a comprehensive guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement, so apologies if any people or places were not included which you think should have been. There are descriptions of people and events that led to the movement developing in Britain and references to some wider historical and global developments.

This is a short book, which can be read within a couple of hours, but aims to provide a worthwhile introduction to the movement and its continuing relevance. Places of interest are highlighted in England, Wales and Scotland, that relate to the Arts and Crafts Movement or contemporary handmade arts and crafts. Other topics looked at include consumer society, individual identity, the development of personal creativity and finding a healthy work life balance.

Author: Paul Riley

Category: Craft Culture