Marzena on the Inimitable William Morris

14 May 2018

As a florist and tutor, one of the aspects of my role that I love is exploring and discovering new sources of inspiration. It was during a recent Career Course that I discovered the inimitable William Morris. You can see the results of the project for yourself.

I wanted to work with red flowers and had an image of rich, red fabric, like royalty used to wear in my mind. So I started to do a little research on the subject, and this led me to the idea of tapestry.

Whilst investigating tapestry and fabrics, I found an image of a fabric design by William Morris, which I liked very much. I explored his work in greater depth, and amongst the pictures I found was an image of one of his wallpapers, ‘Forest’. It is predominantly red, so it matched my desire to work with red flowers.

Forest, by Morris & Co - Archive Prints II

Through further research, I found out that William Morris was one of the most important representatives of the Arts and Crafts Movement in decorative and fine arts that originated in Britain around 1800, and flourished in Europe and North America until about 1920. The Arts and Crafts Movement was essentially anti-industrial and used medieval, romantic, and folk styles of decoration - all of which I love.

Morris’ designs have seen a revival in recent years, making him as relevant today as he was a century ago. It is interesting to see how modern decorative arts designers such as House of Hackney and fashion designers like Loewe and Joe Richards have taken inspiration from his work. All of those factors again matched my vision for the floral arrangement I wanted to make with my students, and provided a context and relevance to the design that they would create.

With my research complete, and working with the colour palette ‘Forest’ by Morris, as well as the main characteristics of the Arts and Crafts Movement, I ordered the flowers and plants that would bring my vision to life. As you can see in the images accompanying this piece, the student's creation was a beautiful, modern floral interpretation of the wallpaper.