Friday, January 11, 2008

The Craftsman

For 15 years at the turn of the 20th Century Gustav Stickley published a monthly magazine titled "The Craftsman". In this publication he discussed the Arts and Crafts movement. He wrote about the philosophy of the movement, added furniture designs and later home designs.
In the forward to the first issue Stickley wrote:

The United Crafts will labor to produce in their workshops only those articles which shall justify their own creation; which shall serve some actual and important end in the household, either by adding to the ease and convenience of life; or yet by furthering the equally important object of providing agreeable, restful and invigorating effects of form and color, upon which the eye shall habitually fall,as the problems of daily existence present themselves for solution. Thus, it Is hoped to co-operate with those many and earnest minds who are seeking to create a national, or rather a universal art, adjusted to the needs of the century:that Is,an art developed by the people, for the people, as a reciprocal joy for the artist and the layman.

Another object which The United Crafts regard as desirable and possible of attainment is the union in one person of the designer and the workman. This principle, which was personally put in practice by Morris, extended throughout his workshops; the Master executing with his own hands what his brain had conceived, and the apprentice following the example set before him as far as his powers permitted.

Stickley covers everything from which woods are best for what applications, to coloring those woods, to embroidering the curtains for the living room. Anyone interested in the Arts and Crafts movement will find a wealth of information here in its original format, but with the coming of the digital age, you can search the text, view it as an original image or as plain text. I have spent many happy hours reading through the editions and still find something that I'll go back to time and time again. Many thanks to the University of Wisconsin for their digital library. You can find the Craftsman collection here.

1 comment:

JL Young said...

Hi there,

Thanks so much for the link to the "craftsman" I'm sure it will make for some great reading. After having seen your work on the Wood Whisperer's flicker group some months ago I did a search for your website with no luck. I'm pleased to see you now have a web presence, congratulations. You're making some beautiful furniture by the way. I'm an amateur woodworker as well and really enjoy making craftsman furniture. I just started a weblog JLyoung furniture if you're interested.