Sunday, January 22, 2012

Copper Leafing

"Copper Leafing" is my submission for the January Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. The inspiration for this challenge is a wallpaper, "Trellis" by William Morris.

The design dates to 1862, and is a dramatic departure from the typical designs of that period.

William Morris had trained as an architect and had early unfulfilled ambitions to be a painter. As a student at Oxford he met the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and through this friendship he came into contact with the Pre-Raphaelite painters, such as Rossetti, and others in their circle. In 1859 Morris married Jane Burden, an unconventional beauty and a favourite model for the Pre-Raphaelites. He immediately commissioned his friend, the architect Philip Webb, to build them a new home on land he had bought in Bexleyheath, Kent. Now a suburb of London, Bexleyheath was then a rural area. Morris wanted a modern home which would nevertheless be ‘very medieval in spirit'. This is exactly what Webb gave him.

Trellis was Morris’s first attempt at designing a wallpaper. Its pattern is said to have been inspired by the gardens at Red House, which were organised on a medieval plan with square flowerbeds enclosed by wattle trellises for roses. The birds were drawn by Philip Webb. The design itself certainly has a medieval character – the motifs are drawn in a slightly na├»ve style reminiscent of the woodcut images in 16th- and 17th-century herbals. Morris collected these early printed books and often took his inspiration from their simple stylised illustrations. Although his later wallpaper designs were more complex and sophisticated, his first efforts – Trellis, Daisy and Fruit – have had an enduring appeal. Trellis remained a personal favourite for Morris and he chose it for his bedroom at Kelmscott House, his London home for the last 18 years of this life.

I love the English Arts & Crafts style, in fact, it has greatly influenced the choices I've made in furnishing my own home - and I've used both orange and green extensively

I knew I wanted to incorporate the trellis pattern and right angle weave was the perfect stitch to form my base. Each side is different by yet complementary. One side picks up the browns in the focal pendent and the other side features copper beads that match the copper clasp.

I love the details in the pendent, which I purchased from Etsy artist JulesCeramics. I picked up a couple others at the same time; they're waiting for just the right project.

I think it's a modern, wearable interpretation of the Morris design - just right for the women comfortable with her style.

Available for purchase here.


  1. It's beautiful ~ good luck with the challenge. I LOVE IT!!

  2. I am in awe! So creative - just perfect!