William Morris and Islamic Art

I have just been listening to a very interesting programme on Radio Four - which really got to the heart of what River & Cloth is all about. The programme, entitled Morris and the Muslims, explored how Islamic art strongly influenced the patterns and motifs found in many of Morris's wallpaper and tapestry designs.  At a time when Britain was moving into mass production, Morris valued the hand-made and the preservation of individual craftmanship more than ever, and began looking to other cultures and different forms of creativity for inspiration.  Morris's dictum, that the art object should be beautiful, functional and affordable to all was already a reality in the Islamic world.

Some of the techniques we have been teaching in our workshops are inspired by Morris and support the ideology that art and craft can be an every-day practice that is accessible to all.   And like Morris, we are really keen to explore how other cultures and nationalities continue to influence British design and craft.  Please keep checking out our programme pages to learn more about the workshops we have coming up and how you can get involved.