This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
IN the departments of the applied arts there were, naturally, various exhibits in which modelling figured more or less; but in sculpture proper there were only two statuettes, by Amy A. Wilkins. These were "The Young Diver," a graceful nude of a timid boy, very sympathetically treated, and "Life's Problem," a hardly less successful figure of a nude girl, seated, with one foot under her, toying with the emblematic thread. To do justice to some five hundred pictures is not possible, and the following are only a few of the many we liked: " Homewards," by Elise Thompson, an admirable little twilight study of a labourer riding one horse and leading another; "Doubts," by Henrietta Rae, too large a canvas for the story it tells; E. M. Wilde's "Porthmear Bay." beautiful in colour; Edith Scannell's " Pale Primroses," the pathetic figure of a little flower seller; "The Warren," by Louise Jopling; Edith Vicary's "Poplars"; Florence Castle's pastel, "A Dark Girl"; and Rosamund Watson's "Autumn Fruits," a boldly handled water-colour.
A highly successful work in metal was a door knocker in bronze, representing a child driving a dolphin, by Helen Langley. Characteristic exhibits by E. M. Rope included a bronze mirror. Among the
Hammered Copper Clock Face By Annie Williams
Panel of an Embroidered Screen- By Mrs. Brackett
Shown at the Society of Woman Artists' Exhibition not particularly strong show of hammered metal-work we liked best the clock-face by Annie Williams, illustrated herewith, and a copper tea-tray designed and executed by Helen Smith. Worthy of mention, also, were a brass lock-plate by Mary Williams, a screen of oak and copper by the Chiswick Art
Workers' Guild, and a beaten silver dish with repousse border by Jessie Cole. Nor must we omit to mention a handsome copper card-tray, set with silver and enamel, by Frances Charbonnier. An "inlaid mosaicon tea-caddy in walnut wood" was decorated by a new process, by Ada Kilgour. In embossed leather were blotters and letter-cases by Helen Smith and Miss Canning, and Helen Virtue, who also showed a handsome jewel - casket. Among the most striking of the works in leather were the richly embossed and cleverly painted pictures, "Virgin and Child" and "Saint Cecilia," by E. Sloppolini, but this is hardly the sort of work one cares to see framed under glass. Much more appropriate to the material, and truly artistic, was J. H. Park's portiere composed of natural skins, frankly stitched together - almost too frankly, perhaps - and broadly decorated with a "pokered" design of poppies, red tinted.
Work in leather, in one form and another, was a feature. There was a case of bindings and other embossed and tooled work by the Chiswick Art Workers' Guild; there were bindings of notable excellence designed and executed by M. M. Pearson and T. Mahomed, and by Mary Downing, L. G. Wrightson, and F. Leicester.
The wood-carving was not strong, on the whole; but among other interesting work must be noted the long-handled bellows by Elsie E. Lees, which we illustrate, and a mirror by Dorothy T. Keeling - an attractive essay in Scandinavian grotesque.
There were designs for wall and ceiling papers by Maud M. Evans, Eliza Burgess and Grace Ottley, for printed fabrics by Mary Perrott and Irene a Beckett Terrell, for printed tiles by Edith Jacobi. Dora E. Lunn sent an actual panel of six beautifully painted tiles.
A large and excellent display of jewellery and enamels included work by Mrs. Dick, Mrs. Bethune, Mrs. Mills, Alice S. Grant, Blanche and Bertha Goff, Mlle. Labrosse, Maud Partridge (Guild of Metal Workers, Barnstaple), A. M. Winton, Rosabella Drummond, Mrs. Hadaway, Mrs. A. Mure, Ethel Kirkpatrick, Ethel Virtue, the Misses Remington, Magdalen Z. Hoyer, Mrs. E. Roscoe Mullins, and Mrs. Brackett.
The embroidery exhibits included much beautiful work and some excellent designs. The notable screen by Mabel Austen Wilson is elsewhere described and fully illustrated. The embroidered panel by Mrs. Brackett illustrated herewith was delightful in its refined colour scheme, which was admirably carried out. By Florence H. Purvis (Camden School of Art) was a set of d'oyleys well designed and beautifully worked. We have room only to name Miss Aylward, Amy Athorpe, C. Dennison, F. Blair Leighton, Edith A. J. Wright, M. D. Long, J. H. Park, Mrs. A. Towers, Mrs. Walter Witters, Barbara Sturt, Aileen Macdonald, Felix Palmer, Phyllis G. Sachs, and Mrs. Youle, all of whose work is worthy of detailed mention.
Do not be ashamed to show anything you have done your best on. It is sure to have something in it worth looking at if you have anything in you at all.
Bellows carved by Elsie E. Lees
Women artists' Exhibition
The Society Of Women Artists' Exhibition.
Screen in Applique Embroidery. By Mabel Austen Wilson.
Mrs. Wilson's Marine Pictures in
The most striking exhibit of embroidery at the recent exhibition of the Society of Women Artists, in Suffolk Street, was a twofold screen, the principal panels representing two marine views, carried out with true artistic feeling as well as unusual technical skill. It will be seen by our reproduction, that they suggest the best methods of Japanese work of the kind, without being at all imitative. What constitutes, perhaps, the greatest charm of these pictures - and, unfortunately it cannot be reproduced - is their remarkable suggestion of atmosphere. The nearest approach, in excellence, to anything of the sort, outside of Japanese art, that we have seen was in some similar panels, of American landscape, by the widow of the late Oliver Wendell Holmes. At our request, Mrs. Wilson has kindly furnished our readers with the following notes explaining her method of working. - [Editor of Arts & Crafts.]
Part of a Panel in applique Embroidery. By Mabel Austen Wilson.
The Details are given on a fairly large scale, so as to show the method of working.
In starting picture embroidery of this kind the design is first drawn out roughly on large sheets of paper. The motive may, of course, be derived from any source. I have found the Saga Books, illustrated with designs of old Viking ships, very suggestive. The quaint old Dutch sailing ship furnishes an effective motive. For the figure-heads of dragons and other monsters old Chinese porcelain and Oriental pictures offer many ideas.
The ship design having been completed, the linen is prepared by taking two pieces of pale tones of colour suitable for the sea and sky. The sea might be in tones of either grey, green, or blue. Cream, primrose, or pale buff gives a good effect for the sky, these harmonising best with the deep yellow or orange necessary for the sun and its rays. If it is not desired to introduce the sun into the picture, grey or blue may be used.
Filosel silk seems to work in best with the linen. Brighter silk, such as rilo-floss and others of that class, makes the outline too hard, detaching it from the linen and greatly detracting from the artistic effect of the whole picture. On the other hand, the use of silk in preference to linen thread gives just enough brightness to bring up the high lights.
The most important point to be considered is the selection of the various tones of linen and silk for combination. This must be done with great care, matching the colours of the mountains, or any other points in the landscape, as exactly as possible in order to keep the scenery flat and throw it into the background. The tones for the working of the sea should be chosen as near to the actual colours of nature as possible; if the sea is not at hand for comparison, any good marine picture will be of great assistance.
The materials being ready, the tone chosen for the sea should be joined to that for the sky by sewing the two pieces together on each side, overlapping the linens, and keeping the sea above the sky on the right side of the picture, so that the shading of the sea shall hide the stitches where it is joined on the other side. The mountain should be of a dull purple, and should be put on with the smallest stitches which will secure it, in the same tone of silk, to avoid a hard outline; any other points of landscape, if added, must be treated in the same way.
Brown linen is best for the hull, put on in satin-stitch, with silk several tones darker than the linen. The markings on the boat are worked in snail trail with the same silk. A bright tone for the sail gives warmth to the picture; it should be sewn on with the nearest match in silk. The mast, rigging, and oars are traced lightly with a pencil to keep the lines straight, and then worked over in black or very dark brown, a single thread of filosel in short trail stitches being used for the rigging lines, and finally bringing up the lights here and therewith a narrow white outline, worked like the rigging. The ship being finished, the shadows are worked in below it, darning the reflections of the sails closely with the same tones and outline as the sail, allowing a few irregularities for the moving of the water over all the reflections.
The Sun is worked solid and as even as possible. The reflection of the sunlight in the water is produced by blending tones varying from deep yellow to pale cream, placing the stitches closely but irregularly, making the deep tone predominate nearest to the sun, and shading it lighter and keeping the stitches further apart, towards the foreground.
Darn straight and closely under the mountain with the same tone as the purple linen, gradually getting the lines further apart and putting in an irregular stitch here and there in grey, green, or blue. To finish the sea, for which several tones will be needed, work irregular stitches all over, varying the tones, but massing the same tone here and there to secure a broad general effect. Although the stitches should be worked irregularly, the tendency of the line should be to run parallel with the horizon.
The tones of silk for working the sea must depend on the colour of the linen ground selected for it; if blue linen be chosen, the tones of silk should be greys and greens; on a grey or green ground a good deal of blue silk should be used. No really strong tones should be used for the sea of either linen or silk, as the picture depends for its bright effect on the sun and the sails, which will stand out better on a more or less subdued background.
This work is not done in a frame, as a careful ironing on the reverse side through a damp cloth quite removes all creases and gives the right amount of gloss to the silk stitches.
Mabel Austen Wilson.