This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The examiners (Walter Crane, T. Erat Harrison, Bernard Partridge) find, in book illustrations, "a marked falling off both in design and execution; as a rule the figure drawing is very weak, the facial expression badly rendered, and a tendency towards the use of attenuated and inappropriate lines in the pen drawing. In colour prints, too, "a decided falling off in the quality of the work and a tendency to repeat the methods of former years; in several cases methods which were pleasing and fresh at first have since become mannerisms. As a whole, very insufficient knowledge is shown of the different methods of reproduction." Posters, the examiners find, show a slight improvement, but in this instance also complaint is made of "an indefiniteness as to the method of reproduction." In the class for lettering a high standard is noted, and it appears that the recommendations of last year have been acted upon.
Book Prizes to William E. Swain, Leicester (the Newarke) School of Art, for "a careful piece of line work (illustration), in which, however, the border conflicts with the central subject in effect and interest"; to Albert W. Dodd, Liverpool (Mount Street) School, for " a design for page decoration, which shows decorative treatment; if the figure drawing had been equal to the conception of the design, the work would have received a higher award." Bronze Medals to Ethel Stewart (same school), for decorative landscape panels; to Arthur F. Smith, Leicester (the Newarke) School of Art, for design for an advertisement. Book prizes to Marguerite Ballard, Camberwell School of Art, and to Gertrude Comber, Regent Street (Polytechnic) School of Art, for posters; "in the first case," the examiners remarked, "the effect is marred by extravagant, and in the second by vulgar, lettering." Book prize, for lettering, to Hilda Mary Fletcher, Lincoln School of Art; Silver Medal to Alice G. H. Armes, Newcastle-on-Tyne (Durham College) School of Art, for "some very creditable specimens of illuminated book pages," specially commended. Book Prize to Ida Taylor (same school).
For the former, the (same) examiners report that "the average standard is high both in design and execution; the skill shown in the embossed leather work is certainly greater than in previous years, and the tooled covers generally are tasteful and ingenious." The show of leather work they find "very satisfactory, and a higher average is attained than last year."
Book Prizes to Robert Derbyshire, Worcester School of Art, for "a pleasantly conceived and well-executed centre panel painted on vellum "; to Clara A. Miles, Plymouth (Technical School) School of Art, for " a design for a blotter in cut and modelled leather"; to William L. Whelan, Dublin School of Art, for a book cover in silver repousse and enamel, "in which, however, the fantastic treatment of the emblems hardly accords with their archaic form and the simplicity of the method." Silver Medal to Florence Hornblower, Camberwell School of Art, for "a suitably designed and tastefully executed lady's workbox in cut and embossed leather." Bronze Medal to John Kyle, Huddersfield School of Art, for "a well-conceived design of a Byzantine type, pleasantly stained and gilded."
- The examiners (A. F. Brophy, A. S. Cole, C.B., and Lewis F. Day) find the average standard of merit of last year well maintained in the designs for lace, and the designs "in most cases well adapted to the particular kinds of lace for which they are made." Much of the work submitted, however, for embroidery (for dresses, table centres, etc.) is declared "beneath consideration, both in respect of design and workmanship. Much of it is coarse and slovenly in execution, and without taste in colour." The examiners find not one work worthy of a silver medal, but to "indicate that in a number of schools excellent work of equal merit is being done," they award five bronze medals. The designs for table damask they find wanting in the simplicity and breadth of treatment essential to such work. In printed textiles an improvement on last year's work is noted, but among the designs for woven textiles (dress materials) "there are very few which show much invention."
Silver Medal to Lydia C. Hammett, Taunton School of Art, " given mainly for the reticent, well-balanced and well-drawn design for a veil of Devonshire pillow applique lace, in which there is a pleasant variety of interesting forms such as handwork demands.' Bronze Medals to Stanley Pierpoint and Edith Andrews, Worcester School of Art.
The examiners (Walter Crane, Lewis F. Day, J. H. Dearie) note "a still further improvement this year in designs for stencil hangings" and "a pleasant diversity in the types of designs." They remark that "the more able students seem to have been attracted to this method of decoration," and see "possibly a danger in this, as there appears to be a tendency towards over-elaboration both as to the design and colour, and the natural limitations of the process are not always observed." Objection is made to students sending up the same design in two or three different schemes of colour, and surprise is expressed that some of the students' work should have been sent up at all. In the opinion of the examiners "any master with a taste for colouring" would have withheld them. Designs for carpets, though fewer in number, are found to show an improvement as compared with last year, "yet the class as a whole still falls below the standard of other classes of design." The examiners find among the designs for woven textiles, etc, "nothing on a large scale which shows noteworthy merit"; the "happiest designs are those on a small scale." Incidentally they point out that " whilst appreciating the necessity of a design on point paper being executed in colours that can be easily read by the card stamper, there is no necessity to use colours so crude that they cannot but affect the colour sense of the draughtsman who habitually employs them." Designs for wall papers, it is regretted, show "a still further decline in this class of design, the standard of the work being very poor . . . ." Not one of them, in the opinion of the examiners, " reaches a standard required for a medal award." The examiners "would suggest that there is an opportunity for a clever student to distinguish himself in this branch of design."