This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
Here are few craftswomen who have devoted as much time to the study of their craft as Miss Reeks. She has always been an inveterate worker, and early realised that there was no short cut to success. That she is one of the few women carvers who can work quickly is due to the fact that during the last twenty-four years she has daily passed some hours at her bench. Since 1901, when she became Manager of the School of Art Wood-carving, she has had more calls upon her time; but before then she used to carve six and eight hours a day. Rapidity only comes with constant practice, and this is a point few women realise. For many years she has been the assistant teacher in the evening classes at the school. Among the various certificates she holds may be mentioned " The First Group of the Art Masters" Certificate, third grade; Honours Certificate, School of Art Wood-carving, and Honours Certificate, History of Archi-texture, University College, London. She was awarded a silver medal for carving, in the Educational Section of the International Health Exhibition.
Miss Reeks considers that drawing and modelling should form the basis of all technical art training, with the study of geometry, anatomy and design. She does not, however, believe it essential that the carver should design his own work, as she thinks it would only be in a few exceptional cases where he could combine design with skilled craftsmanship, and that the one or the other must be the student's goal. The most important piece of work that Miss Reeks has undertaken was the copy of a French Balustrade in the Francois I. style, for the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is said to have come from the Chapelle d'Assier, and might be the work of Bachelier, of Toulouse. It is far finer and earlier in style than any of the other specimens in the
Museum attributed to him. The semi-circular arches, a marked feature in the reign of Louis XII., and which survived in places during the first half
Hymn-board, in Walnut, with Gilded Background.
Designed and carved by Maria E. Reeks.
Super-altar carved in Oak, for a Country Church.
Designsd and executed by Maria E. Reeks. (For enlarged Details, see opposite page.)
Details Of The Super-Altar Designed And Carved In Oak By Maria E- Reeks
(The Relief is 3/8 inch.)
Memorial Tablet Designed By Lewis F. Day And Carved By Maria E. Reeks of the sixteenth century, are recessed about an inch and a half, and when intact the ornamental detail they enclose would probably have been finished off with a small moulded drop. The relief of the ornament varies from a quarter of an inch to three-eighths of an inch on the centre column, which projects beyond the others. The rounded form of the balusters added considerably to the carver's difficulties, as in cutting away the ground the original contour of the wood had to be kept. Every detail is varied, not even two of the acanthus leaves being quite identical, or two of the masks.
Portion Of A Balustrade Time Francis I.
(Height, 6 ft. 2 in. Width, 6 ft. 6 in.)