Deeper perception through research1.1 — William Morris
There is no place for assumptions if you want to create a strong design project. Every decision should be based on a strong research. As we have got feedback from the curator’s team, that we should concentrate on the William Morris and the gallery itself than on the external problems of the borough and the worlds, we decided to go to the museum to collect more info to work with.
William Morris was disappointed with the quality of the goods created using machines, so he preferred to revive traditional techniques. For example, he learned hand-knotting himself and then taught his employees this almost forgotten in Britain method.
He was obsessed with the quality, so his works were extremely expensive:
Also, I find it fascinating how the process of the wallpapers making was so complicated and demanding in production, everything was made by hands in many and many iterations. For instance, the wallpaper he made for Queen Victoria required 68 woodblocks to print:
Wallpaper initial design was made with watercolours on paper, and it is interesting to explore how it was created. From the very beginning it was traced into the square grid to follow the repetitive pattern, then the outlines were made with pencil. After that it was not painted with colours completely, there were different layers to show the possible way of breaking it down into woodblocks.
We also asked one of the curators in the gallery to tell us more about the wallpapers made for St. Jame’s Palace and for Queen Victoria. She told us about the process of the wallpaper making and the inner conflict of William Morris, as he was contradicting himself by proclaiming that art and beauty should be accessible to everyone, but making and selling his products extremely expensive. Here is the record of our conversation:
Actually, the whole process of making the wallpaper is long and exhausting, but also very interesting to know about, so here you could check the video from the V&A Museum of the printing process:
Or the extended version with additional info I have recorded in the WM Gallery:
Especially, I like the woodblocks, which were used to create prints, they should be very accurate and reliable to keep its sharpness for years of active use. The quality of the woodblocks is crucial for the whole process.